Why Ontario is poised to become Canada’s Greece

Under McGuinty’s watch, Ontario’s debt has almost doubled to $230 billion

 Why Ontario is poised to become Canada’s Greece

Frank Gunn/CP

October has been an unusually busy month for provincial politics.

Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Yukon have all had elections in the past two weeks. Alberta’s ruling Progressive Conservatives recently picked a new premier in Alison Redford. And next month Saskatchewan will head to the polls. While every election is important, one in particular should give all Canadians pause for thought.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s re-election last week, albeit with a minority, was an impressive display of campaigning. And yet what makes McGuinty’s return significant is not his politicking skill but his responsibility for Ontario’s ever-expanding debt. Traditionally known as the engine that drives Canada, Ontario is in danger of becoming the Greece of Confederation—if Greece happened to account for more than a third of Europe’s economy.

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.

If McGuinty properly accepts the challenge of bringing the province’s finances back into balance, the result will be notable tax increases or spending cuts. Such a situation will inevitably produce a significant drag on Canada’s biggest and most important consumer market. For the rest of the country, this means a greater reliance on natural resource prices and international trade at a time when the global economy is full of risks and uncertainties. This also poses problems for Ottawa’s efforts to reduce its debt.

Alternatively, the Ontario premier may continue to soft-pedal the debt crisis. This seems a strong possibility given his election promise to protect health and education spending and his continued support for massive subsidies in the green energy sector. Paying producers of solar power over 80 cents per kilowatt hour for something that’s sold for less than 7 cents/kWh is clearly improvident. All of which suggests that Ontario’s debt problem may continue to worsen beyond 2017, raising the possibility of credit downgrades and other Greek-style problems that could make things very difficult for all Canadians.

The erosion of Ontario’s finances is already having a profound effect on other provincial budgets. Equalization is a complicated federal program that sees Ottawa make payments to poorer provinces in order to bring them up to a national average of taxing ability. While Ontario was once forbidden to receive such payments because of its dominant role in the national economy, lately it has become the program’s fastest-rising beneficiary.

Of the total $14.7 billion allotted to equalization this year, Ontario received the second-largest share: $2.2 billion. Only Quebec got more. Ontario’s share is up sharply from $347 million two years ago, the first time Ontario ever received equalization. With the pot fixed on an annual basis, and given the size and circumstances of Ontario, Canada’s largest province should soak up an even larger share of equalization in coming years. This will be bad news for traditional have-not provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

The fiscal situation has also triggered something of an identity crisis in Ontario. Over the summer, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan bristled at the notion Ontario should be considered a “have-not” province because of its equalization cheque: “It is completely dishonest to use that term ‘have-not,’ ” he griped. And yet, while Duncan was objecting to characterizations that his province is on the dole, the premier was vowing to fight any effort to reduce Ontario’s share of equalization. Perhaps the minister doth protest too much.

The sobering truth is that Canada’s largest province is now facing the country’s most troubling debt problem. And the effects of Ontario’s debt will soon be felt right across the country, regardless of how prudently other provinces have managed their finances. Fair or not, we’re all in this together.


Why Ontario is poised to become Canada’s Greece

  1. Its an embarrassment to all of us that 50% of Ontario eligible votes did not vote in this election….8 years of mismanagement of the Ontario economy by the most incompetent premier in the history of Ontario…

    • Sure, but did you take notice who is opposition was????  If I was still living in Ontario, I would probably have voted to ensure Tim Hudak never become Premier….  Sadly, Dalton was a much better choice.

      • McGuinty got re-elected by 1.5 million public servants who live in Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Guelph, Toronto, London and Windsor. FEED THE GRAVY TRAIN…..

        • There are 71,478 provincial, municipal and public sector workers — from hydro and hospital executives to bureaucrats, political staffers and cops

          • The Toronto Star ran an article dated May 23, 2011 that reports there are 1.06 million public employees in Ontario.   When you add in the Management group, there are almost 1.5 Million

          • Well that quote is FROM the Star…and there aren’t that many public employees in Ontario….sorry.

