When Premier McGuinty was re-elected in October, he
commissioned a report into Ontario’s fiscal situation to investigate what the
best course of action would be to fix Ontario’s financial problems, and thus the
Drummond Report was born. According to McGuinty, Ontario’s budget simply needed
a few tweaks to get back on track.
The Drummond Report was a massive eye-opener for Ontario. Around
the world, Canada is touted as an example of strong fiscal management. The federal
government is on pace to balance its budget in three years. But Ontario is an
entirely different story. If we are to follow Premier McGuinty’s fiscal path,
Ontario will have a balanced budget in 2032. That’s twenty more years of
deficits! Today’s grade twelve students will be thirty-eight by then.
According to Drummond, to balance the budget, McGuinty will
have to make cuts more severe than those made by Mike Harris. Harris was
premier from 1995-2002, and I’m sure your teachers and parents would love to
complain about his total restructuring of our education system and massive
welfare cuts. Turns out, the McGuinty Liberals have managed to get us into
worse financial shape than we were when Harris took office. The Drummond Report
calls for an increase in class sizes, wage freezes for doctors, an end to
all-day kindergarten, higher alcohol prices, and a lot more. Harris’s cuts look
feeble in comparison.
According to the provincial department of Finance, in the
last nine years, provincial spending has increased about eighty percent, and our
provincial debt has gone from $132 billion to $238 billion. Even
if sales tax was raised to 20%, it would still take five years to balance the
budget. Ontario has elected Premier McGunity to office three times now. And
thanks to last October’s vote, we could have four more years.
McGuinty promised a thirty percent reduction in university
tuition, but with Ontario in this state, it doesn’t look like we will be
getting it. Doctors and other governmental employees will likely be paid
proportionately less by the time we enter the workforce. The deficit is not
only tough on Ontario; it directly impacts our future financial stability.