Ontario is at a crossroads and unless we get our financial house in order!

The item below was written by one of our very informed and knowledgeable members.  She has given us permission to send it to you.
Ontario is at a crossroads and unless we get our financial house in order we will all be disadvantaged  in the future.  Fiscal responsibility demands that those in charge manage the budget.  Kathleen Wynne and finance minister Charles Sousa have predicted that the Ontario economy will under-perform the Canadian, American and global economies for the next two DECADES!

Consider the performance of the Ontario economy over the last nine years.  The province has been put on notice by Standard and Poor, our credit rating has been downgraded, and we are under a very serious credit watch.  The provincial deficit for this year is $12.5 billion, so this year alone we are spending $12.5 billion more than the provincial government collected from Personal Income Tax        , Sales Tax, Corporations Tax,  Ontario Health Premiums, Education Property Tax, All Other Taxes, Government of Canada transfer payments, Income from Government Business Enterprises and Other Non-Tax Revenue. Our Total Provincial Revenue for 2013 was $114.2 billion. Our provincial debt has more than doubled to $288 billion in the last nine years, and servicing this debt is costing us $11.4 billion this year. Interest payments on our debt are the third largest budget expenditure after health and education.

Over the past nine years more than 300,000 new provincial government employees have been added to the pay roll. Many of these government employees make more than $100,000 per year and are on the Sunshine List. Over 650 new agencies, boards, commissions and entities such as LHIN’s and CCAC’s have been created.

Ontario has a population of 13.5 million people of whom 7.4 million people are in the labour force.  Over one million people are on the provincial government pay roll, paid by the tax payers of this province. It is neither desirable nor healthy to have everyone working for the government. The government bureaucracy has ballooned out of proportion to the size of the population and it is time to CUT FROM THE TOP.  We do not want to remove classroom teachers, nurses, doctors and the people on the front lines, WE NEED THE BUREAUCRATIC FAT TRRIMMED.  We can no longer afford to hire people we do not need, to work in government offices when over half a million Ontarians are now out of work.

We are paying more provincial taxes initiated by the Liberals only to receive fewer services. We now pay HST, health premium (tax), WSIB tax increase, tire tax, electronics tax, eco fees, beer surtax, etc . Yet in health care – eye exams have been delisted, physiotherapy has been delisted, chiropractic care has been delisted, diabetic strips have been delisted. We have an increased wait time for cataract surgery  because Ontario has cut cataract-surgery funding. As the population ages and the supply remains stagnant the wait time for nursing home beds has tripled. So eventually, only the rich will be able to afford health care and nursing homes.

Our manufacturing base is being gutted due to high energy costs. Our energy costs are the highest in North America. We have created an energy surplus since 2006 due to decreased manufacturing and conservation, yet we continue to add renewable energy – wind and solar – to the grid. To maintain a stable grid we pay Quebec and some north-eastern States to take our surplus energy.   The closing of the Gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga will cost the tax payers of this province $1.1 billion. However, this will pale in comparison to the cost of the implementation of the Green Energy Act – a $20 billion price tag for FIT contracts to subsidize renewable energy projects for the next twenty years. Meanwhile, the hydro at Niagara Falls is underutilized and we pay to run a second energy system on “spinning standby” to provide base power when the wind does not blow. The renewable energy subsidies are essential to keep this industry going and this will be the biggest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the corporate elite in the history of Ontario.

Ontario is a have-not province for the first time in Canadian history. Without accountability, transparency, due diligence, and good governance we are being destroyed from within.  We are putting our future at risk and that of our children.   It is critical that we get our financial house in order.

Additional scandals and mishaps reported by Marilyn Taylor over the last 11 years:
ECONOMIC ISSUES
Increased spending by 80% while our economy grew by only 9%
Ranking the lowest of all provinces for fiscal performance
Borrowing more debt than any province except NB
Third highest user of food banks
Job growth across Canada except in Ontario
Prior loss of 60,000 jobs in the horse racing industry
Two ministries under an OPP criminal investigation – ORNGE and gas plant scandals

