Ontario throne speech a short-sighted vision statement

To rule out cutting spending anywhere is a major disservice to Ontario taxpayers

Ontario throne speech a short-sighted vision statementIt’s odd to use a throne speech to outline the government’s lack of vision. While the recent throne speech predictably focused on COVID-19, the only significant non-pandemic promise was a pledge to balance the budget relying solely on economic growth, with no spending cuts or tax increases. In other words: the Ontario government has no…

It’s time to restore business confidence in Ontario

The largest province in the nation should not have the most anemic economic growth rate

It’s time to restore business confidence in OntarioGood things used to grow in Ontario when we were the economic engine, but now we are nine spots behind the pace car. A new report released by the Fraser Institute shows that, over the past 20 years, Ontario has suffered from a lack of money being injected into businesses, and that has stalled our…

Ford can learn from O’Toole shortcomings

Lesson No. 1: Don't crumble in the face of focus-group gurus

Ford can learn from O’Toole shortcomingsThe Conservative Party’s defeat in the recent federal election offers important lessons for Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole chose to abandon core principles to try to win an election. Long-standing stances on carbon taxes, balanced budgets and broad-based tax relief crumbled in the face of focus-group gurus. Politicians have been trying to…

Politicians are long on promises but short on delivery

None of the major parties have a realistic plan to get the nation’s finances in order

Politicians are long on promises but short on deliveryPoliticians have made promises that will cost tens of billions of dollars during this election. But when it comes time to open their wallets to pay the tab, these party leaders are running to hide in the bathroom while taxpayers cover the bill. Politicians and taxpayers both need to understand a simple truth: there is…

Ontario gas prices hit seven-year high

Without taxes, the price of gas per litre today would be sitting at 92 cents

Ontario gas prices hit seven-year highHardworking taxpayers are facing record-high gas prices, and politicians are the culprits driving up the bills. In Ontario, up to 38 per cent of the price of gas that we are charged at the pumps comes from taxes, according to a report released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. And that percentage is only set to…

Taxpayers still waiting for a credible plan to balance the books

$424 million(!) being added to the debt every single day

Taxpayers still waiting for a credible plan to balance the booksBy Franco Terrazzano and Jay Goldberg Canadian Taxpayers Federation If the federal government’s fiscal policy stays on its current trajectory, Canada’s trillion-dollar debt will be a major drain on taxpayers’ wallets for generations to come. In this election, voters will need to closely examine parties’ plans to plug that drain. Unfortunately, the current Liberal plan…

How politicians can make our lives more affordable

A huge portion of the high cost of living is being driven by government policy

How politicians can make our lives more affordableBy Franco Terrazzano and Jay Goldberg Canadian Taxpayers Federation Political parties are trying their best to convince Canadians they can make life more affordable. But if politicians want us to believe them, they need to look in the mirror. That’s because making life more affordable really means tackling the damage government does through regulation, high…

Free speech can’t be filtered through a bureaucratic superstructure

The Trudeau government wants you to believe it’s targeting hate speech when, in reality, it’s targeting free speech

Free speech can’t be filtered through a bureaucratic superstructureFree speech ensures that Canadians have the right to tell governments when they’re wrong. While this may be unpleasant for governments, it is absolutely vital in a democratic society. Rather than strengthening Canadians’ rights, the Trudeau government wants to filter free speech through the lens of a bureaucratic superstructure. There can be no doubt that…

It’s time for political welfare to go the way of the dodo bird

It’s time to take the cake away from Ontario’s politicians. It’s time to end political welfare

It’s time for political welfare to go the way of the dodo birdOntario’s political parties have a bad spending habit, but they don’t have to pay for it because taxpayers get stuck with their political welfare scheme. In Ontario, political parties are given millions from the pockets of hardworking taxpayers through a system referred to as the per-vote subsidy. This money does not go toward funding their…

Ontario’s governments are set to run deficits until the year 2095

Ontario taxpayers deserve better

Ontario’s governments are set to run deficits until the year 2095It’s time for Ontario taxpayers to hit the debt panic button. The Parliamentary Budget Officer released a troubling report earlier this month that shows that, when Ontario’s provincial and municipal finances are looked at together, Ontario will be running deficits indefinitely, until at least the year 2095. Typically, when analysts look at the state of…

