How many Ontarians know that Ontario PC MPP Ted Arnott tabled a resolution in the Ontario Legislature yesterday to develop a long-term debt plan? And, how many Ontarians know that the McGuinty Liberals rejected it outright? The answer is likely no one, or very few who are willing to talk about it. Why? Because the consensus media will not report anything that makes the McGuinty Liberals look bad and boy, does this rejection ever make them look bad!
Frankly, the only reason I know about this issue is because I am on the Ontario PC caucus e-mail list — you know, the same list that goes to the MSM. Therefore, is it any wonder that some Ontario PC supporters assume leader Tim Hudak and the PC caucus are not doing enough or that press releases are ineffective. Well, readers can decide for themselves. Here is the news release and Hansard record I received today (and only available on Google so far), with a few brief quotes from it below:
“Despite the government’s rhetoric that this [Budget 2012] is an austerity budget, in fact, there is very little austerity in it. Spending is actually up over last year by almost $2 billion, from $124.6 billion to $126.4 billion. Last year’s deficit came in at $15.3 billion. This … budget projects a deficit of $15.2 billion.”
“Over the past year, the overall provincial debt that each Ontarian owes, will rise from $17,766 last year to $19,243 this year. It was $11,339 when the McGuinty government came to power in 2003. This government will have increased that number by almost $8000 for each and every Ontarian, in just nine years….”
“This year, they will pay more in interest on the debt than they will spend on post-secondary education, more than they’ll spend on transportation infrastructure and more than they will spend on economic development….”[My highlighting.]
So, is it any wonder the Ontario PCs won’t vote in favour of the current Liberal budget when they plan to increase spending by almost $2 billion dollars while only reducing the deficit from $15.3 in 2011 to $15.2 billion in 2012? Yet, somehow the Liberals think they can pay off the deficit by 2017. Magical thinking anyone?
Anyway, when the inevitable question comes up: “Yes, but what would Tim Hudak and his PC Party do that would be different from the McGuinty Liberals?” Well, take the time to either read my interview with Hudak or his verbatim response in the legislature to the budget. It’s all there. There is no equivocation. There is no closet progressive hiding behind his rhetoric. As he said to me, he comes out of the Mike Harris tradition and those values are how the PC Party would govern Ontario.