Friday, 28 April 2017

Ontario Budget: Shallow Election Bid or Deep Election Bid?

A thousand years from now, in present day Ontario, after the fallout from a Trump temper tantrum, future survivors will begin to reclaim the land. Upon doing so, they will more than likely come across a few remnants of modern day Ontario that will survive the ruin and devastation. Among these items will most likely be nuclear waste and the remaining debt from a combined Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne Liberal government.

Too mean? Maybe, but you cannot let a government with the track record Wynne currently has off the hook that easily! 

Yesterday, Charles Sousa had the pleasure to release the 2017 Ontario budget and throughout his presentation, ensured that enough standing applause and smiles was included to ensure anyone viewing would see how proud the Liberals are...of themselves!

Sadly, it is no surprise that the government has decided to move forward on shiny newsworthy initiatives, with an election only a year or so away.

The question anyone viewing this budget should ask now is if we can trust the Ontario Liberals with their claim that the budget is sustainable and balanced and if their initiatives will actually impact the majority of Ontarians?

After looking over the released initiatives and watching the announcement live, I have my doubts regarding the confidence expressed by the government. I mention sustainability, because the current budget has balanced off with the direct infusion of money from the Hydro One partial sell off. The NDP and Conservatives have jumped on this fact along with the notion that many of the plans proposed do very little in helping the majority of Ontarians who actually need it and they are right.

The current budget not only misses the mark in a lot of cases, it cannot pass the stink test regarding a direct attempt to buy support before the upcoming election. Kathleen Wynne had her job cut out for her in the beginning, but has not proven that she can govern any more responsibly than her predecessor.

The Liberals have been notorious for taking good ideas and then corrupting them with delays, increased budgets and scandal. So basically, they have fallen into the stereotypical mold that people associate with typical politicians.

Universal Drug Coverage...kind of.

 Beginning in January of 2018, anyone under the age of 25 will now have full drug coverage with no strings attached. This program will ensure that anyone not currently covered by an employee plan, will have access to medication already placed on the list of covered items. This, naturally, would make any child advocate or parent happy, free medication for those who need it and a small percentage will directly benefit.

Where the mark was missed is that this initiative that the government apparently has been working on for a while, yet made no indication or mention of, was surprisingly similar to an NDP announcement made just days before that would allow universal coverage for the majority of uninsured, both young and old.

The federal NDP actually proposed this idea just after the last election, as Canada presently lacks any kind of national drug plan that would enable us to fight for better drug pricing, which in turn would save us precious tax money through a reduction in purchasing costs.

Balanced Budget*


Hydro One plays an important role in this budget, as the government sold off 15% and received an estimated $5 billion from the initial offering. This money was directly used to assist in paying for transit projects, but also heavily used to pay down the debt.

While government can survive debt, through socialization of that debt to the tax payer (you and I), the issue comes with how that debt is accrued. The Ontario Liberals have made some large promises, but have been guilty of multiple scandals that cost a lot of money.

The magic number seems to be $1 billion, when it comes to a Mcguinty or Wynne scandal. I'll even quickly name them: E-Health, Gas Plants, Mars Building and the 200% increase in hydro rates over 6 years as a few.

 What are your thoughts on the budget yesterday? Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on the direction already taken by this government and the direction chosen for the near future? If you're a Liberal supporter, would you vote for Kathleen Wynne and her administration again?

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