          • Premier Dalton McGuinty is jeopardizing his future and his government’s hope of re-election with his failure to hold the line on public sector wages.
            Ostensibly, Ontario’s 1.06 million public employees are under a two-year freeze. But as the end of the Liberal mandate approaches, they are reaping wage gains that offend taxpayers and defy government policy.
            Last week, the Ontario Provincial Police won a 13.5 per cent wage increase over four years. McGuinty defended the contract, arguing the OPP had to stay competitive with other police forces.

            From the Toronto Star May 23rd. 2011

            These numbers don’t even include all of the consultants that the Liberals hired over the past 8 years…..Not even all of those involved in the E-Health SCANDAL….

          • Emily1 in denial…..no comeback for th truth,eh ?

          • @haselcheck:disqus 

            The Toronto Star supported McGuinty in the election, sorry.

          • @haselcheck:disqus 

            I’ve already given you the answer several times Mr Hudak…er, haselcheck

            Since the election campaign is over, I’d say you were the one in denial.

          • With nearly 630 provincial Agencies, Boards and Commissions, I suspect that many of these will fail to meet the PSGO (Purpose and Scope of Government in Ontario) standard and will also need to find new ways to survive without public funding.

          • Some are private, some are federal, some are a combo.

            And they’re not about to lose funding.

          • Yeah it’s called the libertarian wet dream, aristocrats and serfs.

          • Clearly OriginalEmily1….you have no idea as to how big the problem is….

          • LOL yeah, I know what the problem is…your imagination.

          • OriginalEmily1…during the past 8 years we have added over 300,000 public servants (I mean liberal voters) in Ontario….At an average salary of $50,000 each including benefits, this totals over $15 Billion Dollars per year…Which is almost the amount of the deficit….If you add in the $3 Billion that McGuinty and the Liberals are blowing on all-day KINDERCARE….You can explain our HUGE Deficit….

          • LOL nonsense.

          • You know, you had some credibility until you offered up that “300,000 public servants in he past 8 years” stuff. You had t push it, and now you’re just lying.

          • And where is YOUR quote from?  At least haselcheck quoted his stats.

          • “And while the public sector has grown by nearly 300,000 positions … the private sector has lost nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs,” Hudak noted. “Instead of bigger government, I believe it’s the government’s role to create the right conditions for the private sector to succeed, to create jobs and then get out of the way.”

            This quote was in the Belleville Intelligencer…..An Editorial….but Mostlycivil obviously can’t read or do any research….

        • From the Globe and Mail:
          “The provincial civil service has grown moderately since Mr. McGuinty took office, from under 64,000 employees in 2003 to about 68,000 when the current downsizing began. The Liberals have previously attributed that growth to a decreased reliance on consultants. And they’ve noted that the number is still far below its 1992 peak of 86,000.”
          This is far fewer than the million+ that you claim. If you can’t even use Google, how can I trust any of the “facts” you trot out.

          • You are a sycophant and an illiterate LOON….

          • I don’t think you know what those words mean.

          • Bahaha….nice maroon shirt !!!

          • Yeah, I can see I’m dealing with an intellectual giant. I think we’re done here.

      • You have been influenced by the media and the Working Families coaliton ads.  Hudak is an exceptionally intelligent person with integrity and a committment for turning Ontario back into a prosperous province. Unlike dictatorial Mcguinty, Hudak listens to people.   

    • Thank god at least somehwere  in the media is bringing this issue up…we’re broke. damnit…

      As for why I didn’t vote:  The simple fact that all three of the main parties I had to choose from offered very little in terms of how to deal with this problem, and instead tried to buy my vote with money we don’t have.  It’s sickening the kind of choices I, as  voter, have to choose from…perhaps proportional representation is needed

      • You should have cast a protest vote (mine went to the Greens) or formally refused your ballot. If people don’t show up, the pols assume people don’t care, and they think they have carte blanche. But if they see people actively refusing to vote for them – well, that’s an entirely different picture.

      • Not voting tells the politicians nothing about what you want.  Perhaps you don’t like their policies on pet care, for all they know.

