Ontario eyes prison costs to help rein in deficit: budget preview


TORONTO— Globe and Mail Update


A cellblock in Toronto's Don Jail, built in 1864. - A cellblock in
 Toronto's Don Jail, built in 1864. | Marc Sargent for The Globe and 
The Ontario government is targeting the province’s prisons for cost savings and reviewing whether some programs should be turned over to the private sector, in an effort to help erase its multibillion-dollar deficit.

The theme in next Tuesday’s provincial budget will be on focusing the province’s scarce resources on high-priority services, notably health care and education, while avoiding across-the-board cuts to program spending.


Finance Minister Dwight Duncan gave a preview of his budget during a speech on Thursday to the Toronto Board of Trade in Toronto. Unlike the Progressive Conservatives, Mr. Duncan said, the governing Liberals will protect the province’s schools and hospitals.

“If the goal is cutting, the task is actually pretty easy,” Mr. Duncan said in a campaign-style speech. “Find a costly program – most of them are in education and health care – and get rid of it.”

The Liberals, who are seeking a third term in the provincial election on Oct. 6, are taking a decidedly different approach, he said. The party will preserve funding for health care and education, which together consume about 70 per cent of total program spending, and look for savings elsewhere.

Mr. Duncan said the government has identified nearly $1.5-billion in savings over the next three years in the province’s corrections system. It will do so by transferring prisoners out of old, inefficient jails into newer facilities now under construction in places such as Toronto and Windsor. Newer jails are bigger and more cost effective, because the ratio of prisoners to staff is higher, he said.

Mr. Duncan also hinted that the government will take another look at privatizing some services. While he did not provide specifics, he said the government will examine whether it should continue to offer services or whether “someone else can do it better.”

Last year, the government decided against selling off the province’s lottery corporation or liquor retailer just to provide a quick fix to its record deficit. But it said it was reviewing all Crown assets as part of a long-range plan aimed at freeing up capital for key programs.

Mr. Duncan acknowledged that economic growth on its own is not enough to eliminate the deficit, which had been projected to hit $18.7-billion for the current fiscal year ending March 31, but which is expected to come in lower in the budget.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has not yet unveiled his campaign platform for the provincial election. But the Liberals have repeatedly said he will adopt the same broad cost-cutting polices as his mentor and predecessor Mike Harris did as part of his Common Sense Revolution.

“Anyone who tells you the budget can be balanced through un-specified efficiencies alone is not levelling with you,” Mr. Duncan said.



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

Ontario can slash billions from government costs including dramatic savings in a reduced prison population by a massive badly needed Reform of Family Law that at present has Male Sharia Law and Gender Apartheid that puts innocent fathers in jail , debtors prisons, because DEAD BEAT JUDGES refuse to allow "variations" in support.

Rich or poor, fathers get hit with orders for support based on ficticious incomes that don't exist and refuse to allow any variation of orders for support.

These Sheffield and Power style Orders, result in thousands of innocent fathers being thrown in jail for recurring periods of six months of incarceration with NO time off for good behaviour.

These orders are often granted by serving the father on short notice, when he can't respond, and end up with "pleadings struck", "Summary Judgment Orders", and even worse, orders that NO further motion can be made unless the support and, "outstanding costs" are paid in full.

These orders are literally "deportation orders" or removal of all legal rights.

The goal, is to allow a mother sole custody without the father having any contact whatsoever with the child who invariably resides with a mentally ill violent man hating woman who got her orders by using lawyers who were prepared to personally fabricate evidence to the court.

It's a cess pool of corrupt judges, and an underbelly of abusers who flagrantly abuse their duties to society and the court.

One solution is a legal assumption of equal parenting, reform of child support guidelines that are based on BOTH incomes not just one rich mother extorting support from a poor father's second spouse which is what invariably happens in the cess pool of Ontario Family Law.