Wynne ruining Ontario one bad decision at a time
(October 7, 2015) For 12 years now we've been saying Liberal policies are ruining this province.
Bad decision making has been constant. We saw this during Dalton McGuinty's reign and the tradition has continued under Kathleen Wynne.
The Liberals have found a way to pretty much tarnish every aspect of this province. We've seen it in the way they've managed the economy and in the health care sector. We've seen it in regards to the energy sector too. The list goes on.
Philip Cross, the author of Ontario: No Longer a place to prosper, published by the Fraser Institute, writes about the sorry state of affairs in this province in a recent National Post column. Cross is a former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada.
He notes Ontarians are having "buyer's remorse," since re-electing the Liberals last year and that's certainly in line with what I'm hearing.
Cross goes on to highlight the mess the Liberals have created, pointing out that since 2002 "real GDP growth in Ontario has been consistently below the national average." He rightly adds that two-thirds of this gap took place during non-recession years.
The Liberals like to whine that we are just being negative, but the facts are the facts.
Ontario enjoyed incredibly prosperous decades until the Liberals took power under Dalton McGuinty. Cross says that in 2012 and 2013, "incomes in Ontario fell below the national average for the first time ever."
And on top of that, the Liberals have spent money like they can just go pick more off the trees outside the Legislature.
As Cross points out, Liberal fiscal decisions haven't stimulated growth but rather "triggered two downgrades to Ontario's debt rating."
Cross adds that word of Ontario's economic woes has spread.
"Ontario was once the beacon for immigrants arriving in Canada and people moving within Canada," he writes. "However, for 11 straight years there has been a net exodus from Ontario to other provinces as people 'vote with their feet' and leave for greener pastures. Meanwhile, Ontario's share of immigrants arriving from outside Canada has fallen from 60 percent to a record 38 percent."
Evidence of other Liberal gaffes is not hard to find and Cross writes about these also.
"It raised corporate taxes, depressing business investment," Cross writes. "It boosted the minimum wage faster than median wages, contributing to massive youth unemployment averaging 16 percent last year despite their above average levels of education."
Cross explains "the Wynne government does not understand that it is prosperity that lifts wages and not higher wages that leads to prosperity."
The new Ontario pension plan – a payroll tax – does not help matters, he says. This is certainly in line with what we've been saying.
High electricity rates are hurting Ontario as well. Cross touches on this and it's something we remind the government about on a regular basis.
There have been plenty of opportunities for the Liberals to turn things around but they don't. They just keep on blundering.
Our party intends to return Ontario to better times. And we aim to start the transition when we win a majority government in 2018.
We'll get the province back on track by listening to voters and by making responsible decisions that benefit all Ontarians.
Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.