Ontario’s bloated cabinet is the elephant in the room

His commitment to a smaller cabinet was short-lived

Ontario’s bloated cabinet is the elephant in the roomWhile there was much palace intrigue when Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced his cabinet shuffle last month, there was one elephant in the room that was not discussed: the cabinet’s size. Before Ford was sworn into office in 2018, he promised to slim down the size of the province’s cabinet, which had ballooned dramatically under…

Time for Ontario to tackle university employee compensation

Ontario’s college and university employees have been busy cashing in on massive pay hikes during the pandemic

Time for Ontario to tackle university employee compensationWhile Ontario’s college and university employees have been busy cashing in on massive pay hikes during the pandemic, taxpayers and tuition-paying students have been barely getting by. The newly minted minister responsible for universities and colleges, Jill Dunlop, now has a full knapsack of homework to do on this expensive file. With a $33-billion deficit,…

Ontario premier’s temper tantrum threatens free speech

Doug Ford's decision to override the Charter wasn't done for some high principle, however. He did it for his own self-interest

Ontario premier’s temper tantrum threatens free speechOntario Premier Doug Ford has decided to override the Charter for the first time in Ontario’s history. But he’s not doing it for some high principle. He’s doing it for his own self-interest. Just days after Ford’s new election law, the Protecting Ontario Elections Act, was struck down by the Ontario Superior Court, the government…

With a little willpower, Ford can fix Ontario’s finances

Targeting the education budget and bureaucracy would equal real progress on the deficit

With a little willpower, Ford can fix Ontario’s financesThanks to the reckless policies of former premiers Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, when Ontario Premier Doug Ford was elected three years ago the province was well on its way to being driven into a fiscal wall. Ford promised Ontario voters that he would hit the breaks. Unfortunately, it seems like he hasn’t been able…

It’s time for Ford to deliver on his affordability agenda

With less than a year until the next election, taxpayers expect Ford to live up to the promises that got him elected in the first place

It’s time for Ford to deliver on his affordability agendaOntario Premier Doug Ford has less than a year to make good on the affordability agenda he promised voters while on the campaign trail. “We have a very simple theory,” said Ford. “Put money back into the taxpayers’ pocket instead of the government’s pocket because we believe that the taxpayers are a lot smarter at…

Ontario teachers’ compensation is the cost elephant in the room

It’s time to bring their sky-high pay down to earth

Ontario teachers’ compensation is the cost elephant in the roomWhile thousands of Ontario teachers are receiving six-figure salaries, a budget crunch at the Ministry of Education means it’s time to bring their sky-high pay down to earth. A report released by the Ontario Financial Accountability Office shows a $200 million funding gap between what the province has budgeted to spend on education and what…

Porsche grant shows Ottawa City Council is living on another planet

Finance committee voted to give a $2.9 million tax break to a new Porsche(!) dealership

Porsche grant shows Ottawa City Council is living on another planetOttawa Mayor Jim Watson is preparing to take Ottawa taxpayers for quite a ride. Ottawa city council’s finance committee voted to give a $2.9 million tax break to a new Porsche dealership. Ottawa’s municipal politicians are literally planning to hand over millions of taxpayer dollars to a luxury car dealership. And they think this is…

Toronto mayor needs to end his $3.8B vanity project pipedream

Expert analysis showed the Rail Deck Park project would likely cost over $3.8 billion

Toronto mayor needs to end his $3.8B vanity project pipedreamToronto Mayor John Tory is still trying to click the buy button on his multi-billion-dollar legacy park project, but it just came up with an error message saying it’s no longer available. That error message could save taxpayers billions. Four years ago, Tory and Toronto’s city council embarked on a mission to waste billions of…

What pandemic? A tale of two downturns in Toronto

Municipal employee salary hikes during lockdowns a slap in the face to taxpayers

What pandemic? A tale of two downturns in TorontoAs hardworking taxpayers tightened their belts last year to cope with pay cuts and job losses, Toronto’s municipal employees were busy cashing in bigger paycheques with your tax dollars. The City of Toronto currently employs 34,603 workers. Last year, only 104 of them didn’t get a raise. That means over 99.6 per cent of Toronto…

