Ontario PCs Stand Up for Municipalities and Taxpayers

September 19, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK – Unaffordable arbitration settlements for public employees will become a thing of the past upon passage of PC MPP Jim Wilson’s Bill 121, “An Act to Deal With Arbitration in the Public Sector”. The Act will compel arbitrators to consider a municipality’s ability to pay for a demanded public pay raise before issuing a decision, and to detail their consideration of such factors in writing.

MPP Jim McDonell welcomes the Ontario PC’s continued push for a stop to Government overspending: “As a former mayor, I understand the challenges local municipalities have to face when arbitrators do not take into consideration the municipal tax base and current budgeting challenges. Several municipalities across Ontario had to increase property taxes or reduce services to residents due to arbitration decisions that were not grounded in local economic realities”.

During the Budget process, the Ontario PC Caucus highlighted the Government’s dithering on the arbitration file. PC Leader Tim Hudak commented: “The budget did not require arbitrators to factor in local economic conditions. It only required written decisions from arbitrators describing their unaffordable awards upon request. Then, on the critical matter of the amount of time arbitrators take in handing down their decisions, which now takes so long that a local economy can change for the worse completely, the government lengthened the budget’s proposed timeline from twelve months – still too long – to sixteen months!”

Bill 121 comes to a crucial vote in the Legislature on October 4. MPP Jim McDonell insists the Government should take a stand for local taxpayers and vote with the Ontario PC Caucus: “In a difficult economic time all financial decisions, including arbitrated public-sector settlements, must reflect the economic reality of the community paying the bill. This approach will benefit 13 million Ontarians collectively and all municipal taxpayers individually. I look forward to hearing from our area’s mayors and wardens and bringing their input to Queen’s Park”.