Premier Begs for Cure for New Political Disease: Gaposis

September 7, 2005 by  

On September 2, 2005, the National Post ran a column penned by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, the leader of the provincial Liberal party. In that column, the Premier bemoaned the fact that “the politics of the moment, the heat of the debate, or the emotional impact of that day’s headline” tends to derail the search for a better provincial-federal fiscal relationship. He explained that, to keep the search from getting “lost” in the politics, he proposes a royal commission to study provincial-federal fiscal arrangements. However, having so far conducted his free-spending government’s quest for a federal bail-out by angrily pointing the finger at Ottawa, Premier McGuinty’s sudden request for dispassionate, depoliticized research is, to say the least, hypocritical.

What is worse, the premier is not looking for answers. Rather, he wants the federal government to admit that there is a problem with provincial-federal relations. The striking of a royal commission by the federal government would constitute just such an admission.

The premier would do well to stop begging for federal money and admissions of guilt. The federal Liberals have the support of Ontario voters. And, as the premier knows, he is crying foul now only because of the utter failure of a health care system with which he refuses to part for ideological reasons.

In 1969, Ontario’s PCs imposed a government monopoly in health insurance and introduced provincial income taxation to pay for it. That failing system now consumes 40% of Ontario’s budget and climbing. Ontario’s personal and corporate income taxes combined are insufficient to pay the cost of socialized medicine in the province.

This is no time for politics and royal commissions. With the ongoing loss of Ontario’s manufacturing base to low-cost jurisdictions like China, the time has come for Ontario to question the wisdom of both Ontario’s health insurance monopoly and its income taxes.


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