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[IMAGE] Understanding Ontario's Budget Deficit: Painfully True Humour

April 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Two photos, compared, should tell you almost everything you need to know about what is wrong with government monopolies, and how they contribute to budget deficits.
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Ontario's 2012 Budget: Put-up or Shut-up Time for Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives

March 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It is widely regarded as true that, in the lead up to, and during, the most recent Ontario provincial election, Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak spent his time telling Ontario voters what the governing Liberals were doing wrong, but came up woefully short on how his PCs would govern differently. That pattern has continued since the October election. In fact, as recently as February 23, 2012, the PC-friendly Toronto Sun published a column by Queens Park columnist Christina Blizzard in which she submitted that Hudak continues to lack “a cohesive strategy for the party that will give them a clear and intelligent message”. Her recommendation to Mr. Hudak:

“Come up with an alternative budget. Set out a clear, coherent document that shows exactly how he’d get the budget back in balance by the target dates set out by Drummond.”

Of course, Mr. Hudak and the PCs did not oblige (though Freedom Party of Ontario did, with its March 21 release of its “2012 Opposition Budget“). Instead, Mr. Hudak opted to submit an OpEd to the National Post, which printed it today: budget day. Those who read it will, I expect, shake their heads in disbelief. In his column, Mr. Hudak continues with the same strategy that allowed him to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory during election 2011: lots of over-played ranting about what the government’s doing wrong, and absolutely nothing in terms of specific proposals to which the public could hold Mr. Hudak and his PCs accountable.

To see what I mean, I’ve broken his submission into individualized paragraphs, and I’ve summarized each paragraph where the paragraph actually talks about things done wrongly, or things that should be (or should have been) done differently. Don’t look for anything like a promise going forward: Mr. Hudak speaks only of what he would have done, looking back over the last several months since the election. However, even where Mr. Hudak speaks of what he and the PCs would have done had they won the election in 2011, notice that Mr. Hudak’s would-haves are hopelessly vague and ambiguous. Read more

Health Care and Ontario's Deficit: The Shocking, Secret Truth About Who and What's to Blame

December 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Sunmedia’s Queen’s Park columnist, Christina Blizzard, today wrote about Ontario’s health care system and the deficit. It concludes:

Liberals have socked us with the two biggest tax hikes in the history of the province — the health care levy and the HST. And now they’re crying poor? They created this mess. We’re just paying their bills.

Given her message, the column’s headline (which Blizzard probably did not write) is a knee-slapper of hypocrisy: “Stop blaming and start restraining“. I agree with the sentiment of the headline, but it sure as heck is not the case that the PCs are somehow any better than the Liberals with respect to Ontario’s health care system. In fact, pinning the blame on the Liberals smacks of revisionist history. So I got to work writing a comment to the column on the newspaper’s web site. Of course, my comment has to pass Sun “moderation”, so there is a chance it will not get posted. So, for the record, here is the comment I submitted: Read more

Auditor General's report: LCBO colludes with suppliers to overcharge purchasers

December 5, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Through a perverse “fixed markup system”, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario increases its revenues by asking liquor producers to charge the LCBO more. So writes Ontario’s Auditor General in his annual report, released today (see section 3.08, beginning at page 186).

According to the AG, when the LCBO decides to stock a new product, it puts out a “needs letter” to suppliers. For each type of product, the needs letter tells suppliers the range of prices at which the LCBO would like to sell the product. That price is not based upon supply and demand. It is based on pure whim (which might explain, at least in part, why the Lagavulin I used to be able to buy for forty some odd dollars now costs well over $100 per bottle, only a few years later). Don’t stop reading: it gets worse. Much worse. Read more

The Electoral Fate of the Hudak PCs: As Predicted 11 Months Ago?

October 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On November 20, 2010, the party I lead – Freedom Party of Ontario – held a pre-election dinner for the October 6, 2011 election. As party leader, I gave a speech to the attendees in which I explained Freedom Party’s strategy for this election. Our strategy was (and is) based upon my predictions about the fate of the Progressive Conservatives in this election.

Did my predictions pan out? Judge for yourself: watch this video of my speech. Read more

PC Leader Tim Hudak Makes Abortion an Ontario Election Issue

July 17, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

In the last few days, the blogosphere and twitter have uncovered statements by Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Tim Hudak concerning abortion and the role of the government with respect to abortion. The uncharacteristically unequivocal admissions about his convictions on the abortion issue now make one thing shockingly clear: the fact that Hudak is leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives makes abortion an Ontario election issue. Ontario voters would be well advised to read on. Read more

Ontario Drivers Would Pay Almost $2.50 per litre Under Horwath's NDP?

