McGuinty targets salary freeze for hospital CEOs
Premier Dalton McGuinty has targeted the salaries of executives at Ontario hospitals and government agencies as part of a plan to cut government spending.
CTV Toronto Queen's Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss reported on Tuesday that McGuinty has instructed Finance Minister Dwight Duncan to get hospital CEOs and other agency heads to freeze their own salaries.
The move is expected to be included in the provincial budget, to be released in March.
The proposed freeze is the latest strategy to address Ontario's $16-billion deficit, released one day before prominent enconomist Don Drummond releases a massive report detailing a solution to the province's money woes.
The Drummond report will include 362 recommendations, including the cancellation of McGuinty's all-day kindergarten program.
"It's very sweeping and it will be very controversial," Duncan told reporters.
But McGuinty stressed during a public appearance on Tuesday that the report was merely recommendations and that nothing was carved in stone.
"They advise and we decide. We look forward to receiving that advice," McGuinty said.
Finance minister defends kindergarten
Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada on Monday, Duncan said the government would not back off of the ambitious kindergarten plan.
Duncan did say the government would sell off a valuable plot of land on Toronto's waterfront that currently houses the LCBO headquarters.
The property on Queen's Quay, east of Yonge Street, could net Queen's Park more than $200 million.
Also announced was a plan to reconsider an annual $345 million horseracing subsidy.
Duncan said that the province could also sell off more of Service Ontario.
Duncan is expected to consult Ontarians before he tables the province's budget in March.
With a report by CTV's Queen Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss.