Ontario is in a deep hole, the cause of which is nine years of reckless overspending. The effect is that we've run out of money, which puts everything we value at risk. Compounding the problem is a government that's adrift and out of gas. In the year since the last election, Dalton McGuinty has utterly failed to grasp the seriousness of our situation: not a nickel shaved off his $16 billion deficit, and no action to reduce the cost of our bloated public sector.
Sustainable urban planning, with walkable streets and neighbourhoods, with architecturally pleasing buildings that prioritize liveability, should not be the property of only the wealthy and the middle class. Overall, having liveable neighbourhoods and buildings for people of all incomes serves as a source of pride for the city as a whole.
According to a new poll, the Ontario NDP and its leader, Andrea Horwath, are falling far behind to third place. For Horwath, who has been addressing business friendly crowds in recent weeks, the polls reflect a struggle within the ranks of her members in the direction of the union-inspired party. Should the party maintain its controversial and stubborn perspectives on public issues or should it modernize itself?
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is boasting that its freezing of Public Service salaries has resulted in saving the province $34 million -- even though bonuses to practically all managers has cost the province over $35 million. With a $15 billion provincial deficit, it's obvious the province is in a financial crisis. Pay freezes are a necessity and bonuses justified as "performance pay" are an utter waste and insulting to those who do their job. That's not economizing; it's hoodwinking the taxpayer.
I was saddened to read that Jeff Damen, a father of two and employee of a wind developer in rural Ontario, reported having a shotgun pulled on him while conducting field work on a project site in West Grey. While I am not known for expressing opinions remotely sympathetic to that of the wind industry or its employees, and certainly oppose the development of the project in question, guns and threats of violence have no place in any debate in our province.
The secret law during the G20 and the list of laws passed in Québec to quell protests share a common characteristic: they're virtually impossible to enforce consistently. What good is a law that, once passed, is applied selectively? It places a tremendous amount of power in the hands of police who have proven unable to yield such powers appropriately.
If an election was held today, according to a new poll, the Ontario Liberals would be reduced to third party status while the surging NDP would be an official opposition. Barely a year after forming a historic third term in office, the Liberals, have been reduced to 28 per cent of support according to the poll. That may leave the Liberals on the outside looking in.
Inter-city bus ridership has declined over the last few decades in Canada. This is largely because driving has become cheaper. It's time that the government start auctioning off subsidies to the lowest private bidder. This would be a win for riders, and a win for taxpayers.
The gap between rich and poor is growing and that threatens to make us all poorer, in health and quality of life. Governments can take action to help close the gap and their budgets are one of the most important tools they have to do this.
The future of Canadian government depends on Ontario's suburbs where the Liberal brand is by far the most credible alternative to the Conservatives, at a time when the NDP is in ascendance everywhere else. So, despite the westward shift in Canada, Ontario is still the pivot point when it comes to who runs things in Ottawa.
Two major government budgets were released this week, by Ontario and the Feds respectively; as widely anticipated, both will balance spending and eliminate debt by the end of the year with no cuts to any social services. Critics from the left and right applauded the leaders for showing such fiscal responsibility while managing to balance the needs of all Canadian citizens. Asked how he expected to deal with the looming crisis with old age pensions, Prime Minister Harper noted that the budget called for the phasing out of seniors beginning in 2016... Okay, now that I've got my April Fool's joke out of the way, let's look back upon the messy conflagration of human events that constitutes last week's news highlights here at Huffpost.
Expectations were thus fairly high this week that Premier Dalton McGuinty and his loveable understudy, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, would finally show some signs of appreciating the sheer magnitude of the fiscal
This week at the Ontario Legislature is constituency week, meaning MPPs from all parties are on break. Monday morning the Liberals made a major announcement about the OLG, and the next day about licensing fees. They are dropping bombs while the opposition is away, and pulling a fast one on the public.
Ontario and Quebec should stop badmouthing the west and demand reform to the immigration mess Ottawa has perpetuated since 1986. The burden of providing healthcare, education, and other social services for new immigrants has added more costs to their budgets than interest on their debts, the Detroit bailout, and all-day junior kindergarten in Ontario or $7-a-day daycare in Quebec combined.
By most reports, Alberta's Premier Redford is a smart politician, capable of moving beyond mere platitudes, but she is at risk of drinking the tar sands Kool-Aid too quickly in her mandate and resorting to the name-calling we have come to expect from Alberta's politicians.
Today we'll get to see the full Drummond report, but don't worry -- if the past is any example, the Ontario government will take its sweet time deciding what to take, leaving working people, small business owners, families, and people across the province wondering what services that they rely on and pay for are about to get axed.