Posted in Canada, Community, events, government, politics

Federal Liberal Government LOVES Provincial Politics, and Visa Versa


Remember in 2015, when the Huffington Post wrote about then Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne sticking her nose into the Federal Election trying to sway votes from the Conservatives towards Justin Trudeau?

Let me first disclose that my political views are closer to the right than they are to the centre, fiscally, and my social views tend to be closer to the middle, but on the left side of the middle.

I do not consider a political decision that I do not agree with to be a scandal.

I respect that parties have platforms which coincide with their political leanings and once elected, that is what will be coming down the pipeline, but I do not agree with the waste of taxpayers money and the continual lies which follow.

When Brian Mulroney needed additional revenue for the country he said he would bring in a Value Added Tax (VAT) and he removed the (what, 26%) manufacturers sales tax and brought in a Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He said it and he did it.

I may not like it but I respect it.

Jean Chretien, however, said something to the extent of; “If I am elected the first thing I will do is remove the GST.”

He did not.

The next time he was re-elected, he held up his red book and declared, re-election = no more GST…

It’s still here.

I do not respect the lying and I find the Liberal Party in Ontario and Federally to be smug and arrogant, like they think they are pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes and that nobody knows this…

They think we’re very forgiving or very stupid.

Either way, under Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, Ontario went from being a “have” province into a “have-not” province which might have more debt than “Greece”.

Instead of trying to find ways to not raise taxes, Kathleen Wynne is getting involved into the Federal election – taking shots at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and promoting Justin Trudeau.  My question is why?!?

As residents in Ontario, do we not want her focus on the province and the massive debt, or is it better for us if she is pre-occupied with the Federal Election and with making more TV commercials showing us that she can run.  A Premier that runs, is a fast Premier.

In case Premier Wynne reads this post, here is a reminder of the mess her government has created, and while not inclusive, these items alone should have been a reason for the Ontario electorate to no longer vote this government into office.

In no particular order.
1. The McGuinty Ontario Health Premium – The highest tax increase in Ontario’s history, implemented months after Dalton McGuinty was elected in 2003 on a promise to not increase taxes (even after signing a contract with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to not increase taxes). McGuinty justified his healthcare tax increase on Ontario’s Working Families by saying that he inherited an unknown deficit from the previous Government, yet here we stand today in Ontario with the highest deficit that Ontario has ever had, literally multiplied by the McGuinty Government and Ontario’s Unions. This was the first tax of many new taxes and user fees that Dalton McGuinty has imposed on Ontario’s Working Families in order to support his Union Boss buddies and allow the scandalous corruption to continue. (See: Globe and Mail: The health care premium).

  1. The McGuinty Delisting of OHIP Covered Necessary Health Services – Where after Dalton McGuinty promised not to decrease any health services covered by OHIP, and also not to raise taxes, he did both on the same day by implementing the Ontario Health Premium and delisting coverage of Optometry (Eye), Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Services for Ontarians. (See: Canadian Cancer Care Society: Mixed reaction to McGuinty government’s budget and Toronto Star: Hampton pledges to pay for delisted health services.)

     

  2. The McGuinty eHealth Scandal  – That cost Ontario’s Working Families a Billion dollars in wasted tax dollars (and unprecedented delays in the computerization of Ontario’s health records), and is a true definition of “gravy”, a term that also defines McGuinty’s wasteful mismanagement of the Ontario Government. Here we stand years after this initiative started and Billions of dollars in the hole, and still it is not completed. The eHealth failure was famous not only for its complete lack of progress, but also for its constant usage of sole-sourcing and untendered contracts to Liberal friends, along with scandalous expenses logged by useless consultants, eHealth Executives and Upper Management.  “eHeatlh” has now become a term that is synonymous with scandal, waste and boondoggle.  (See: Toronto Star: EHealth operation bled $1B and Toronto Star – Coverage of eHealth Ontario.)

  3. The McGuinty Slush Fund Scandal – Where Dalton McGuinty’s Government gave $32 Million to Liberal friendly groups (in the form of Government Grants) over a 2 years span with no formal application process and no accountability for how the money would be spent. Just, “here you go, vote Liberal!”  (See: Toronto Star: Insults and accusations fly in Ontario ‘slush fund’ affair and Toronto Star: New charges fuel ‘slush fund’ scandal.)

