Same old, same old
(September 12, 2016) Today's Throne Speech was a clear sign the Kathleen Wynne Liberals are a government that's tired, self-interested and desperate.
The government can try to "re-set," the narrative but it's simply too late for that.
Ontarians have endured enough under this government with its record of waste, scandal and mismanagement.
Throne speech or not, this is the same Liberal government that has faced five OPP investigations.
And it's the same Liberal government that has slashed health care services while simultaneously driving up our provincial debt to more than $300-billion.
This is the same Liberal government that is out of touch with the challenges that everyday Ontario families face.
For 13 long years, every failed Liberal policy decision has made life harder and more unaffordable for Ontarians.
Today, Ontarians are paying the highest electricity rates in North America and no Throne Speech is going to change that.
Premier Kathleen Wynne can suddenly claim she is serious about tackling the province's energy crisis but if that were truly the case her government would immediately halt any further sales of Hydro One shares. They would stop signing Green Energy contracts for energy we don't need.
The fact of the matter is the government is desperate.
Voters in the Scarborough-Rouge River by-election sent a strong message that they are fed up with skyrocketing hydro rates. And it's because of that message the Liberals are scrambling to shore up their support by making statements in a Throne Speech.
Mark my words, the Liberals will do anything and say anything to stay in power. But it's clear Ontarians, even those who have typically supported the Liberals, have grown tired of the government's shenanigans.
Increasingly, I'm hearing about more and more Liberals who can no longer accept the irresponsible policies of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government.
This government has created a future that is extremely bleak. Ridiculously high electricity rates, out-of-control debt, cuts to health care, and the loss of good jobs are not a formula for success.
And let's be clear here: until Ontario's poor financial state is properly addressed, the government will continue to slash funding and cut services.
Our party is in the midst of a policy review and I can tell you we will listen. And whatever policy we implement at the end of that review, it will involve getting Ontario's fiscal house in order.
We will bring down the debt. We will make investments that improve services and create jobs.
We will create a plan that puts Ontario back on the right path.
There is simply no reason we can't make this province what it once was.
Ontario can again be a place with good jobs for all.
It can be a province that has the services people need and expect.
We can have a robust fiscal policy.
We can have an environmental policy that doesn't kill employment opportunities and deter business.
And we can have less red tape.
And finally, we can have more affordable electricity.
We've had these things before and we can have them again.
The reckless ways of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne need not be the status quo for Ontario.
As I said at the start of the summer in another report to you, start a conversation with your friends – particularly those in Liberal-held ridings – about why we need a change in government. You don't need to be nasty when discussing the issues, just highlight the numerous costly gaffes of this current government and ask the question: Why reward bad behaviour?
Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.