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Ontario’s Poor Fiscal Management and Staggering Debt is Dragging Down the Rest of the Country

Jack Mintz — Financial Post — April 8, 2014

Ontario’s growth has lagged the rest of Canada, averaging less than 1% annually since 2009 With Quebec’s election over, we can turn to Ontario where a scandal-plagued Liberal government will soon present its 2014 budget – and possibly trigger a spring election. Ontario is sagging under the weight of monstrous public debt, uncompetitive energy prices and rising taxes.

Given Ontario’s size, other regions of Canada are being hurt. Ontario has only one way out: economic growth. Luckily, the American economic recovery will significantly benefit Ontario. However, it won’t be enough. The government needs to get its house in order.

Pushing aggregate demand with deficit spending won’t achieve growth. Economic stimulus might provide some short-term relief but won’t generate sustained expansion. Instead, growth will be attained with supply-side policies by reducing onerous regulations, providing some smart tax reforms and shifting to growth-oriented spending, especially to address the notorious Greater Toronto Area infrastructure problem.

Nor will growth come from expansionary public programs like the proposed Ontario pension plan. Forcing people to hold assets in a government-sponsored plan might be helpful to some but it will be just another form of new taxation for others, who are already have adequate savings for retirement. Ontario’s growth has lagged the rest of Canada, averaging less than 1% annually since 2009.  Continue reading here…. Wynne spending spree2

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