A pair of prominent community leaders say it’s time for Ontario's Liberals and New Democrats to take a long-term view of what the province needs, and to work together to pass the budget.
Former CAW national president Buzz Hargrove and Rev. Brent Hawkes, the senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, have together written a letter addressing the ongoing tensions at Queen’s Park and the challenges the province is facing.
The two men say that Ontarians are struggling with poverty, to get access to the services they need and to build toward a comfortable retirement. But Hawkes and Hargrove also believe that the province is capable of making life better in the province.
"There are huge challenges facing the people of our province. And yet we believe there is a unique opportunity before us to address, in significant and lasting ways, these challenges," Hargrove and Hawkes state in their letter.
To that end, the two leaders say that the government and the third party must take a step back and consider what the people living in the province need to see accomplish.
From there, the Liberals and New Democrats must cooperate, pass the budget and continue to achieve results together.
"Let us work together to make the lives of people better, let's restore hope and optimism, let's pass the budget and get on with the job," Hawkes and Hargrove write.
"The people of Ontario will reward you for doing the right thing. Pass the budget and get working together."
The minority Liberals have already tabled a budget, which includes a number of planks aimed at addressing issues the New Democrats had raised. But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has said the government must also create a financial accountability office and allow the province's ombudsman to provide of the health-care system.
Without the help of the New Democrats, the Liberals will not be able to get their budget passed, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to vote against it.