        Stop thinking you can only vote for one of the three main parties. Support an independent candidate whose values match your own, or become one yourself. That way, when you and others like you vote for that independent candidate, even if your guy doesn’t win it sends a clear message to the main parties of what kind of policies you *do* like, and in close elections, trust me, they’ll be paying attention to where they might be able to scoop up votes.

      • Pizza parliament…or legislature.

    • Given his predecessors were Harris/Eves and Rae, “most incompetent” might be a stretch. Still his fiscal performance leaves a lot to be desired (to say the least). I normally vote Liberal, but didn’t this time.

      • Harris actually balanced the Ontario budget.

        • Harris also gutted health care and education. Hi government was deliberately confrontational and divisive (remember Snowbelin’s “create a crisis”?). His cuts led directly to the Walkerton tragedy.

          And as for budgets… I’m not convinced he ever did actually balance them. When Eves ran against McGuinty, they claimed to have a $5 billion surplus and were promising more tax cuts… but it turned out when the Liberals finally got to see the real books that Eves had missed that big red minus sign.

          How do you get your figures wrong by $10 billion?

          • Dalton Mcguinty SAYS that Harris was cooking the books, that doesn’t make it true. And in fact judging by the size of Ontario’s debt it probably isn’t true, because Liberals can’t handle money well.

          • Well, to my knowledge they never challenged McGuinty’s claims…

  2. The public service unions spent an estimated $9 Million to keep their corrupt patrons in power….The Wind Lobby and the Wind Welfare Companies also spent Millions of dollars to re-elect liberals…They were lucky though…They received Millions of  dollars from the Trillium Foundation which now appears to have become a Slush Fund for the Ontario Liberal Party…Ontario re-elects a CORRUPT Government….

    • Forgot to mention that during the past 8 years McGuinty and the Liberals added over 300,000 public servants in Ontario…..Be interesting to see how many of these new public servants voted Liberal in the last election…..The most blatant vote manufacturing scheme in Ontario’s history….

      • From the 2003 election to the 2011 election, the Liberals lost approx 450,000 votes. 
        When you’re wrong, you’re spectacularly wrong. 

        Also, the Conservativs lost 35,000 votes from 2003, and the NDP is up 320,000. 

        • No liberals were elected in rural Ontario….It looks like urban Ontario believes that McGuinty and the Liberals are best equipped to manage the ongoing decline of Ontario.

  3. Nice article.  Too bad not one of the political parties felt obliged to discuss this reality with the electorate during the campaign.   This shameful avoidance of the REAL issue we face in Ontario has forever shattered my naivety around politics.  Every informed adult I know feels the same way.  No wonder voter turnout is low.  I don’t blame the media completely as they tried to drive the debate towards the real issue. 

  4. Once Ontario goes bankrupt, the public service unions will be forced to re-negotiate their above-market salaries and gold-plated defined benefit pension plans….It’s obvious that Mcguinty and the Liberals have ZERO intention of dealing with this problem….During the last election the Ontario Liberals harvested about 1.5 Million votes in Ontario from Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, London, Peterborough….This is about equal to the number of public servants in urban Ontario….

    • Stop spewing your lies. Bottom line, hudak is a horrible leader.

    How can anyone take this article seriously? It talks of equalization payments without mentioning the feds contribution to various provincial and city projects. LRT in Ottawa for example, or in Toronto where the feds control the projects through their funding. City councillors can vote for a project knowing that they will be responsible for only, in some case, 20% of the cost. The responsibilities and taxing power for all three levels of government are not defined. Funding is shuffled down depending on the good will of the feds or provincial governments. Responsibilities are shuffled up and down similarly, without the taxing powers changing. And we expect fiscal responsibility?
    Clearly Canada is a fascist state controlled by only God knows. And shortly we are coming up to Remembrance Day when the media will gush about us veterans putting our lives on the line for democracy and freedom of the press. We have freedom of the press – freedom for the media to publish without responsibility for content other than avoiding libel and other laws.
    How sad. We could have an even better country if we got our house in order. On the other hand, lets apply the logic if its not broke (we are all right), don’t fix it. I’m sure that a lot of people don’t vote because they are content the way we are.
    Haselcheck. “above-market salaries and gold-plated defined benefit pension plans”. Why do you separate salaries and pensions? It is the cost of the total pay package that is important. And by the way, do you realize that every public service pensioner gets less pension than what they are told they are getting? And that is reflected in less cost to the taxpayer? Neither the pensioner nor the taxpayer is told that. If the media published that info it would certainly reduce the bad feeling that the media has created. Yes created. Between public servants and taxpayers.

