Ontario: a province on life support

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Well here it is my fellow Ontarians. As of the release of this issue, our province will be knee deep in theatrical political campaigns. In one corner, we have the centre-right Progressive Conservative candidate Tim Hudak. In the other corners, we have candidates who will destroy the province. Amusingly, it’s a tight race.

I don’t have much against the provincial Liberal party, other than the fact that they’ve turned Ontario into a scandal-plagued, “have-not” province with a dismal economic record. Such a record involves higher than average unemployment, lower than average GDP growth, shrinking business investment, skyrocketing debt, poor spending, and abysmal foresight, all while being run by an unelected premier. At least Kathleen Wynne seems very friendly.

I’m convinced at this point that supporters of the current provincial government are masochists. Either that, or they are too deep in the partisan illusion to care. Almost every economic indicator reveals Ontario’s decline, so what reason is there to support the Liberals? If you want a more socialist approach to governance, vote NDP.

If you lean more towards capitalism, vote Conservative. If you’re socially left, vote NDP. If you’re socially right, again, vote Conservative. Looking at the proposed Liberal budget that sparked this election, there is nothing distinctly Liberal that couldn’t be emulated by Andrea Horwath’s party.

It’s time Ontario voters woke up to the obvious reality that the province is falling apart. Moreover, Ontario, which used to be one of the economic powerhouses of the province, actually receives equalization payments from the federal government to fund its slow and agonizing death.

But let’s look at what the Liberals have done right. I’ll ignore the tumbleweed that just managed its way into my working station, and talk about green energy. Ontario’s green shift has been disastrous: electricity bills have doubled, hydro rates have soared, and the promise of green jobs has not been delivered. In fact, at this rate, I think I have more toes than Ontario has sustainable green jobs.

To fill up for the established ineptitude of the Liberals is none other than Tim Hudak. Hudak will undoubtedly make a strong Ontario premier if elected, because his policies aim to help all Canadians. Although that statement is brimming with clichés, it doesn’t negate the truth. One of Hudak’s main goals is to bring the cost of energy down; anyone who has had to pay a light bill over the past five years has my sympathy.

Additionally, Hudak is pushing forward with his goal to create a million net new jobs over the next eight years. While it is unlikely that such a goal will be reached, the steps being taken will be able to spur economic growth, which is something Ontario has been starved of for some time.

Making matters worse, over the past decade, we’ve been hit with a barrage of scandals that should shake the confidence in every voter. But even with the scourge of corruption beating down Wynne’s party, people are still supporting the Liberals. This Liberal party puts Rob Ford to shame with its sheer amount of bad decisions. I would much rather have these politicians burning crack pipes than burning a billion tax dollars to win some seats.

With that said, I’m worried for Ontario. And you should be too. As of June, the minimum wage will be increased – but if the Liberals are elected, taxes will continue to rise. What is the point of a pay increase if the added income is leaving your pocket just as fast?

Look at what the HST is costing, pay attention to the creeping expenses on your energy bills, and realize that too much money is being taken off of your paycheque. As with many other crisis, the ones being hit the hardest are the hardworking citizens. And instead of spending less, this government is proposing another pension plan.

A spiral of ill-advised investing and frequent taxation (or “increased revenue streams” as they’ve started to call it) has already turned Ontario into a struggling province. This Liberal track record is one of waste, lies, entitlement and political games. Regardless of whether you believe Hudak is “too right wing”, or even if you think Andrea Horwath is too extreme, they simply can’t be any worse.

Ontario is on life support, and although the Liberals are proposing more health care spending, they’re actually pulling the plug.

 

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