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Liberals Stifling Jobs and Economic Growth

(March 30, 3015) Last week, in my capacity as Interim Leader of the Official Opposition, I asked the Premier what she is doing to protect Ontario jobs. Her answer was that she is being optimistic. It was an unacceptable response by any standard; but, even more so considering Ontario's unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for 97 of the last 98 months.

More troubling than Ontario's current job woes, is further job killing reforms that the government is implementing.

The Wynne government has proposed a pension plan that is nothing more than a new payroll tax. Internal Ministry of Finance documents confirm tens of thousands jobs will be lost if the Liberal pension scheme goes forward—more specifically, 18,000 jobs for every $2 billion collected. Under their pension scheme every employee will be forced to contribute 1.9 per cent of their income, which is to be matched by their employer, an added expense that many businesses have said they can't afford.

The government is also contemplating a carbon tax, which Liberal history proves won't accomplish any objective other than picking everyone's pockets. Remember this is the same government that brought in a costly health premium tax that doesn't go into healthcare; that spent $2 billion on smart meters that didn't result in significant energy conservation; and, that has left homeowners paying almost $700 more a year under the Green Energy Act without any environmental benefit.

The Liberal's costly increases to energy rates have led Ontario to have the highest industrial electricity costs in Canada. The 2011 Auditor General Report noted that for each job created through the contentious Green Energy Act, two to four jobs are lost in other sectors of the economy because of higher electricity prices.

While Kathleen Wynne is forcing businesses to pay more through these increasing government costs, a new report shows the opposite is happening in the public sector.

Last week, the Fraser Institute, a leading Canadian think tank, reported that total compensation (wages, benefits and pensions) for the Ontario public sector has increased by 47.1 per cent since 2005/06. An earlier study from the Fraser Institute found that government employees are paid 11.5 per cent more than comparable workers in the private sector.

To top this off, the sunshine list—those on the public payroll making over $100,000 per year—was released last week revealing an outrageous increase of 13.9 per cent to total 111,438 government employees.

The Liberal government's nonchalant attitude towards Ontario jobs and economic growth is a problem that needs to be addressed. Ontario needs a government that will do what is in the best interest of our province. After 12 years of mismanaging the books, it's clear this government is not up to the job.


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