    • Most private industries began to eliminate indexed and defined benefit pension programs for their employees in the 90’s.  Today the only idiot employers that offer or maintain defined benefit pension plans are governments. Businesses realize that their owners do not have an unlimited amount  of money in their pockets. Unfortunately politicians and bureaucrats continue give away taxpayer monies and commit taxpayers to massive unfunded liabilities.  It’s easy for politicians and bureaucrats to offer taxpayers money for public sector votes because when the bills for these massive annuities are due in 20 years they are sitting at home on their fat asses with their own indexed defined benefit pensions.   Mike Harris did the right thing when he cancelled the defined-benefit pensions for the vote-monkeys in the Ontario legislature.  Most of the Liberal MPP’s are hoping to get a home on the Board of Directors of the Wind Welfare Companies that McGuinty is funding through his FAKE Green Energy Act.  

      • Keep crying conbot.

    • Sorry, ArtCampbell do you know what a fascist state is…it is Nazi Germany

      • At that time Germany Italy and Japan, to say the least were fascist. Googling  “fascist” provides more info. I find “any country run by an elite” such as Canada and the US are is good.

      • My reply of 10 minutes ago has disappeared so here is another try. When Nazi Germany existed there were at least 2 other facist states, namely Italy and Japan. Fascism is rule by an elite, such as in Canada and the US. Googling “fascist” provides more.

  6. Why is this posted 11 days after the election? Would it not have been more responsible to report before the election? How disappointing. Maybe the percentage of voters would have been greater. There is so much this government has failed at yet remains unreported. Where are the investigative journalistst?

  7. What amazes me is knowing the McGuinty government “lost” a billion with eHealth, they were still re-elected.  Sheesh!!
    Agree with 4truth – would have been great to see this article pre-election. 
    Too be fair, Hudak did drop the ball by not focusing on these points and instead started matching promises that intelligent voters new could not be kept. 

    • McGuinty got re-elected by 1.5 million public servants who live in Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Guelph, Toronto, London and Windsor.    FEED THE GRAVY TRAIN…..

      • So which of the Ford brothers are you?

        • We must be the Seven Dwarfs….I’m grumpy and you Keith are Dopey….You are so witty…..Go for a raise….

          • He’s witty, and you’re bad with numbers. See above.

          • And some can’t fully grow an adult brain.

  8. Ontario is nothing like Greece, nor are we going to be.

    We are simply switching over from manufacturing to a new economy. It takes time, and it takes investment.

    Fortunately most Ontarians understand that.

    • Germany has the right idea….They are a balanced economy….Ontario tried to get from sustainable manufacturing economy to a nebulous new economy…..Only problem is that you can’t get there from here….especially when you create a Welfare State and a Wind Welfare and Solar Welfare Economy….The only people that are happy are the fat public service unions and the wind welfare companies in Ontario….

        • Wikipedia? LMAO! Try using a trusted source if you want to be taken seriously.

          • Ahh well, if you’re too snobby to use Wikipedia, you’re free to use any other site you like.

            But I’m afraid you’ll find the same info elsewhere….Germany is nothing like you imagine it to be.

          • I know Emily1′; Germany actually has jobs….The Progressives in North America thought that they were sending pollution to China with their greenie environmental policies…but they sent all our jobs there……except for the non-productive ones in the public sector….

          • a) they weren’t ‘our’ jobs to begin with…

            b) Ontario…and Canada…have thousands of jobs we can’t fill…which is why we bring in immigrants.

            c)  There are no ‘Progressives’ in North America…and certainly not the company CEO’s who opened plants in China.

