In the days following the release of the Drummond report, there has been over reaching media and social media coverage of Mr. Drummond’s 360+ recommendations to help the Ontario government eliminate the deficit by 2017.
This past weekend I attended a public consultation being held by Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi at St. Paul’s University. The session asked for suggestions on the following 3 questions:
- What should the priorities of the Ontario Government be?
- Are there opportunities you see the government can take to improve service quality and experience for Ontarians while improving efficiency?
- What further steps can the Ontario Government take to promote economic growth and job creation?
The two hour session was fairly restrained as the work groups broke out on the three questions and reported back to the 75+ in attendance group by group. The usual suspects were addressed, sell the LCBO, reduce the number of school boards in Ottawa to 1 and stop the double dipping of teachers who retire from coming back on contracts. One group was so bold as to suggest an increase in the HST (no tax increase was being considered the gov’t).
In the days leading up to the during the Provincial election Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC party ran the campaign based on #changebook, a blue print for the future of Ontario. It was not surprising to me to see that many of the economic policies laid out in #changebook are also part of the Drummond report. These include:
- 2% reduction in spending across all government ministries (with the exception of Health Care and Education)
- Reduce government spending (reduce size of Cabinet by 20%)
- Reduce red tape, overlap and inefficiencies in Government services
An interesting point is what is missing from the Drummond Report, the report does not tell us what ‘stupid things” we do that can be stopped to save money. An example (and yes it is a Federal responsibility) – why do we need to renew Passports every 5 years? Why not 10 years? Why do we need someone to confirm (when renewing) who we are when all that is being done is renewing a passport? Have we somehow changed in who we are since the initial application for a passport? Same with our Drivers Licence and Health Cards lets extend the renewal period to 7-8 years and not five. One more interesting idea (that came from a discussion with family members), why not have Insurance Companies issue Licence Plate stickers – drivers have annual insurance renewal requirements, why not get it done at the same time?
Do you have any other ‘stupid things’ the government does that can be eliminated to reduce the cost of doing government business that will not involve cutting essential services? Let me know!
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