Finally, the waiting is over. The report from the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services, more commonly called the Drummond Commission, or the Drummond report, has been made public, ending months of speculation by launching the serious pre-budget wrangling. Facing a $16 billion deficit, Ontario’s Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan empowered the commission in the 2011 budget, giving it a mandate to balance the books by transforming government in pursuit of maximum efficiencies and minimum pain.
It’s not the first time that a government has looked to a commission or external experts for advice on how to slay the deficit beast, but it was a rare instance when the effort gained tripartisan support. In the fall 2011 provincial election, all three major parties bracketed the conversation about major deficit reduction, effectively deferring to the report released today. Tonight on our program, Mr. Drummond himself will discuss the report, along with a panel of former cabinet ministers who know just what a tough task the province faces.
Check out the Tagxedo word cloud of the report below. (A word cloud is a visual depiction of document, in this case, the Drummond report. The largest words in the cloud are the ones that appear most often in the report.) Then, if you dare, compare it to these word clouds from the last provincial election. See any big clashes? See any surprises? And, maybe most importantly, given that we have a minority government in Ontario, do you see any common ground that might balance the books without felling the government?
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