  4. The McGuinty Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Scandal – Where on the McGuinty Government’s watch, there were multiple accounts of catastrophic corruption related to Lottery Winnings being stolen from Ontario families by Lottery Retailers, countless OLG insider wins, Ontario family tax dollars being corruptly given out via sole-sourced untendered contracts to Liberal friendly firms, and massive Ontario family tax dollar waste via the horrifying expenses by OLG staff again allowed by the McGuinty Government (in exactly the same way it was allowed in eHealth). (See: CTV: Ont. gov’t scrambles to control OLG scandal damage and CTV: OLG: Billions in profits, but lots of headaches.)

  5. The McGuinty CancerCare Ontario Scandal – Yet another eHealth-style scandal costing Ontario Working Families millions of dollars. (See: CBC: Cancer Care Ontario broke rules: audit and Toronto Sun: A ‘scandal behind another scandal’.)

  6. The McGuinty Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC) Scandal – Where on the McGuinty Government’s watch, Ontario Families had their homes either significantly undervalued or significantly overvalued by the MPAC, resulting in either a huge loss of their home’s value, or them being significantly overcharged for property taxes. When provided the auditor’s report, the MPAC rejected investigating into the issue. In addition to their failures in providing the basic service for which they are employed, they also were caught in yet another eHealth-type expense scandal. (See: The Ottawa Citizen: Ontario auditor-general says MPAC shortchanges homeowners, hospital wait times not improving and National Post: Ontario’s Audit.)

  7. The McGuinty Children’s Aid Society (CAS) Scandal – Where on the McGuinty Government’s watch, Ontario working family tax dollars that were supposed to go towards vulnerable children in Ontario, were instead squandered on Luxury Vehicles, All-Inclusive Luxury Resort Vacations to the Caribbean and other vacation destinations, Gym Memberships and Executive Allowances for CAS Management. (See: CBC: Ontario children’s aid societies misspent money, auditors allege, National Post / The Ottawa Citizen: Children’s Aid funds misused, auditor says and Toronto Star: Opposition slams Ont. Liberals over CAS.)

  8. The McGuinty / Wynne Gas Plant Scandal – In order to earn a majority government in the upcoming election, McGuinty cancelled 2 gas plants costing Ontarians billions of dollars in cancelled contract fees.  Then came the lies: Having stated that as a senior cabinet minister she had “No idea” about this, Wynne then had all the emails deleted.

9.  Debt, Debt and More Debt.  As of September 2014, Ontario’s debt is $304.4 billion, an amount that has more than doubled in the 12 years the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals have been in office. That’ll be $22,382 from each Ontarian, please. We pay $10.56 billion every year just to carry that debt, which remains the third-largest budget item, behind only health care and education. And the Liberals plan to add another $26.7 billion to the debt with another three years of deficit spending.

10.  Jobs and the Economy – Ontario’s economy continues to struggle. We’ve seen job losses some months and modest job gains others. But despite huge tax increases and a struggling economy, we are still apparently affluent enough to pay for a newly-announced Liberal carbon tax, because, uh, Quebec is doing it too. Don’t worry about the details — Wynne will move very quickly to make you poorer before you even know it. And if you don’t recall the Liberals ever campaigning last year on implementing a carbon tax, you’re right.

11.  Sex education scandal. What is being implemented now is basically the same curriculum that was introduced in 2010. In that year, massive public outcry from thousands of Ontarians caused the Liberals to relent. But now the curriculum has been re-introduced and appears ready to be implemented with pleasure by the Liberals; they have a majority, and you must be homophobic or Conservative if you disagree with their sex agenda.  Ignore, for a moment, the actual curriculum, which is publicly available for anyone to review. The fact that it is being implemented without any consultation with parents is appalling. And then there is that small inconvenient matter of the former Deputy Education Minister Ben Levin (who served under then-Education Minister Kathleen Wynne) recently pled guilty to child abuse crimes, including making and possessing child pornography and counselling a person to commit a sexual assault. The agreed-upon statement of facts demonstrates Levin’s sick fascination with sexually abusing children.

