The results do not bode well for Ontario. Provincial debt amounts to 237.7 per cent of revenue -- the highest ratio amongst the provinces. In other words, the total debt accumulated by the Ontario government represents almost two and a half years of revenues. Ontario's ratio is much higher than Quebec, the second most indebted province (189.5 per cent) on this metric.
The analysis of one of Canada's leading banks incorrectly concludes Ontario can't be compared to California, should be compared to other provinces, isn't necessarily at fault for being the second most indebted province, and argues the federal government should consider bailing Ontario out. No wonder Ontario is in the state it's in.
These challenges facing Ontario are well documented. Yet the government's policy direction is not moving in the right direction. Recent developments suggest that the government intends to continue growing spending on the types of policies that have contributed to the problem such as high deficits and a new round of corporate subsidies.
The new Ontario government believes in a strong, sustainable future for the horse racing industry in this province. We have a plan, guided by the report of the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, for a way forward that will put the industry on a sustainable path. I know how important the horse racing and breeding industries are to the culture and economy of communities across Ontario, and that is why our government will continue to work with the industry to ensure that it has a strong, sustainable future.
Two aspirations for Ontario -- to be the engine of Canadian jobs again and to have world-leading public services -- are interdependent, not separate, goals. We can't have one without the other. And Ontarians deserve both. Instead of grants and handouts to the politically connected, I believe tax cuts create jobs. Tax relief creates jobs, grows the economy, and stimulates new business investments.
Canadians should not arrogantly assume that what has happened to Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh cannot happen to Brantford, Trenton and Windsor. It can happen, and it is happening. Like the U.S. Rustbelt, Ontario has been losing industrial jobs, and only new business investment can create the post-industrial jobs of the future.