Ontario must end the partying on the taxpayers’ dime

Ford's free-spending ways surpassing those of Kathleen Wynne

Ontario must end the partying on the taxpayers’ dimeOntario Premier Doug Ford promised to end the party with taxpayers’ money. Instead, he’s replaced the iPod playlist and chip dip with the booming beats of a live DJ and a laser light show. When he was campaigning across the province during the 2018 election, Ford promised to end the government’s free-spending ways and restore…

Ontario taxpayers shouldn’t bail out Laurentian University

A bailout would only encourage risky financial decision-making at other universities

Ontario taxpayers shouldn’t bail out Laurentian UniversityIt’s a bad idea to keep adding water to a leaky bucket. Millions of dollars have been gushing out of Laurentian University for years. And it’s not right to plug the holes with taxpayers’ cash. Laurentian University is facing a debt crisis of its own making, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s political opponents are calling…

O’Toole set to break carbon-tax pledge

Would you prefer cash back under the Trudeau model or O’Toole bucks towards buying a solar-powered e-bike?

O’Toole set to break carbon-tax pledgeConservative Party leader Erin O’Toole is set to lose the trust of millions of Canadians and betray hard-working taxpayers by embracing carbon taxes. The Conservative Party has long promised to repeal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal carbon tax mandate immediately after forming a government. Former Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer’s promise to repeal the carbon…

Economic stimulus should come from taxpayers, not governments

Canadian politicians insist that massive government spending is needed to bring the economy back to life. But they’re dead wrong

Economic stimulus should come from taxpayers, not governmentsCanadian politicians at every level continue to insist that massive government spending is needed to bring the Canadian economy back to life. But they’re dead wrong. Politicians can help our economy. But not with more wasteful spending. Instead, they should let us keep more of our own money. Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has argued…

Hardworking Ontarians need help, and Ford can give it to them

He should honour his 2018 promise and cut the provincial gas excise tax

Hardworking Ontarians need help, and Ford can give it to themGoing for a drive is one of the few things families can do to get out of the house, but now they’re being hit with gas prices that have spiked to their highest point in two years. Filling up a minivan now costs $95. But it shouldn’t cost that much because Premier Doug Ford promised…

Ontario needs to introduce recall legislation

The people need a way of giving politicians the pink slip more than just once every four years

Ontario needs to introduce recall legislationIn a democracy, voters are supposed to be the boss, so we should always have the ability to fire politicians for poor performance. Unfortunately, in Ontario, voters often need to wait years before handing out a pink slip that should have come long ago. But there’s a simple way Ontarians can change that: Premier Doug…

Political welfare raising its ugly head in Ontario again

Ford has changed his tune about political welfare now that he’s Ontario’s premier

Political welfare raising its ugly head in Ontario againOntario Premier Doug Ford use to stick up for taxpayers against political parties that were trying to plunder more of our money. But now Ford seems eager to let political parties stick their hands further into taxpayers’ pockets. Ford rightly railed against political welfare when he was vying for the Progressive Conservative leadership in 2018.…

Ontario government’s budget built on a hope and a prayer

Ford government acting like an ostrich with its head firmly buried in the sand

Ontario government’s budget built on a hope and a prayerAs Ontario’s finance minister rose in the legislature to present the government’s 2021 budget, it became painfully clear that the Ford government is acting like an ostrich with its head firmly buried in the sand. When the Ford government released its first pandemic budget in November of 2020, then-finance minister Rod Phillips promised that a…

Ballooning sunshine list a slap in the face to taxpayers

A 10% pay cut for all sunshine listers would save beleaguered taxpayers more than $2.5B

Ballooning sunshine list a slap in the face to taxpayersWhile most Ontarians were barely getting by during lockdowns, the bill for Ontario top bureaucrats ballooned in 2020. There are still 800,000 Ontarians looking for a job. So, it must be jarring for them to see Ontario’s sunshine list, which discloses the municipal and provincial government employees making more than $100,000 per year, increased by…