          • Emily1…You also forgot to mention that Ontario is closing their coal-fired plants for useless wind turbines and useless solar panels….While Germany is adding 26 coal-fired plants over the next 10 years…..McGuinty also told the coal-fired plants not to install the scrubbers that they bought over 5 years ago…..Guess that he likes pollution or maybe it was all a lie in the first place….

          • Germany is also in solar and wind…and are shutting down nuclear plants as well.

            They are also leading in clean coal.

          • OriginalEmily1 is not a rational person…

          • I live in the real world.

            I’m sure it looks strange to you after all the fantasizing you’ve done.

    • Premier Dalton McGuinty is jeopardizing his future and his government’s hope of re-election with his failure to hold the line on public sector wages.
      Ostensibly, Ontario’s 1.06 million public employees are under a two-year freeze. But as the end of the Liberal mandate approaches, they are reaping wage gains that offend taxpayers and defy government policy.
      Last week, the Ontario Provincial Police won a 13.5 per cent wage increase over four years. McGuinty defended the contract, arguing the OPP had to stay competitive with other police forces.
      Barely had taxpayers absorbed that news when the Star reported that eHealth Ontario — the same agency that made headlines two years ago with its lavish executive perks and hefty consultants’ fees — was doling out bonuses worth an average of 7.8 per cent to hundreds of its employees.

      Toronto Star  May 23rd, 2011

  9. haselcheck. I say again, all employees of governments and all private sector employers with Defined Benefit pensions that I am aware of get less pension than advertised at less cost to the employer, including the taxpayer. Further a pension is part of the pay package, namely the employer has decided to pay partly in cash, partly in benefits. In that sense there is no cost to benefits. If he didn’t pay benefits he would have to increase salary to compete. Finally, the actuarial cost of the federal public service “fully indexed” pension plan in the 1980s was 16.2% of salary. That is for inflation of 3 ½%. If inflation were zero the cost would be 18.1% of salary. If inflation were 9% the cost would be 13.8% of salary.
    Think about it. Attack the total pay package not pensions. Attacking pensioners is cowardly – they have no way of fighting back except to plead.

    • Our governments and the public service unions created this set of problems….If they don’t fix the mess that they’ve created…..insolvency will…Our governments are too big and inefficient…Out public services are too big and inefficient…Government pay programs and pensions are criminal…Collective Bargaining rights for public servants needs to be eliminated….Wisconsin was right on this one…Governments only understand vote buying and Crony CRAPitalism !

      • All countries have a public civil service and always have.

        Do stop blaming them for the problem.

        Your posts simply reek of envy.

        • Public Service Unions are totally corrupt and should not have Collective Bargaining Rights….During the last provincial election, the public service unions spent an estimated $9 Million to get McGuinty re-elected…..This is highly corrupt….Taxpayers monies being used against them….Wake Up…

          • Jealousy has completely warped your mind.

          • Emily1…Since you have proved yourself such an authority on Government…Can you explain how much money the Ontario Liberals have spent on Consultants instead of additional public servants over the past 8 years ?……

          • About as much as any other govt.

            Specialized knowledge requires consultants…not full-time employees.

          •  . . . except when the Harper government hired specialized consultants.  Then Emily argues that specialized consultants are useless.

          • No Bean I didn’t.

            Harper needs all the help he can get.

          • Haselcheck is right, just because Unions “can’t” make campaign donations to certain parties doesn’t mean they don’t.
            Unions are the single most corrupt legal entity to have ever existed.

          • I see history isn’t your strong point.

      • “Wisconsin was right on this one…”  
        Heh, that’s pretty funny!  I work in Wisconsin, and the state has become a complete basket case thanks to Governor Walker’s gratuitous war on the public unions (and his evisceration of the public school system, his giveaways to his corporate backers, his attempt to curb voting rights, etc.).  

        Wisconsin’s infrastructure is in shambles, its economy is crumbling, and the Governor is facing a recall challenge in a few months.  (Two Republican state senators already have been recalled.)I’ll take Ontario (where I spend as much time as possible) any day over the mess that Wisconsin has become.