Parents are owed every opportunity to give input into how their children are taught at school. That is especially important when the man formerly in charge of the education department has since been convicted of pedophilia. Rather than pledging to review whether a convicted child sex offender had his fingerprints on the Liberals’ sex education agenda, Kathleen Wynne has outrageously dismissed all her critics as “homophobic” or Conservatives. (The Toronto Star reported that “the Liberal government adamantly insists not, specifically in no way involved with the new sex education syllabus rolled out last week.”

The Liberals have rampantly abused the parliamentary process. Kathleen Wynne sued two Conservatives for questioning her role in the gas plants scandal.

Wynne is also happy to bribe an election candidate with government positions to step aside so her preferred candidate could run and ultimately win in Sudbury (another current OPP investigation).

When NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked why the Premier wasn’t showing up to Question Period, she was thrown out of the House by the Liberal Speaker. Yes, really; you can do all of these things in McGuinty-Wynne Ontario when you have a majority government and not a care for what anyone else thinks or says.

12.  Teacher, Teacher, Why Won’t You Teach Me?!?

The Ontario Liberal government and labour issues ran rampant throughout the Liberals term in office, with the icing on the cake being a settlement and then the Liberals paying the union $1,000,000 – described by the government as money for pizza”.

 

So fast forward to the Federal election, and here is Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau referencing Conservative leaders Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, as if to say that these leaders are bad for their provinces and thus Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would be bad for Canada.

Ummmmmm…

Has JT forgotten about how horrible and how corrupt the Ontario Liberals are, actually, were, as they no longer have official party status in Ontario. 

But Trudeau expects Canadians to buy into his rhetoric and believe that Scheer is dangerous, much like Ford – who accepted a near-bankrupt province and has been fighting to turn around the fortune without raising taxes as the Liberals do.

I think JT needs to campaign on his own record – damn – he cant do that because aside from his ill thought out cases of blackface and brown face, his only other claim to fame, legalizing marijuana, means his re-election hopes will go up in smoke.

 

Posted in #OHIP4IVF, Canada, Community, disaster, family, government, Life, money, Parenting, politics, Toronto

Ontario Provincial Election Primer 2018. Undecided? Read This!


On June 7th, 2018, Ontarians will get an opportunity to vote in an election which will shape the way our province runs for the next 4-years.

The decision we make, has to be made based on what is best for the collective whole, what is best for us, and what is best for the next generation of Ontario Taxpayers, and not based on what people will say about us, our Province, our Premier or our Prime Minister.

The task is a tough one, but let’s try to shed some light on the platforms and what to expect for the next 4-years, and see if that helps you decide who gets your vote.

In 2014, the Ontario Liberal Government made these promises;

Personal taxes

Liberal 2014 pledge was to “Raise taxes on top 2% of Ontario earners”

In order to see how they did, I pulled the Ontario tax rates from the Canadian Tax Returns from 2010-2018.

Ontario tax rates

2018: 5.05% on income of $42,960 or less, 9.15% on $42,963-$64,077, 11.16% on $64,077-$70,000,  12.16% on $70,000-$220,000 and 13.16% on income over $220,000.

2017: $42,201 or less @5.05%, $42,201-$84,404 @ 9.15%, $84,404-$150,000 @ 11.16%, $150,000-$220,000 @ 12.16%, over $220,000 @ 13.16%

2016: $41,536 or less @ 5.05%, $41,536-$83,075 @ 9.15%, $83,075-$150,000 @ 11.16%, $150,000-$220,000 @ 12.16%, Over $220,000 @ 13.16%.

