Ben Eisen, Taylor Jackson & Kenneth P. Green: In Ontario, blame bad policy

power-outageOntario’s approach to electricity policy has driven up prices for businesses and residents, undermining competitiveness. This is just one example of how misguided policy choices have contributed to Ontario’s economic weakness in recent years.

Once the engine of Canada’s economy, Ontario is now mired in a prolonged period of weak performance. In 2003, Ontario’s real GDP growth fell below the national average and consistently lagged behind the rest of Canada over the next decade. Consequently, real disposable household incomes in Ontario, which were fully 10 per cent higher than the national average in 2000, fell below the Canadian average for the first time on record in 2012 and 2013.

Investor confidence is understandably shaken, with the result being weak private-sector investment in the province. In fact, in 2013 (the last year for which we have data), private-sector investment still had not recovered to pre-recession levels.

The province’s relative decline cannot be entirely blamed, as some do, on external forces such as the resource boom elsewhere in Canada. Instead, a range of poor policy choices have undermined Ontario’s competitiveness. One of the clearest examples of this pattern can be found by examining the province’s policy on renewable electricity generation.

read more: National Post | November 2, 2015

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