Name: Tyler Sutton
Occupation: Research analyst with a public sector-focused publication
Hot button issue: They really need to get tough with public-sector employees and they’ve certainly done that. ... Unlike in the private sector where things are a lot more nimble and it’s easier for corporations to, you know, shed jobs and to cut back, in the public sector, once things are given it’s much harder to take away. So with the budget coming out, it’s encouraging that the government has taken steps to work on pulling back in terms of expenses for salaries, and other expenses.
I noticed in the budget a number of things that are working towards the goals, you know, teachers having a number of sick days left over at the end of their careers that they can cash in on. You know, it makes sense to scale those back. In the private sector, they’re certainly not able to cash in on any unused sick days.
Name: Jonah Gindin
Where they live: Toronto
Occupation: Researcher with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
Hot button issue: I guess the things that stick out in my mind are the freeze in social assistance and the cuts in health care [spending] ... That concerns me, because I don’t know how they expect hospitals to save that money except by closing beds and laying off cleaners or something like that.
I think they could have avoided those cuts. ... From what I can see so far, they haven’t proposed any kinds of personal income-tax increases for people in higher income brackets.
And I know they said they’re not going to further cut corporate taxes. But that just seems so crazy to me [that they’re not raising them] in a time we’re saying that the sky is falling.
Name: Teresa Randall
Where they live: Vaughan
Occupation: marketing consultant
Hot button issue: I was happy to see that they kept the plan for full-day kindergarten. Because daycare’s really expensive. My son’s in [senior kindergarten]this year, and I put him in daycare on alternate days and, oh my gosh, it’s so expensive. When they first announced [full-day kindergarten]I was like I hope that works out for me, but if it works out for other kids, that’s good too.
... Sometimes at home [kids]end up watching too much TV, that kind of thing, so at least [in kindergarten]they end up improving their interaction skills and you know, learning their alphabet faster and learning how to read a little bit faster.
I think investing in our children is one of the most important things that you can do. I think it’s critical.