2015: Less than $40,922 @ 5.05%, $40,922-$81,847 @ 9.15%, $81,847-$150,000 @ 11.16%, $150,000-$220,000 @ 12.16%, and income more than $220,000 @ 13.16%

2014: $40,120 or less @ 5.05%, $40,120-$80,342 @ 9.15%, $80,242-$150,000 @ 11.16%, $150,000-$240,000 @ 12.16%, More than $220,000 @ 13.16%

2013: $39,723 or less @5.05%, $39,723-$79,448 @ 9.15%, $79,448-$509,000 @11.16%, over $509,000 @13.16%

2012: $39,020 or less @ 5.05%, $39,020 – $78,043 @ 9.15%, $78,043-$500,000 @ 11.16%, More than $500,000 @ 12.16%.

2011: $37,774 or less @ 5.05%, $37,774-$75,550 @ 9.15%, More than $75,550 @ 11.16%.

2010: $37,106 or less @ 5.05%, $37,106-$74,214 @ 9.15%, More than $74,214 @ 11.16%

 

As you can see, the tax brackets move year over year, and there have been additional tax brackets added. Here is how much Ontarians earned, according to Statistics Canada census.

According to Statistics Canada

Individuals by total income level, by province and territory (Ontario)
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
number of persons
Total, all income groups 9,741,870 9,743,420 9,867,280 10,083,520 10,157,280
Under $5,000 872,840 799,690 805,190 855,500 764,990
$5,000 and over 8,869,030 8,943,730 9,062,090 9,228,020 9,392,290
$10,000 and over 8,155,630 8,245,590 8,375,390 8,562,450 8,748,520
$15,000 and over 7,219,670 7,322,660 7,457,070 7,655,920 7,878,190
$20,000 and over 6,301,960 6,416,620 6,545,820 6,745,310 6,974,390
$25,000 and over 5,530,610 5,645,750 5,772,340 5,959,770 6,184,900
$35,000 and over 4,334,550 4,460,560 4,582,210 4,749,620 4,948,440
$50,000 and over 2,852,030 2,972,470 3,087,320 3,230,610 3,394,390
$75,000 and over 1,404,030 1,487,700 1,574,090 1,668,890 1,771,250
$100,000 and over 658,520 707,620 766,990 819,960 886,190
$150,000 and over 231,310 246,520 265,550 278,330 305,590
$200,000 and over 122,190 128,140 136,290 141,740 157,450
$250,000 and over 78,370 81,210 86,300 88,600 98,750
$
Median total income 30,290 31,310 31,820 32,380 33,840

According to Statistics Canada, in 2015, there were 10,157,280 Ontario Taxpayers.

For the Liberals to increase taxes on the top 2% of them would, mean increasing taxes for approximately, 203,145.6 Ontarians, which would be every Ontarian earning over $200,000 per year.

It looks like that has happened, and I’m sure many would support that, but have a closer look at the numbers, and you will see that in 2013, the top tax rate of 13.16% applied only to Ontarians earning over $500,000, but that was dropped in 2014 to apply to Ontarians who earned over $220,000.

In 2013, if you earned $200,000, your tax rate was 9.16%. In 2014, it was 12.16%, and in 2015, it was 13.16%

That is a 4% increase on the highest income earners!

Wait until later in this post to see what the Liberals did to the “middle class” and how much their taxes increased!

 

Corporate taxes

In 2014, the Liberals promised to;

  • Maintain corporate tax rate at 11.5% for now
  • Increase tax rate on aviation fuel
  • Remove small business tax deduction currently used by large businesses

Fact: Ontario Corporate Tax Rates have a low and a high, and in 2018, the rate was 3.5%-11.5%.

The low end is one of the highest in Canada, while the high end is one of the lowest in Canada.

Under the Liberal government who states that Corporations must pay their fair share, the Ontario General corporate income tax rate was:

14% before July 1, 2010

12% June 30, 2010

11.5% after June 30, 2011.

 

In the most recent budget, the Ontario Liberal government matched the Federal Liberal government and got rid of the Small Business Deduction – which reduced the corporate income tax rate on the first $500,000 of active business income of Canadian‑controlled private corporations (CCPC) earned to 4.5%.

As of January 1, 2018, the lower rate of Ontario corporate income tax decreased from 4.5% to 3.5% and CCPC’s with taxable capital is between $10 million and $15 million are no longer eligible for the preferential corporate income tax rate of 4.5% on the first $500,000 of active business income.