ENERGY ISSUES
Increased smart meter, electricity, hydro costs
Electricity rates to rise 42% over the next five years
Ontario Power Generation scandal
Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress confirmed that McGuinty’s Green Energy Act grossly underestimated the cost to consumers and overestimated the number of new jobs that would be created
Samsung scandal (sole-sourcing
Offshore Wind Turbines scandal
Trillium Wind Power and Sky Power Limited lawsuit (500 million)
Encouraging farmers to build small-scale solar projects but have no way to connect them to the power grid
Kowtowing to green energy lobbies
Ignoring evidence that wind turbines can cause poor health
Caledonia Hydro Line scandal (116 million)
Nanticoke Coal Power Plant Shutdown scandal

HEALTH ISSUES
Emergency room wait times not meeting provincial targets
eHealth scandal (almost 2 billion)
ORNGE scandal (700 million)
Cancer Care Ontario scandal (millions of dollars)
Chemotherapy Dosage scandal
Augusta/Westland lawsuit as it pertains to ORNGE
Ontario Medical Association lawsuits – applied to Superior Court alleging McGuinty not negotiating in “good faith”
Breast Screening scandal (ensuing lawsuits due to thousands of misread mammograms, one life lost)
Public sector employment in health care increased by 39%
Dramatic cuts in health care services in schools
Insufficient senior homecare services
Pharmacy war
Failure to disclose elevated radiation levels
Laid up in US hospital beds as no beds available in Ontario
Hiding hospital errors from the public
Almost 40 C. difficile deaths to date
Loss of 6,500 cancer patient health records
Workers at eHealth suing for not receiving bonuses
Ontarians pleading for their lives or dying because they aren’t getting the health care they need
Patients with certain brain tumor denied help to cover costs of drugs which are covered in Manitoba

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Eco-Fee Reversal scandal (18 million)
Niagara Falls Commission scandal
Voting to cover up the Niagara Parks Commission scandal
Cement company lawsuit (275 million) – Quarry outside Hamilton was scuttled for political reasons
Illegal green taxes

EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
Education minister signing off on documents that she doesn’t even read
Public sector employment in education increased by 34% while student population decreases
Failing grade on ADHD education
Foreign Scholarships scandal (our students pay the highest tuition in Canada while foreign students get free university educations)
School bus service lawsuit
Increased  tuition costs

NORTH ISSUES
Ring of Fire
Ontario Northland Railway scandal (820 million)
Failing grade in northern forestry management

TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
Auto Insurance scandal
Increased car insurance costs
Imposing blood alcohol rules that punish people who are not impaired
Presto

CHILDREN’S ISSUES
Failing grade of Family Responsibility Office
Children’s Aid Society scandal
Class-action lawsuit for autism funding cancellation

PROPERTY ISSUES
MPAC scandal (over and under-valuation of properties)
Highest rent increase rate in years

SECURITY ISSUES
G20 Secretly Approved Police Power scandal
Refusing public inquiry into G20 fiasco
Talked about a two-year freeze on wages for public sector while previously giving the OPP a 5% wage increase – the OPP received another raise of over 8% in January, 2014
McGuinty defunded the Centre for Forensic Sciences throwing a world-renowned police team who specialized in retrieving deleted computer files out of work two months before he resigned

GENERAL ISSUES
Millions spent to needlessly redesign our provincial logo
Lobbyist scandal (two multi-million dollar scandals)
Slush Fund scandal (32 million)
Elliot Lake Collapse lawsuits (two lives lost due to recovery delays)
Public sector employment in social services increased by 39%
Pan Am scandal (cost increase from 1.4 to 2.5 billion)
Payout for Pan Am CEO (250 million)
OLG scandal (millions of dollars)
Millions spent to remove the “C” from OLG when Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation was changed to Ontario Lottery & Gaming
Tax collectors getting 45,000.00 severance packages for switching job titles from provincial to federal
OES missed its collection and recycling targets by 59%
Not correcting the foreign ownership of our beer market
Acceptance of garbage striker extortion
Harassing labour inspectors
Abstained from vote to investigate CBC expenses
Cash kickback scheme involving government cleaning contracts that ended with the conviction of Liberal officials
Giving those who hire only newcomers a $10,000.00 tax credit
Legal rights of Ontarians disregarded relative to the Caledonia-Mohawk matter

More to come….
Like I said, Ontario is a have-not province for the first time in Canadian history. Without accountability, transparency, due diligence, and good governance we are being destroyed from within.  We are putting our future at risk and that of our children.   It is critical that we get our financial house in order.

A very concerned citizen

CM
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc. policy.

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