Next stop on The Debt Train

From  Christina Blizzard

The S&P warning and Moody’s credit downgrade are searing indictments of the McGuinty government’s nine years of reckless overspending.

If there were a Ministry of Debt, it would be the third largest ministry – with a budget of $10.6 billion we’re paying in interest.

I enjoy Christina Blizzard  she is an insightful and no holds barred writer. This column is a scathing critique of the liberal spending habits.
In addition, the facts don’t lie Ontario’s real GDP is being outpaced by the Western provinces and there’s no sign of this trend changing anytime soon.

Hat tip blue like you

Kitchen Table Approach to Government

Recently Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak has been crisscrossing the province  hosting a series of round tables with business and community leaders. These gatherings serve a couple of purposes first these are great opportunities to connect with individuals who are most impacted by the liberal government’s lack of a long-term fiscal plan. Secondly and more importantly Tim Hudak is beginning to methodically lay out his  vision for the province of Ontario. Now one of Hudak’s priorities as opposition leader is not to just oppose but bring forward thoughtful ideas. In addition the Ontario PC party has been consistent with their proposals since the  budget was first introduced.

  •     Controlling spending, reining in deficits and paying down debt;
  •     Reducing costs for businesses through lower taxes and affordable energy;
  •     Creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs by fixing the apprenticeship system;
  •     Changing the attitude of government: Competing US states meet with companies to ask what can be done to attract their jobs, plants and investment. In Ontario, they are shown into a roomful of bureaucrats and told all the things they can’t do.

Like many Ontarians across this province the government should be able to live within its means.

Liberals Ignore Ontario PC Proposals

The Ontario Liberals are doing some old-fashioned political posturing at Queen’s Park. Sunday night finance Minister Dwight Duncanreleased a statement that the Tories were going to force an election on the people of Ontario  .  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Finance critic for the Ontario PCs Peter Sherman released a statement laying out in detail how Premier Dalton McGuinty has ignored many of Tim Hudak’s proposals.

A November face-to-face meeting between Tim Hudak and the Premier, laying out several Ontario PC proposals for jobs and our economy

·         A full week of tour and Queen’s Park activities to discuss Hudak’s plan to create 200,000 new skilled trades jobs by reforming the apprenticeship system

·         A week spent detailing the Ontario PC plan for a mandatory public sector wage freeze

·         The rollout of Hudak’s proposal to enable private sector and not-for-profit competition with public sector unions for the delivery of government services

·         A week of briefings on fixing Ontario’s broken public sector salary arbitration system, which awards settlements without regard to taxpayers’ or municipalities’ ability to pay

·         A week of speeches and media events on the need to treat energy policy as a cornerstone of economic growth

·         Province-wide meetings with businesspeople to make the case for lower business taxes

·         A series of major daily newspaper op-eds on the Ontario PC Planfor reducing the size and cost of government and growing our economy, and

·         A series of daily pre-budget statements by Tim Hudak and Ontario PC Caucus members on measures the budget

Now, who is really playing politics with the public good?

Decision Time for Drummond Report

Megan Harris’s column  in today’s Toronto Sun is spot on here is a taste of the closing paragraph . Although the whole article is well worth a read.

Now, McGuinty and the Liberals are exactly where they neither wanted nor expected to be — holding the bag when tough decisions have to be made. Once again, it looks like they intend to pivot and punt the tough decisions into the future while Ontario’s debt continues to grow.

Now that the inconvenient truth is out about the true state of Ontario’s economy, all parties, especially the Liberals, can no longer hide from the facts.

Drummond’s report is a real indictment of the last eight years of the McGuinty government.

We know the NDP is not capable of putting Ontario’s economy back on track. So, its time for Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs to outline their strategy for restoring Ontario’s finances, economy and future.

The premier needs to face up to reality and show leadership.  If he isn’t up for the job, then we need to elect someone who is.

Ontario’s Greek Tragedy

It seems that every other jurisdiction is raising the alarm about deficit spending and the looming sovereign crisis in Europe. Conversely, Ontario would be rowing against the current of world opinion and towards a possible tipping point.

From Maclean’s

Under McGuinty’s watch, Ontario’s debt has almost doubled to $230 billion, due to massive stimulus spending as well as unrestrained growth in health care and education. And it will continue to rise despite announced plans for greater austerity. By the time a balanced budget is contemplated in 2017, the province will have added an additional $67 billion in new debt. On a per capita basis, the current provincial deficit is almost twice as large as that of its next nearest wastrel, New Brunswick. While low interest rates have made the debt burden manageable to date (about 10 cents of every dollar goes to interest), the prospect of higher rates in the future presents a dangerous worst-case scenario.
Tackling this debt problem will require far more immediate and drastic steps than the premier has revealed to date; his new minority government will make this job even tougher. But whether McGuinty gets serious about the debt or not, his past profligacy will cause suffering across Canada.

Anyway you cut it, the two headed hydra debt and deficit cannot be tackled by a Liberal NDP tag team.   This problem is made more acute by the skyrocketing under- employment of Ontario’s youth. Ontario has the highest per capita unemployment rate for youth in all of Canada sitting at 15%. When you have more young people enrolled in university than out in the work force with well-paying jobs before the age of 30, it’s a major issue. Simply put, the current generation can ill afford four more years of the status quo, where politicians try to out promise and maneuver each other.  First there was Generation X, then there was Generation Y and now there is a Generation growing up with the prospect of paying off Ontario’s ballooning debt  . 

However, if past behaviour is a predictor of future events at all, there is a grave doubt that any combination of a Liberal minority being propped up by an emboldened NDP, will confront the gloomy economic realities that Ontario might be facing.  With all this talk of debt and deficit this reminds me of the old Chinese proverb, may you live in interesting times. For those who follow Ontario politics, it’s about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Former Head of OPA Admits Green Program is Unsustainable

Jan Carr, who was head of the Ontario power Authority admitted that the cornerstone of the Liberals program energy initiative the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program is unsustainable.  I said it once and I’ll say it again, you can’t subsidize your way to prosperity.

From Ottawa Citizen

In an interview, Carr said FIT has “a lot of merit” as a concept. But “it’s being implemented incorrectly and we need to get back to basics.”
He said the FIT program is an industrial strategy, not an energy policy. “What we’re doing is essentially driving up the cost of energy for the purpose of creating jobs.”
But the strategy is self-defeating, he said, because higher energy costs will destroy jobs. “I’m really arguing for untangling energy policy from all these other things, which is making a mess of our energy strategy.”
Homeowners are already complaining about the cost of electricity, Carr noted, and the high fees paid under the FIT program “haven’t even hit customers’ bills yet. The worst is yet to come.”

Four more years of McGuinty means higher costs on your Hydro bills.