04.24.2015 08:46 AM

Wynne’s budget: two linkless points

There’s not much controversy surrounding it, at all, because:

  1. She said, if elected, she’d invest in transit and infrastructure, and this budget is aimed at giving effect to that; and
  2. She (and we) know that, to pay for the aforementioned, she needs to do some judicious cuts.

Voters get all of that stuff.  They therefore know she’s on the right track.  Steady as she goes.



  1. Matt says:

    Whether she’s on the right track is highly, highly debatable.

    But yes, voters are getting what they voted for.

  2. TimL says:

    6 years now with no pay increase (not even your basic keep-up-with-inflation increase) for friends of mine that work in government. Fairly demoralizing for them.
    Surprised Wynne is still cowed by the Toronto Sun on that issue.

  3. Priyesh says:

    Agree except for one thing: selling off HydroOne is a surprise.

    Economically, it’s a huge mistake. Selling off something that adds to the good side of the balance sheet, into a private system that puts profits ahead of affordability. It will rob from the public twice over.

    But politically… most people don’t care. And the few people who do blindly worship at the altar of privatization.

    • Joe says:

      And the few people who do blindly worship at the altar of privatization or at the altar of state ownership. There corrected it for you.

    • doconnor says:

      “And the few people who do blindly worship at the altar of privatization.”

      Those that do have a lot of money and influence and can get hired as consultants.

  4. Matt from Ottawa says:

    I think the sell off of Hydro is a poor decision. First of all, during the campaign she chided the PCs for the 407 deal. Now shes selling off 60% of Hydro. I think this puts alot of trepidation in the voters minds. First of all, whats preventing it from becoming another 407 debacle. Secondly, if she must, she shouldve sold 49% to remain control, myself and I think many others are worried that even though there is a 10% max ownership, what prevents the 60% from colluding together, they have not addressed this sufficiently enough. Also, we Ontarian’s are facing another hydro increase in May, which I think this alone will stifle support. The 407 was a luxury really, its a hwy to bypass Toronto easily. Hydro is a basic need, the fact that this will be left to the private sector I think scares alot of people.

    • Michael says:

      Matt, I bet that when Mike Harris proposed privatizing ALL of hydro you were all for it.

      There is a huge difference between the sale of the 407 and the partial sale of Hydro One. The 407 deal was done behind closed doors, and sold for a fraction of what it cost to build or what it could have been sold for on the open market. The sale of Hydro One will be done on the open market. The government will get the full value of those shares.

      I would have thought that as a conservative you would believe in and trust the market. My conservative friends keep telling me how much more efficient private enterprise are than government owned ones. Are you know telling us they are wrong?

      • Matt from Ottawa says:

        Hi Michael!

        First of all, to clear the air, you seem to assume im Conservative. Why? Because I question Liberal decisions. For the record, I am not Conservative, and I am also non partisan. I dont believe in blindly following a parties decision. As for me supporting Mike Harris etc. Couple points there, one, is when that happened I was 17, so 1) I was not politically aware and 2) My first provincial election I voted in I actually supported McGuinty. Furthermore as I said prior, Hydro is a NEED /essential service, I dont believe that entities such as these should be privatised and myself and many others are concerned about Hydro increases. Finally, everytime as of late the Ontario Liberals seem to make a decision, it backfires and causes us the citizens in the end to pay for their screw ups – ehealth, Orng, Mars, Gas Plants, so the faith that Ontario citizens have is skeptical at best

  5. Africon says:

    Yes, very scary, PET’s pals in Cuba could teach us all about how basic needs being run by the “government” is the best way for all.

  6. Houland Wolfe says:

    Speaking of linkless, here a report that Forum Research (sigh) sees 40% of Albertans voting NDP, enough for government. Thoughts?


    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      Remembering that for the last Alta. election the polls projected a majority for Wildrose. I think that was also a Forum poll. Not sure.

  7. Kelly says:

    False choice. Infrastructure or cuts? How about deciding on infrastructure AND services, paid for with adequate taxes. Too many people are spending too much on an overheated real estate market and debt rather than paying just a little more in taxes and getting good services and good infrastructure with balanced budgets. Don’t fall for phony con voodoo economics. Tax cuts don’t grow economies only shift money from public goods into private consumption at the expense of fairness and security.

    • Joseph says:

      It’s pretty clear that the cuts you’re talking about are happening not because the Liberals believe in Voodoo economics, or else they would be cutting taxes and NOT spending on Infrastructure.

