Candice is an International Fellow with the Center for a Secure Free Society and a Fellow with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute
Candice Malcolm is the author of a new book, Generation Screwed. She is the Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). She is from Vancouver, B.C. and has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta, a Master’s in International Relations, and a Master’s in International Trade and Commerce Law from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Candice completed a fellowship in Washington, D.C., has worked at the Fraser Institute, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and as press secretary to a federal minister in Ottawa. Prior to her appointment with the CTF, she was the Director of Research at Sun News Network. When she's not advocating for lower taxes, Candice loves to travel, watch hockey, read economic theory and listen to old jazz records.
Nine-million baby boomers will retire from the workforce over the next two decades, and when they do, they will start to consume the most expensive forms of government programs. This is great news for seniors, but terrible news for our public finances and for young Canadians forced to foot the bill. Generation Y has been dubbed the "Millennial" generation because we came of age at the turn of the new millennium. A more fitting name for this cohort is Generation Screwed.
Premier Kathleen Wynne's solution to the transportation infrastructure problem is to spend a whopping $50 billion of taxpayer money over the next 25 years to build an expansive rail network. By 2040, Toronto may finally have the subways that other cities built nearly 200 years earlier. But can you imagine what the world will look like in 2040? We are on the cusp of explosive new technologies that will revolutionize how we commute. Innovative tech startups are fixing the problems we currently have with cars: that they pollute too much, are too expensive for many, and congest our overcrowded roads. Here are three notable examples of ideas and companies that will change transportation as we know it.
Ontario has dug itself into a deep financial hole. The responsible thing to do is curb government spending to balance the books. But some analysts are suggesting that Ontario should raise taxes. McGill University's Dr. Christopher Ragan has even called for a carbon tax. This is a terrible idea. The last thing cash-strapped Ontario families can bear right now is a tax on everything.
As the election heats up and politicians fall over themselves to promise the moon to voters, the single largest problem facing Ontario continues to be the province's pitiful finances. Hudak has been brutally honest with the people of Ontario about what his government will cut and the tough decisions they will make to get the province back on track.
Kathleen Wynne's budget proposed a new tax that will increase the average price of an overseas trip for a family of four by hundreds of dollars. Flying in Canada is already obscenely expensive, thanks to a host of taxes, fees, charges, rents, and regulations imposed by both the federal and provincial governments.
It's far from perfect, but it is a sign of good will that the government has been listening to its critics -- namely the Ontario NDP who demanded no new taxes on "the middle class" and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation who has long called for a dedicated fund to tie taxes collected from drivers with roadway spending.
The grim fiscal outlook in Ontario is cause for concern. Ontario's sluggish economy and anemic recovery are dragging down the whole country. Even Quebec has awoken to its fiscal responsibilities, recently electing a government committed to balancing the budget within two years and dedicating revenue to debt-repayment and tax cuts. Ontario under the Wynne government has shown no such signs of progress. Instead, we are told the government is being lead with "safe hands." Safe hands? Feels more like the cold hands of an undertaker.
Since the financial meltdown in 2008-09, Quebec has run massive deficits each year. The province is on track to add $53 billion to its total provincial debt -- a 35 per cent increase -- by the end of the year. But in the same period, Ontario under McGuinty and Wynne will add $120 billion to its debt -- a 71 per cent increase.
The real problem for taxpayers in Ontario is covering the tab for compensation packages of over 1.35 million provincial government workers in Ontario, and the vast benefits that exist in the Ontario Public Service. Employee compensation accounts for half of the provincial budget, without including most pension costs.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has drawn a line in the sand, and if Premier Kathleen Wynne crosses it, Ontario will head to the polls for a spring election. Much to the delight of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, this line in the sand is about tax increases.
Is it really that surprising that students prefer inexpensive fast-food meals like a burger and fries, instead of overpriced and smaller portioned salads from government-approved cafeteria menus? Like Homer Simpson taught his daughter Lisa, "You don't win friends with salad!" And the government's healthy menus program is certainly not winning any friends in Ontario's high schools.
Worried about retirement savings? Premier Wynne is certainly worried for you. She doesn't think that families in Ontario are saving enough for their retirement. Considering how much we are nickel-and-dimed in this country, maybe she's right. The further the government reaches into our pockets, the less we have to put away for the future.
The increases to our energy bills alone over the next five years are greater than the amount of income tax paid by a minimum wage earner in Ontario. The Wynne government should think about the people who suffer the most from irresponsible government decisions.
On behalf of taxpayers who would rather see our money go to real transit strategies, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says "let Bixi fail." We've compiled ten reasons for why the City of Toronto should put the brakes on the Bixi bikes bailout.
Tax policy and energy price adjustments just don't have the same appeal as a mayor smoking crack or secret cheques to cover fraudulent housing expenses.However, the boring stuff has far more impact on our lives than the circus that follows the eccentric and scandal-plagued leaders in our country.Not all scandals are equal.
Government employees working for the province of Ontario took an average of 10.5 sick days in 2012. Compare that to just 5.8 sick days among people not working for the government in Ontario. Bankable sick days, virtually no limit on interchanging sick and vacation days, and massive abuse of a system designed to help those suffering with illnesses is shameful.
Sorry! That's what Premier Wynne said in response to the damning auditor general report on the infamous cancelled gas plants. Of course Premier Wynne is sorry. You'd be sorry too if you were left to...
Half-a-million taxpayer dollars will be forked over to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Group, one of the largest companies in sports, in order to host the 2016 NBA All-Star game. The company doesn't need this grant, but our government simply cannot resist handing money out left, right and centre.