Liberal Overspending Has Created a Minefield for Ontario: Leone
23 August 2012
“McGuinty’s disastrous overspending has turned what was once the economic engine of the country into the poor man of Confederation.”
- Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun, August 21, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – After nine years of reckless overspending by the McGuinty Liberals, the wishing well for unions has run dry and urgent action is needed to protect valuable services, including classroom education, Ontario PC MPP for Cambridge Rob Leone said today.
“These last nine years, the McGuinty Liberals have dropped money bombs any time a problem arises or a decision needs to be made,” Leone said. “This has solved nothing, creating only collateral damage. Now Ontario is hurtling towards a potential $411-billion debt.”
Liberal overspending has also put the start of the school year at risk, Leone continued. “Public sector unions became accustomed to going to the McGuinty wishing well and receiving whatever they demanded. Now the well is drying up and the government can’t buy labour peace.”
Since 2003, spending on education has increased by $8.5 billion, despite the fact there are 250,000 fewer students. The majority of the money has paid for an overall 30 per cent increase in teachers’ salaries, which now average $83,500 – more than double the average Ontarians’ salary.
“What’s most troubling is that student outcomes have actually declined, according to evaluations from independent think tanks like the Fraser Institute,” Leone stated. “More money spent with nothing to show for it. Let’s add this to the growing list that includes spending $190 million to cancel a gas plant and bonus pay for managers who simply had to show up to work.”
Leone also noted that economists, credit rating agencies and business associations have repeatedly warned the Liberals over the years to rein in their spending or face the economic consequences. “Just a short time ago, Ontario was the economic engine of Canada. Now we’re a have-not province that has suffered three credit rating downgrades in the last few years.”
Ontario can and will do better, Leone continued. “That’s why Tim Hudak and the Ontario PCs have been tabling bold ideas to help the economy grow, including reforms to the province’s arbitration system, labour laws, energy policies, and more.”
When the Legislature resumes next week, the PCs will be asking tough questions to ensure the Liberals’ teacher union bill actually has teeth and no loopholes.
“The McGuinty Liberals need to realize they’re not running a wishing well. They’re running a province – and right now, they’re running it into the ground,” Leone concluded. “It’s time for a new approach that reins in spending and encourages job growth with sound economic policies.”