The Ontario government has finally confirmed a date for the release of a much-hyped report about public-service reform.
As first reported via Twitter, the findings of economist Don Drummond's commission will be released on February 15, just a few days before the Legislature sits for the first time in 2012.
Mr. Drummond has already revealed some of the report's key findings, including calls for sweeping health reforms and criticism of some of Premier Dalton McGuinty's signature education policies. In an interview last month with The Globe and Mail, he indicated that it's built around the premise that Ontario can only rely on 2 per cent economic growth each year – a grim prediction similar to one made this week by the Conference Board of Canada.
Mr. McGuinty has recently tried to put some distance between himself and the report, stressing that Mr. Drummond is only making recommendations. But some provincial officials concede that the commission, which was struck at the time of last year's budget to help navigate a path back to balanced budgets, has taken on a life of its own.
In an apparent attempt to get out ahead of the report and lay claim to control over the province's fiscal plans, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has scheduled a speech to the Economic Club of Canada on February 13.