      They’re following this path because the electorate has become insanely hostile to taxes of any sort. Any government that promises to raise taxes is basically unelectable. What we’re witnessing is the slow death of democracy, as populism and the fiscal Conservatism that took root in California in the late 60’s and early 70’s has poisoned the well, perhaps beyond repair. Sit back and enjoy the ride. I’ll see you at the bottom.

  8. Timmy Horton says:

    Re: #2 – I’m not sure the unions that spent big buck$ advertising against Hudak would agree. Imagine traveling back in time about a year ago and telling those union voters that, in 2015 the Ontario government would be:

    – freezing wages and health spending for years
    – dealing with teacher strikes
    – taking their public sector assets to the private sector pawn shop in a desperate effort to raise some one-time cash to deal with the deficit (somewhere Mike Harris has a big smile on his face)
    – allowing booze in corner stores

    If you had told them all of the above last year, I’m sure they would have though they’d lost the election to Hudak.
    So, no, there’s no big controversy yet. But it will be interesting to see what happens as the unions begin to feeling that stabbing sensation in their backs, together with ordinary folks seeing their pay stagnate (or reduced via the Liberals pension plan) and their already-inflated utility bills continue to explode all at the same time.

    • Michael says:

      Timmy Horton, if they read last years budget there should be no surprise that there would be a wage and spending freeze. Knocking on doors during the election teachers told me they had no problem with a freeze and doing their part, they just did not like the imposition of a contract. They thought, rightly so, that it should be collectively bargained.

      The sale of Hydro One was a surprise. We shall see how that plays out. Even some Liberals are not totally comfortable with the sale.

      First off there will be no booze in the corner stores. Some grocery stores will start to carry beer & wine. You think people don’t like that idea? Everyone I know thinks the government didn’t go far enough. People great liberalization (no pun intended) of alcohol sales, not less. Wynne could probably have won a few more seats had she promised beer sales at corner stores. As someone who lives in rural Ontario where we actually do have booze at corner stores, I can assure you that no one has gone to hell in a hand basket yet.

      • Timmy Horton says:

        Actually I’m all in favour of finally allowing beer/wine in stores. My point was that you could excuse some voters for being surprised because Hudak suggested the same thing leading up to the election and it was the Wynn liberals that were against it, saying it would promote sales to minors.

        Many here seem to think it’s a good strategy to say one thing before the election and do something different after, then claim that the voter “should have known”. I’m just saying that it might be very ironic if it turns out that union voters, of all people, feel they were sold a false bill of goods for this and other reasons listed above.

      • Chris says:

        Teacher here, and what the government is proposing goes way beyond a pay freeze.

  9. ian turnbull says:

    She so much reminds me of Chretian. Run on the fiscal left and govern on the fiscal right. She will be re elected as many times as she choses if she keeps this up.

  10. ian turnbull says:

    sorry Chretien.

  11. cgh says:

    As Andrew Coyne pointed out yesterday, the federal budget and the Ontario budget are essentially the same thing.

    Both are slowly squeezing down the overall size of government rather than making any large cut in any one area. Both are reducing budget deficits by asset sales, the same asset in this case, as both are selling GM shares. Both are putting some pressure on public sector entitlement, and both have already booked these in their respective budgets. Both are committed to either no tax increases or outright tax reductions. Both are committed to infrastructure spending. Both are committed to the same job creation strategy: Canada Job Grant and Canada-Ontario Job Grant. And both are equally committed to climate change policy with no substance. The feds said nothing about it, and Ontario’s budget did a couple of paragraphs of hand-waving with no dollars attached.

    So in the end, what significant difference is there between the two budgets?

    Ian Turnbull is correct. Run on the policy left and govern on the fiscal right was exactly the same formula which kept Bill Davis in the Premier’s seat in Ontario for more than a decade.

  12. UFP Ambassador says:

    Great!! Bill Blair will be a federal Liberal candidate in Scarborough Southwest, appointed by JT himself. The gift that just keeps giving…

    • Michael says:

      It’s one thing if the average person doesn’t get it. But you would think someone posting on this page would know the difference between the Ontario Liberal Party and the Liberal Party of Canada, and realize they are not one and the same.

  13. UFP Ambassador says:

    Of course I know that, this was only active thread when the story broke, so I posted here. The mod would have bounced the comment I think if it was too out of place.

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