        • Thanx for the warped propaganda from a Wisconsin public servant ….

          • I am *not* a “Wisconsin public servant”. 

          • Well, you said so in an anonymous post on the internet, so it must be true.

      • Isn’t controlling labour a tenent of a fascist society.

  10. Ontario debt started to balloon in 2008…McGuinty’s debt-to-GDP ratio for the years prior to 2008-9 didn’t increase at all.  Considering the crash occured in lock-step with Ontario’s debt balloon, I would guess that the provincial debt is increasing mostly because of decreased tax revenues, and that increased spending is a drop in the bucket in comparison.  That’s not to say that the debt isn’t a problem, but the way out is to improve the economy and bring the tax revenue stream back to what Ontario had before the gambler-incited-crash of 2008.  Taking away job-producing programs will kill the patient.

    I can’t believe I’m defending McGuinty, but seriously folks.  Up until 2008, Ontario’s debt was manageable, and the GDP-to-debt ratio was lower than under Eves last years (I don’t have the information for the Harris years, but considering the general problem conservatives have with balancing budgets, it’s probably not a stretch to assume they were similar to Eves’).

    • Have you read The Spirit Level – Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better? An eye opener for this Libertarian. It appears that all developed countries can take a hit on the economy or an increase without affecting the health and social problems. They are affected strongly by inequality of income.

  11. Moved to briguyhfx where it belongs

  12. haselcheck. Your words support the pensions industry. The Defined benefit Pensions take from the elderly and gives it to employers, without the elderly even knowing they are losing. Unions won’t tell them, employers won’t tell them, retiree organizations won’t tell them, the media won’t tell them. Think about it. You are blaming government. But working with government against the interests of elderly people are unions and employers and retiree organizations and the media. Sort of one sided isn’t it? Good thing we are the great generation.
    If their conscience doesn’t get them then God surely will.

  13. excellent article–too bad it was not done before the election.  the message just did not get out as to how bad a situation  macguinty has put ontario in in the last decade.  We went from the frying pan into the fire first with the NDP and “Rae Days” to LIBERALS spending–why was the health issue scam never in the forefront??  Someone once said a number of years ago that there were so many similiarities between Obama and Macguinty–spend like there is no tomorrow, change what works already and what doesn’t work pour more money into it.  Go GREEN–no matter the cost of finances, economy, jobs etc. etc. Get an idea in your head and refuse to listen to reason– nuclear–all around the world people are getting away from it–Green you say??? what is green about nuclear waste–lets look at it like sugar–we were told it was so bad for us–get away from it oh yes, lets use aspartame–its better( we don’t know anything about the chemicals in it–but oh yes, it will be better for you)–ya right–now they say it causes cancer etc.etc.  Why not stick with the tried and true, at least we know it is natural and what the affects are–people just can’t eat so much of it(sugar that is)
    You say oh well old people they are afraid to try something new–ask yourself why that is!  Maybe, just maybe they have some wisdom–new is not always better and sometimes by the time you find that out it is too late.  STOP NUCLEAR!!!!  We didn’ t stop[ maguinty but lets stop nuclear–let wall street look after its self.

  14. And the morons elected McGuinty in again.

    • Ahhh, because they didn’t do your bidding and elect a university frat boy who was more obsessed with bringing the UFC to Ontario.

  15. I like that Mc Lames, put it under the OPINION section,  who wrote it??/ stand up and be counted,  telling it like it is very hard to put your name on in  a Mcguinty Ontario,  Great Piece,  i would love to know who penned it

  16. Emily….are you the same Emily Litella that Gilda Radner used to parody on Saturday Night Live ?    You are better than Gilda ever was……Never Mind…haha

  17. If McGuinty properly accepts the challenge of bringing the province’s finances back into balance…..

    How can the architect of the problem suddenly be part of the solution? He won in part because he said Hudak would be another Mike Harris. Well thanks to McGuinty, we need Mike Harris now more than ever. 

  18. This comment was deleted.

    • Name calling.  Classy.

