We Pay More and We Get Less
(Queen's Park Report - September 3, 2010) I am convinced that Dalton McGuinty has become so comfortable in his job that he has lost all concept of how his taxing and spending are affecting Ontario families. Whether its auto insurance, tuition, gasoline or electricity, we are all paying more and getting less from the McGuinty government and it hurts.
Auto insurance is the latest hit. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, average rates in Ontario were $1,450 in February, compared to $1,080 in Alberta, $812 in Nova Scotia and $757 in Prince Edward Island. Now Dalton McGuinty has made it clear that rates are going up farther, starting September 1st.
For Dalton McGuinty, it was either crack down on those who game the
system through fraud, ambulance chasing and excessive assessments, or
crack down on Ontario families. Instead of cracking down on the
cheaters, who cost Ontario drivers $1.3 billion a year in premiums, he
chose to crack down on honest families by making them pay more in
premiums, and get less through legitimate claims.
Next is tuition. According to Statistics Canada, the average university tuition in Ontario was $5,388 in 2007. With the expected 5% annual increase, Ontario university tuition will hit $6,249 in 2010 – the highest in Canada. With this $861 increase Ontario students can expect less student-faculty engagement and the largest class sizes in Canada – higher than peer jurisdictions in the United States. Here again, Ontario families are paying more to get less.
Gasoline is another sizable portion of the family budget and it too has gone way up. A Toyota Camry filling up once a week on average in 2007 would have cost $3,787 on gas. Now that Dalton McGuinty’s HST has come into effect, this driver can expect to pay an added $303 per year thanks to this greedy tax grab.
When it comes to hydro, things have clearly gotten out of hand. Since May 1, 2010 Ontario electricity rates have increased by 12%. This rate hike, when combined with the Green Energy Act, smart meters, hidden fees and the HST, will cost Ontario families an additional $469 per year. What’s worse is that there is nobody suggesting that rates aren’t going to stop going up. Wait for time of use pricing!
Dalton McGuinty doesn’t seem to realize that these higher costs are painful. Financial issues are a leading cause of stress on relationships and families. Just thinking about how to pay all of these new taxes and fees when jobs are lost or salaries are frozen is unbearable for the average Ontario family. It is awful when a child can’t go on a school trip or play on a team because mom and dad are struggling to pay higher home heating costs, gasoline, hydro and auto insurance premiums.
I think that Dalton McGuinty just doesn’t understand the average Ontario family. He lives in a bubble that is protected by an OPP security detail that guards him from average people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He lives in the tony Toronto neighborhood of Rosedale, in a home owned by the Liberal Party and funded by taxpayers. He flies on a government plane, is chauffeured around in a police SUV, and likes to tell us that all of his new taxes and fees are good for us. He is wrong.
It is not our destiny to be the most heavily-indebted, heavily-taxed, heavily-regulated people in the country. Dalton McGuinty simply doesn’t get it.