Lancaster - Aug. 11, 2011 - Over the last two months or so, we have received some lessons in economics, whether we wanted them or not! The debt ceiling debates in the US have dominated our news reports. The culmination of the debate in the US was the rating drop by Standard and Poors of the US debt to AA+ from AAA. What does this mean to average families? Well, it will cost the government more to borrow. The more money used to pay interest, the less money there is for social programs, roads, police, infrastructure and so on.
We know Canada has an AAA rating, as does British Columbia and the City of Toronto. So what about Ontario? In Canada, a majority government has no preset debt ceiling, just a responsibility to follow sound financial practices and look after the public interest.
Under Dalton McGuinty’s watch, Ontario had its debt rating lowered to AA- on November 2, 2009, - worse than the US - and that is just the start. Ontario, once the economic engine of Canada, is now a “have-not province.” We in Ontario will soon owe $250 billion, double the debt that McGuinty assumed less than eight years ago. Just consider what this poor rating and this huge debt increase, that will grow by more than $16 billion this year alone, will cost us in interest. More importantly, this is money that could have gone to health care, education, social programs, and infrastructure.
The McGuinty Government has raised taxes to the breaking point. Liberal policies have allowed the cost of electricity to increase by more than 150%, blocking industrial growth. Add increased regulation, and it is no wonder our manufacturing jobs are leaving faster than we can create them. We must slow government spending growth and allow the economy to expand.
Ontario’s Auditor General has stated that he does not believe that the McGuinty Liberals will be able to limit spending growth to meet their target. The Auditor General referred to the recent excessive wage settlements, that would require large cutbacks to meet the latest Liberal promise to limit program spending increases to less than two per cent.
Mr. McGuinty, when are you going to stop misleading the people of Ontario? When you introduced the HST, you tried to justify it by promising it would create 594,000 jobs. Now your pamphlet claims only 116,000 were created. Mr. McGuinty, it’s time to tell the truth. It’s time to come clean and tell the people of Ontario that you will again raise their taxes, just as Ontario’s Auditor General says you must do to meeting your spending commitments.
We need real change to get Ontario back on track. On October 6, Ontarians will decide the direction of the province for the next four years. They can choose continued decline under a Liberal government, but I believe the people of Ontario will choose a return to prosperity with Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives.
Please visit McDonell.ca for more information.