It’s hard to promise the moon when the sun is setting on Ontario’s financial horizon. Tempting as it is for the candidates to cast themselves as progressives who can tackle poverty with passion or sound earnest on the environment, their margin of manoeuvre is limited by a battered balance sheet.
(Although that’s an understatement those are pretty harsh words for the Star!)
And that’s what’s wrong with Progressives right there. They only know how to throw your money at problems - until they run out,
Dwight Duncan has warned the leadership candidates that they’d better not deviate from his fiscal plan “because the credit rating agencies are watching”.
So the McGuinty government has even stuck it to its own successors.
I guess I’ll have to learn console myself with that tiny morsel of Schadenfreude.
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In case you missed this – Op-Ed: Ontario’s fiscal crisis looms as federal deficit under control (Cross and Joffe):
...Ontario cut spending sharply in the mid-1990s to avoid falling over its fiscal cliff. Future fiscal austerity will be more challenging, however, because it is rooted in structural changes as the population ages and economic growth slows. As spelled out in Don Drummond’s report on Ontario’s finances, this will require a fundamental re-think of how the government delivers services.
So, if bondholders are convinced they are not going to get stuck holding the short end of the stick, who is?
Here is a hint about the answer to that question: look in a mirror. The public will bear the burden of the spending cuts and tax increases that inevitably accompany the onset of every fiscal crisis, and there is no reason to think that will change anytime in the coming decades.
Scott Stinson: Ontario Liberal leadership candidates lack answers on how to end teacher dispute – Post:
…Sandra Pupatello, a former education minister, said the bargaining process used with earlier teachers’ contracts “worked well when we had lots of money to give,” a statement that says a lot about how the party approached budgeting…