Steady as she goes: not much changed in yesterday’s provincial budget for the environment. Most of the budget is devoted to the many achievements resulting from past/ existing initiatives. The province is pressing ahead with its Clean Energy Plan, continuing its existing support for public transit, and funding some water conservation pilot projects. The major impact of the budget is likely to come from further reductions in the public service:
“In the 2009 Budget, the government committed to reducing the size of the OPS by five per cent, or approximately 3,400 full-time employees, over a three-year period by March 31, 2012, through attrition and other measures. The government is on track to meet this target. The size of the OPS will be reduced by an additional 1,500 positions between April 2012 and March 2014.”
In addition, public service delivery will be redesigned and outsourced when possible:
“the government will establish a Commission on Broader Public Sector Reform. .. the Commission will examine long-term, fundamental changes to the way government works. The Commission’s work will include exploring which areas of service delivery are core to the Ontario government’s mandate, which areas could be delivered more efficiently by another entity and how to get better value for taxpayers’ money in the delivery of public services.
… the government will accelerate its efforts to make public services more effective and improve value for money by consolidating programs, services and back-office functions; developing new ways to deliver programs; and optimizing the value that exists within Ontario’s public sector…The government will:
- consolidate programs and services to reduce overlap and duplication;
- develop new ways to deliver programs; and
- seek to unlock the value of physical and intellectual assets.”