Feb 27 2012

Recommendations affecting all Ontarians have been put forward in the “Drummond Report,” officially called Public Services for Ontarians: A Path to Sustainability and Excellence.

The report makes recommendations in a vast number of areas of provincial, and intergovernmental jurisdiction, including immigration, nonprofits, education, justice, employment and training, health, infrastructure, environment and much more. Many of the recommendations intersect with Maytree’s work. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be breaking down the report in these specific areas, linking you to our and our network’s work.

Background

Given the extent and depth of the document’s recommendations and the very wide mandate “to think long and hard about how government can work better for the benefit of everyone in the province,” understanding the Commission’s mandate and scope is essential.

The Commission had a five-part mandate:

  1. Advise on how to balance the budget earlier than the 2017–18 fiscal year.
  2. Once the budget is balanced, ensure a sustainable fiscal environment.
  3. Ensure that the government is getting value for money in all its activities.
  4. Do not recommend privatization of health care or education.
  5. Do not recommend tax increases.

While the commission had no formal or comprehensive consultations, the opening letter from Don Drummond recommends the Ontario government seek further input from Ontarians: “Although we have not made a formal recommendation on this point, I urge you to consider holding broader consultations on the economic and fiscal challenges facing this province. Ontarians have not yet grasped the extent to which the slow decline of this province’s manufacturing base has undermined both its historic economic advantage relative to the rest of Canada and the provincial government’s long-term ability to finance the public services they treasure. You should go beyond a legislative body to review our report and consult as well with the wider public through town hall gatherings and meetings of stakeholders. An informed public is essential to the success of the reforms.”

This seems an important step in any future process.

Some initial feedback about the overall tone and substance of the report:

Media coverage

As is to be expected, there is a growing list of media stories. Expect the stories to get more and more specific as groups, politicians and journalists analyze and dissect specific sections of the report.

Some specific coverage of interest:

Where the report intersects with our work

We’ll spend some time in the coming weeks delving more deeply into the sections of the report that intersect most directly with Maytree’s work. For now, we’ve compiled (and will continue to compile) reactions to specific sections of the report from other groups.

Each initial link below takes you to the relevant section of the commission’s report. We’ve added current analysis from various groups within each section.

Chapter 10: Immigration

Most of the commission’s recommendations in immigration are consistent with Maytree’s position and previous reports and opinions. Some starting points for you to read:

Chapter 5: Health

Chapter 6: Elementary and Secondary Education

Chapter 8: Social Programs

Chapter 20: Intergovernmental Relations

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