The latest report by the non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Office(PBO) has confirmed what Canadians already know. When it comes to managing an advanced economy in a first world country like Canada, experience counts! Budgets do not just “balance themselves.” There is no time for on the job training, especially if your teacher/senior advisor is responsible for bad policy like the Toronto liberal (so-called) Ontario Green Energy Act. This bad policy, among many bad provincial policies, has resulted in out-of- control electricity rates, causing a net loss of 212 thousand manufacturing jobs in Ontario since 2004.
The good news is, if all the PBO’s projections are realized, Canada is on track to eliminate the federal net deficit. This has been accomplished without downloading costs on to the Provinces, or raiding the employment insurance account, which is how the old government in the 1990s balanced the budget. The $32 billion Canada Health Transfer will continue to grow affordably, at the rate of general growth plus inflation.
Among the winners of federal economic policy are the residents of Ontario. Ontario is number one in Canada when it comes to receiving federal transfer payments, 20.5 billion in combined health, social and equalization payments in this fiscal year alone, to pay for services you and your family count on.
The losers have been the rest of Canada, who are being forced to prop up the Toronto liberal party’s spending addiction. Ontario has gone from a “have” to a “have not” province, reduced to begging for handouts from the federal government. By 2017, Ontario’s debt levels will have doubled from when that party took office, to 325 billion, $23,000 per capita. Interest payments alone on the debt exceed what is spent in Ontario on post-secondary education.
According to the Provincial Auditor General, provincial liberal debt is being accumulated for the wrong reasons. For example, the $50 billion “global adjustment” carbon tax that has been added to electricity bills since 2006 to pay for lucrative wind turbine contracts and cancelled gas-powered electricity plants could have paid the annual salary of about 2.3 million Ontarians working full time at minimum wage, or used to reduce the provincial debt. Ontario’s poor performance is a drag on the Canadian economy.
Canada has been very fortunate to have a leader in Ottawa who has worked hard to protect jobs and balance the federal budget. Feeding the Ontario spending addiction is wrong. The mistakes made in Toronto must not be allowed to be repeated federally, which is the Opposition plan. Claims by the Opposition that a balanced budget is not important are equally wrong. The next time you go to fill up the tank in your automobile or pay a utility bill think about “who do you want in your pocket?”