Liberals, NDP shut down arbitration reform

April 11, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK – With no regard for the needs of local governments negotiating pay increases with municipal employees, the Liberals and the NDP joined together to defeat the Capacity to Pay Act today, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said.

“The PC Party heard from people across Ontario – loud and clear – that it was time to stand up for property taxpayers by fixing the province’s broken arbitration system that awards unaffordable contract settlements to government employees,” Harris said. “Unfortunately, the Liberals and the NDP chose to maintain the status quo, forcing municipalities to continue to foot the bill for arbitration rulings funded by unsustainable property-tax increases.”

The Capacity to Pay Act is a part of the Ontario PC plan to make government workers’ wages reflect taxpayers’ capacity to pay and help municipalities protect the quality of local services, as well as keep property taxes affordable.

Both the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards endorsed the bill as a way to get labour costs under control.  Despite this overwhelming support, the NDP and the Liberals voted against the proposed act today.

“It is no longer acceptable for arbitrators to assume that municipalities should raise taxes to pay for these arbitration decisions. That’s why we introduced this very important bill,” Harris said. “Unfortunately, Catherine Fife and John Milloy failed to stand up for local taxpayers and have continued down the path of overspending and debt. Ontarians deserve better from their elected-representatives.”