June 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

{NOTE: There is an important update to this post, which follows the post, below.}

For those still reeling from, and disgusted by, PC leader Tim Hudak’s attempt to offer up an election platform promising to maintain the status quo on the very taxes and measures for which he is simultaneously condemning Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty (e.g., HST, health tax, out of control health and education spending, etc.), the release today of a gasoline plank by the Ontario NDP of Andrea Horwath is sure to make one wonder if we are living not in Ontario, but in Orwell’s Oceania. Fifteen days ago, the Ontario New Democratic Party of Andrea Horwath announced that an Ontario NDP government, if elected, would regulate gasoline prices at the pump. Today, Horwath promised a phased-in elimination of the HST: 1% per annum over the next four years, leaving Ontario drivers paying a 4% HST on fuel by the election of 2015. Horwath reportedly said that the HST cut would be in the amount of $500M, but that that lost revenue would be made up by taxing businesses (she did not say exactly how).

I submit that, just as Hudak is falsely implying that he is opposed to the taxes for which he condemns McGuinty, Horwath is trying to appear car-and-driver friendly while, in reality, preparing to conduct an all-out-war on the automobile, sufficient to force us all onto Soviet-style, creaky old “red rocket” style mass transit over the next four years. Here’s the deal. Horwath has already made it clear that an NDP government would impose other changes to ensure that her 1% per annum HST cut on gasoline will be revenue neutral. Given the NDP’s openly socialist nature, we can certainly expect an NDP government to be hostile to individual transportation, and to introduce measures to force Ontarians out of their cars and into tax-funded/subsidized mass transit. Read more

Tim Hudak's FaithBook: A Secret Second Attempt at Taxpayer Funding for Faith-based Schools

June 3, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservative party suffered a crushing defeat in the Ontario provincial election of 2007 due primarily to a promise to extend taxpayer funding to privately owned and operated religious schools. Yet, for the October 6, 2011 election, the PCs have again put faith – a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence – at the foundation of their entire election platform, titled ChangeBook. Though down-played in the express wording of ChangeBook, faith-based budgeting, faith-based climate-fighting, and – though neither the Liberals nor the mainstream media have yet noticed it – even taxpayer funding for faith-based schools form the substantive core of Tim Hudak’s platform, which – especially given ChangeBook’s obvious reference to FaceBook – would more appropriately be titled FaithBook. Read more

Hudak's PCs Propose Get-out-of-Jail Program: Taxpayers Would Pay Extra $3k per Inmate

May 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

You’ve been worried about not making ends meet; perhaps even worried about losing your job or your business. Gasoline prices are cripplingly high. The McGuinty government seems bound and determined to empty your wallet and make just about everything increasingly inconvenient and time consuming. Thanks to the McGuinty Liberals’ ban on Health Canada approved pesticides, you are now dealing with a season of sneezing and a host of critters that are destroying lawns and gardens all over your neighbourhood. You have decided, firmly, that you want McGuinty’s Liberals gone, and you’re looking for a better party to fill those vacant Liberal seats at Queens Park after the October 6, 2011 provincial election. However, today, you heard that the focus of Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is…wait for it…making you and other Ontario taxpayers pay an extra $20M, every year, so that violent criminals and convicted sex offenders can be let out of prison to get some sun and pick up some litter in your neighbourhood. Huh?

It is common knowledge, among conservative strategists, that there is a small block of voters who never believe that prisoners – ever – are truly paying for their crimes. That block will always approve of just about any additional punishment that any politician proposes. Yesterday, Hudak and his Progressive Conservatives thought they’d try to buy-off those voters by promising that a Hudak government would make convicts in provincial detention centres do up to 40 hours of work each week. On the surface, it sounds like a get-tough-on-prisoners program. Scratch the surface though, and you will quickly discover that it is just the opposite. It is an easy-on-serious-criminals program that will raid the taxpayer’s wallet yet again, and endanger children and others in communities across Ontario. Read more

Proof: Tim Hudak's PCs Would Continue to Run Massive Deficits

May 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

If your intelligence is not yet insulted by Ontario Progressive Conservative (“PC”) party leader Tim Hudak’s claims that he will fight the deficit by finding “waste in the system”, it should be by the time you finish reading this article. As the October 6, 2011 Ontario provincial election approaches – and as Hudak does his damnedest to pretend that he would be fiscally responsible were his party to form the next government – the voter would be well served to arm him or her self with the key budget numbers and with a proper understanding of the political implications of those numbers. To that end, I trust the following will prove empowering. Read more

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