Hey, an Ontario election is coming and while the media is predicting a Conservative majority (YAY) and have to come clean that I actually like Dalton McGuinty. He looks and talks like a leader. His policies… Not so great, however. He came in as Premier in a Liberal landslide in a province that only sees (saw) Liberal red and loved the fact that he ran the Daily Bread Food Bank or something like that. At the time I’m sure I made some sort of comment about electing a leader who spends their career taking from the rich and giving to the less fortunate. That got us Mayor David Miller and tons of taxes and it got us 7 years of scandal / high taxes and disrespect for the money you and I give in taxes to the province.
So this week’s Thursday Thirteen are the 13 things that will cause the defeat of the Ontario Liberal Party and get Dalton on the road to an awesome pension…
1. The HST – I was at the Canadian Tax Federation annual meeting and the lunch time speaker was Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and he explained to the group of us that even in a recession bringing in the HST Was necessary to keep Ontario competitive. I didn’t understand his motive then and I still don’t understand it now. Minister Duncan also said something to the effect of “no other party has the guts” to merge the GST and PST but he did. Errr, okay. Thanks Mr. Duncan. The HST added additional taxes to such items as Cigarettes, fast food and which was good, but there were way too many bad, such as home heating costs, gas, electricity, new homes (over $400,000 – after June 30, 2010 which was why we closed June 29th, 2010 on our new house), airfare, TTC / Go Transit / Via services, real estate agent commissions.
2. The Delisting of OHIP Covered Necessary Health Services – When McGuinty’s Liberals promised not to decrease any health services covered by OHIP, and not to raise taxes, some people bought in to it and others, like myself, raised their eyebrows in skepticism, McGuinty did not disappoint and did both by implementing the Ontario Health Premium (recall that “fee” we have to pay each year to the doctor) and the delisting coverage of Optometry, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Services for Ontarians.
3. The Ontario Health Premium – Mentioned above, this “fee” turned out to be the highest tax increase in Ontario’s history, and it was implemented not too long after McGuinty’s Liberals took power in 2003. I even remember him signing a contract with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – because I was working at the CRA at the time - to not increase taxes).
4. eHealth - This program never got off the ground and cost Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars and opened our eyes to the notion of sole-sourcing and untendered contracts and how to get the best price sometimes you have to get quotes for other service providers than to Liberal friends. Consultants were hired and even they spent money like there was no tomorrow, billing Ontarians hundreds of thousands of dollars per year while having the balls to expense a chocolate bar or a Tim Horton’s coffee. Shame.
5. The Tire “fee” – Just another “tax” that the Liberals brought in while in power.
6. I don’t blame just the Ontario Liberals for this one, I also blame the Federal Liberal party (or what’s left of it) but when the provincial HST merged with the federal GST, instead of firing all the provincial collectors, the Liberals thought it would be a good idea to given each collector a “severance package” of $45,000 each, then given them a job with the HST department.
7. Caledonia – Still a hotbed of criminal activity where Natives and citizens are battling for space and peace and quiet. Last time I heard from Caledonia, militant natives had blockaded the street and neither Police or RCMP were allowed to go in and break it up. Dalton… Everyone has right here and the people of Caledonia deserve to live in peace and quiet. Instead you turned your back on them instead of making tough decisions.
8. Under the Liberal party, University fees in Ontario have skyrocketed to the highest in Canada.
9. Don’t even talk about auto insurance in Ontario under the Liberals. I remember the Liberals promising to reduce auto insurance rates by 10% to be fair to families, but you know what happened here… Insurance rates in Ontario have skyrocketed.
10. The Eco-Fee - You may not have heard much about this “fee / tax” because the Liberals snuck it in with the HST but this fee was supposed to cover the cost of disposing of items that needed to be recycled but instead it never got off the ground and has cost tax payers a ton of money.
11. Let’s look at the next few items as groups relating to green initiatives; Smart meters – time of use rates, Wind turbines, hydro rates. All colossal failures. Smart meters work for my family because we do our laundry, use the dishwasher, etc. after 7pm to get the lowest rate and we have seen the benefit but from what I understand there are some people, like seniors who cannot wait for the reduced rates and them – on fixed incomes – have their energy rates go up (and HST on it too). Wind turbines, on the other hand, were an epic failure. There were grants given out for them that were much higher than the expected rate of return, they are unsafe and noisy.
12. The Federal Liberal Party was decimated. Ontario is next. The Conservatives care about your money and the NDP are just plain entertaining. That leaves no room for the Libs… Well, that and former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is their interim leader for the next 2 years. I shudder when I think about how bad the province was after Bob was forced out.
13. Sheer arrogance. I’ve heard the moniker “Teflon Dalton” go by and I think he actually believes he is unbeatable… I think the Federal Liberals felt that way too as did the Liberal who ran for mayor, George Smitherman. Their time is up. Time for a change.