  19. It is complete and utter insanity that the 2 largest provinces are both receiving equalization.

    And what’s Flaherty doing running around Europe, lecturing them on finances.  If all levels of debt in Canada are included, we are as bad as most countries in the EU.  Not as bad as the PIIGS, but not too far off.

  20. So, like Greece, Ontario has a massive tax evasion problem, mostly by the rich and/or business owner’s who get to play fast and loose with non-reporting, fraudulent claims, ghost investments, real-estate fraud and on and on.

    Given this massive Greece-like problem, cracking down on tax evasion  would realize massive amounts of new revenue, making cuts in programs benefiting the proles moot.

    Or are we going to go the American way, screw the middle class and poor just to keep the 1%ers (or 10 or whatever) happy?

    • Our governments are not competent enough to know how to tax the rich….The rich own the politicians….If you want real change….fix the political systems…..

      • You’re right the free market system has failed. Thanks for bringing that up.

  21. This week, Hudak played his hits for Rotarians.
    “And while the public sector has grown by nearly 300,000 positions … the private sector has lost nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs,” Hudak noted. “Instead of bigger government, I believe it’s the government’s role to create the right conditions for the private sector to succeed, to create jobs and then get out of the way.”

    This quote was in the Belleville Intelligencer…..An Editorial….but Mostlycivil obviously can’t read or do any research….

    Ouch!!   Too late now.
    “TORONTO — Ontario residents could end up paying some of the highest costs for electricity in the developing world because providing wind and solar energy will cost about 40 per cent more than government estimates, according to a new study.
    Ratepayers should expect their electricity bills to rise by 65 per cent by 2015 and 141 per cent by 2030 — substantially more than current government predictions of 46 per cent and 100 per cent, the study found.
    The average residential user’s annual bill, which currently stands at $1,700, will exceed $2,800 by 2015 and be over $4,100 by 2030, it predicts.
    Certain costs weren’t included in the government’s estimates, such as inflation, transmitting electricity to the provincial grid from wind and solar facilities and backup generation for potential disruptions, the study found.
    Those higher costs would erode the competitiveness of businesses in Ontario and pose challenges for low-income households, said University of Guelph professor and agricultural economist Glenn Fox, who co-authored the study with retired banker Parker Gallant.
    Bills could climb even higher because the study didn’t include other potential costs, such as possible cost overruns as the province refurbishes its nuclear fleet.
    The study found a number of omitted costs of renewable energy that weren’t included in Ontario’s long-term energy plan, which was released last year by the governing Liberals.
    The plan underestimates the capital costs of wind turbines, for example, and fails to attach any individual dollar values to specific transmission projects to put renewable energy projects on the provincial grid, the study said.
    The plan also lowballs the costs of backing up renewable energy with natural gas-fired plants when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, saying it will cost $1.8 billion when it will likely cost closer to $9.6 billion.
    The study also found that the government’s green energy policies are affecting the province’s finances.
    Due to the costs of connecting renewables to the provincial grid, Hydro One has reduced its dividend payments to the province, affecting the government’s ability to reduce a provincial debt that currently stands at $230 billion.
    One of the largest hidden costs involves local distribution companies, who can apply for a rate increase if their revenues deteriorate due to energy conservation efforts and “the shortfall will be charged to ratepayers,” the study said.
    It also casts doubt on Liberal claims that the Green Energy Act will create 50,000 new jobs.
    Premier Dalton McGuinty often touted those job-creation claims during the Oct. 6 election campaign and made frequent stops at plants that manufacture wind and solar power components as he travelled the province.
    How the government arrived at that number “has never been explained,” the study said. And creating those 50,000 new green energy jobs will require ratepayer subsidies of about $200,000 a year for each position.

    • “Certain costs weren’t included in the government’s estimates, such as inflation”. Inflation does not increase real costs. Any cost estimate that quotes dollars without a year attached is virtually useless and thus suspect. 2011 dollars, fair enough. 

      • I’m surprised the Liberals won based on that exact fact, the fact that electricity was privatized. Thank god I live in Alberta now. Because the majority of Ontario voters are dumb.

