Premier Doug Ford’s work just beginning
While Premier doug Ford is off to a good start governing Ontario, his biggest challenges are ahead. among the accomplishments of his Progressive conservative government in its first 100 days:
Scrapping former premier Kathleen Wynne’s cap-and-trade carbon-pricing scheme that was taking almost $2 billion a year out of the pockets of Ontarians.
restoring local planning rights to municipalities by killing the dictatorial aspects of the Liberals’ green energy act that forced industrial wind factories onto unwilling communities.
cancelling 758 expensive, unreliable and unneeded early stage green energy projects approved by the Liberals.
Plus, replacing the hydro One board, downsizing toronto council, killing drive clean, ending one of the longest university strikes in canadian history at york and repealing Wynne’s controversial sex-ed program.
but the biggest challenge, correcting the financial damage of 15 years of tax-andspend Liberal rule, which turned their government into one of the world’s most indebted, non-national borrowers, looms ahead. it won’t be easy.
by the end of their reign, the Liberals were producing annual budgets that seemed to have been prepared on the back of a napkin.
in their 2017 budget, they predicted three years of balanced budgets in a row, then completely reversed course in 2018, predicting six consecutive annual deficits, with the budget not balanced again until 2024, when Ontario’s public debt would have soared to $400 billion.
that’s using the Liberals’ own numbers, not the larger deficits attributed to them by the auditor general, the Financial accountability Office and the panel struck by the Pcs to review the province’s books.
the challenge the Pcs face is to balance the books, which is going to take years of fiscal discipline. that will be made harder by Ford’s election pledge not to use layoffs to do it, especially given Ontario today has a public sector that its private sector, which pays most of the bills, cannot afford.
Particularly since numerous studies have shown public-sector workers have better salaries, benefits and pensions than workers in the private sector doing comparable jobs.
We agree involuntary layoffs should be a last resort — as opposed to downsizing by attrition — but none should be under any illusion that the path toward fiscal responsibility and sustainability will be difficult and not without pain.