In response to the February 15 Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services report – widely referred to as the Drummond report after its author, retired banker Don Drummond – the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives hosted a public meeting, entitled Deconstructing Drummond, in Toronto to examine the 362 recommendations within the report.
The event drew a packed house, with an audience representing the full spectrum of civil society – all concerned about the harmful effects an austerity agenda could have on the economy and on the people of Ontario.
CCPA Research Associates – economists Hugh Mackenzie and Jim Stanford – presented their analysis of the report's fiscal and economic projections.
In his presentation, Hugh Mackenzie talked about how the debate is being manipulated to trump up a sense of economic crisis when there are revenue and other fiscal options to manage a deficit reduction program that follows a more sensible path. View the slides from his presentation below:
Jim Stanford reminded the audience that Ontario's deficit was created by a global financial crisis and recession, not government overspending. He talked about how the recession has been historically weak and that's why the budget has been slow to recover. Rather than an austerity agenda that would make matters worse, Stanford said the government should focus on stimulating growth and employment. View the slides from his presentation below:
For more of CCPA's Drummond-related analysis, visit our blog round-up here. And here's a link to a blog post by Toby Sanger showing how the effect of the cutbacks recommended in the Drummond report could be worse than the Mike Harris cuts of the 1990s.
The CCPA’s bold vision and creative solutions help us imagine better futures for all. Its efforts to build bridges between labour, industry, and civil society and mentor young activists lay the foundation for realizing those provocative futures. I consider my support for the CCPA an investment in a better future for British Columbia.