        • The last sentence in your comment destroys your point. It reveals something about your character. I hope this is useful for future posts.

  23. The McGuinty government’s position on equalization payments is laughable. ie. “we are not a ” have not” province” but, we want all the equalization payments we can get our hands on.
        From a Western Canadian perspective , it matters not, how the payments are divvied up. Good luck to Ontario ,wresting the lion’s share out of the hands of Quebec.
         I find it incredible that Ontario voters re-elected a government , with such a cavalier attitude towards provincial debt levels. Expect more of the same.     I guess you get the government you deserve.

  24. Well Dwight is right, it IS dishonest to use that term ‘have-not’, Ontario is richly endowed with eveything; it’s that it chooses to squander all of it; it should correctly be called a ‘free-loading, welfare bum, loser province of Morontario’.

  25. “As an example, Gillespie pointed to the funding accord between the federal and provincial governments for health care, which, he said, “stigmatizes” mental illness because the federal government contributes less to treat it than it does to treat other illnesses.”
    The part of this quote from the CMA magazine which screamed at me was that the feds specify how much must be spent on each portion of health care. Health care is a provincial responsibility but the feds funding it has been accepted. Blackmail. We run it or you get no money. Now the feds are micro-managing health care.
    Just a suggestion. Stop equilization payments. Give provinces an incentive to improve themselves. Specify the responsibilities of each level of government along with the taxing powers to meet those responsibilities. No transfers between levels. Currently the feds control all major projects because they control major funding. And city councils can approve projects where they pay only 20% of costs.
    Lets get the financial house in order so that each level can be held accountable – no blaming it on another level.

  26. What does paying over 80 cents per kw/hour for Microfit solar projects have to do with Ontario’s debt.
    These projects were all funded by individuals.

  27. Finance Minister Duncan gets all bent out of shape for Ontario being called ” have-Not “——There was no such outrage at referring to Newfoundland as such for so many years——-talk about a double standard……

  28. I figure the best bet would be for Ontario and Quebec to default, Toronto (and anyone else who wish to join it) to be its own province, Montreal (and anyone else who wish to join it) to be its own province, and Ottawa and Hull (and anyone else who wish to join them) to be the National Capital Territory.

    Those countries, and states, that saw money go into dubious ventures are paying the price via having to offer higher rates to attract buyers, or they defaulted.

  29. Yeah Right

    Germany, Italy and Japan were fascist states in the 1930s. I think of fascist as being rule by an elite. Google provides more.

  30. Re-electing McGuinty represented the status quo for the elite public servants and the wind welfare companies in Ontario…..Nice try but it won t work…Ontario and Quebec are in deep,deep doo-doo.

  31. Quebec Ontario & BC will never learn Liberals are all about huge huge taxes for working people & rewarding lazy useless ones & criminals refusing to work srated with Pierre Trudeau when he became PM years ago & he quoted he would take from the rich & give to the poor & take from the rich provinces & give to the poor & then he increased socilism.
    Liberals & NDP reward criminals & lazy people & keep increasing welfare & socialism that has become unsustainable not enough people working to pay for all the free bees Liberals & NDP have adopted what we don’t have of our own they find more all the time

  32. Quebec Ontario & BC the next greece by 2018 all rednecks in Manitoba Sask & Alberta & maybe North Eastern Ontario time to separate & get rid of all NDP & Liberal garbage

  33. Canadadian tax payers can`t afford an NDP or A Liberal Government.

    HST would add $2000.00 per year per person

    These are the taxes below Justin trudeau promised us so he could give everyone free new housing Homeless & everyone else on an ongoing basis.

    Trudeau also promised a whole lot more foreighn aid Canada was a disgrace for not giving more billions that we already have given

    Carbon Taxes

    BC Got it 4-5 years ago,Diesel fuel was $1.49.9 a litre after BC put their 10 cents a litre carbon tax on it was $1.59.9 a litre

    For those of you who can`t figure what that is a gallon it is $7.27.5 a gallon think what that would do to the economy with everything having to be truckked all over Canada by semi

    Cap & Trade tax that would add to everything also we bought from factories small businesses.

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