Mayor Eddie Francis 'expected more' from Ontario budget

Mayor Eddie Francis isn't impressed with the Ontario budget. He said he was expecting more from Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Mayor Eddie Francis isn't impressed with the Ontario budget.

He said there is really only one thing in the budget that benefits municipalities outside of Toronto. He noted the two-cents-per-litre litre share of provincial gas tax is now permanent. It amounts to about $3.6 million a year for Windsor.

"Most of the gas tax goes towards transit and roads and some infrastructure. We've depended on it for years. So the fact that they've made it permanent, they were really just following the federal lead," Francis said. "I was expecting more out of the budget. I thought they'd really come out with an election budget."

Specifically, Francis was looking for more economic development and job creation.

"I thought there'd be stronger emphasis in terms of investment, in terms of communities, infrastructure; not just for GTA transportation. Not just for rural, but for everybody across the board," Francis said. "And I thought there'd be more discussion with regards to job growth and job creation."

The budget includes $128 billion in spending, promises breaks on car insurance, and drops some corporate tax breaks.

The budget also included a $295-million youth employment plan.

However, St. Clair College's president said the education system needs a total funding overhaul.

"To me there's no logic there," he said. "The college students are underfunded, we get less than high school students, we get less than the university students and at a time when you need skilled workers."

University of Windsor  student Sara Hajsaleh has her own idea.

"Lower the tuition, because it's really high and as a first-year student, I'm already saving up to pay my tuitions after," she said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has a minority government, so at least one opposition party must support the budget or the province will be going to the polls.

Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives have already made it clear they won't be supporting the budget. So the government's fate rests with Andrea Horwath's NDP.