 

Jobs

In 2014, the Ontario Liberals pledged to;

  • Increase minimum wage to $11/hour
  • Spend $2.5 billion over 10-years on a Jobs and Prosperity Fund to attract and keep businesses in the province
  • Spend $38-million in the Youth Employment Fund in 2014-15 until September 2015
  • Simplify and restructure Foreign Credential Recognition Program
  • Spend $25-million in the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund over 3 years to promote aboriginal business
  • Create a regulated crowdfunding system
  • Spend $75-million on a “wine strategy” to encourage exports of Ontario VQA winesAside from really jacking up the minimum wage which resulted in the largest loss of part-time jobs in the history of this province, the government spent a lot of our taxpayer dollars in areas which are difficult to measure the cost to job ratio.

Deficit

In 2014, the Liberals pledged to;

  • Balance the budget by 2017-18

Not even close! Between 2007-08 and 2018-19, Ontario’s debt grew from $157 billion to $325 billion.

One only has to look at this chart from the National Post to see the damage that Liberal Spending has done to the deficit, which we all have to pay back, eventually.

In 1985, the Liberals under David Peterson arrived, marking the defeat of Ontario’s four-decade conservative dynasty.

In 1990, Bob Rae became premier with the NDP forming Ontario’s government for the first time in history and their tenure coincided with the worst recession since the end of WWII, resulting in plunging revenues and growing expenditures in an effort to maintain services and stimulate the economy.

The resulting deficits were as high as $12.4 billion and saw the accumulation of $63.4 billion in net public debt.

By 1995, Ontario’s net public debt had reached $101.9 billion.

The NDP government was replaced in 1995 by Mike Harris’s Conservative government, which began expenditure reduction (cut costs) and restructuring to balance the budget as well as tax reductions to stimulate the economy.

Lower taxes, lower interest rates and a booming U.S. economy together helped Ontario’s economy rebound and government revenues grew, helping close the budgetary gap.

Ontario balanced its budget by 1999 but its net debt still grew to $138.8-billion under Ernie Eves in 2003 from $101.9-billion in 1995.

The defeat of Eves ushered in the Liberals under Dalton McGuinty in 2003 and then Kathleen Wynne in 2013.

This period witnessed the largest debt accumulation in Ontario’s history.

Between 2003 and 2014, Ontario’s net public debt grew to $287.3 billion from $138.8 billion – an increase of $148.5-billion.

The Liberals reduced it once, by $1.1 billion dollars after selling of part of Hydro 1, but that surely cannot be the only way to pay down the debt, can it?  Once all the assets are gone, what would they use?

Ontario has been a province since 1867 but 87% of its net public debt was accumulated in the years since 1990.

*** Interest on this debt is $11 billion a year! ***

 

Health care

In 2014, the Liberals pledged;

  • Increase hourly wage for personal support workers by $1.50 in 2014 and 2015 and $1 in 2016
  • $20-million to improve access to primary care physicians
  • Expand home, community and supported home care for 46,000 more seniors
  • Access to dental services for 70,000 more children in low-income families
  • Create low-income health benefit to provide vision care, drug coverage and mental health services to low-income families
  • Eliminate service waitlists for 21,000 people with developmental disabilities
  • $5-million to Children’s treatment centres
  • Expand and improve hospitals over a 10-year plan
  • Cap or cut hospital parking fees for frequent hospital visits
  • Establish Patient Ombudsman

 

Unfortunately, this Liberal government will be known for failing hospitals, failing patients, and failing to take full care of the lowest income earners.

Instead of free medication for the poorest Ontarians, the Liberals provided free medication for children.

Nursing homes are still over crowded. Hospitals are still over crowded. Doctor’s are leaving the province due to the Liberals poor negotiation / tax increase on them.

Pensions/Seniors

  • The Provincial Pension Plan to provide further retirement savings to the Canada Pension Plan

But thanks to the Federal Liberal government, this did not happen and while the concept was a good idea, the burden of cost for administering this program would fall to the employers, who have already been hit with increased taxes, and in 2014, had no idea what was to come with the sharp rise in the minimum wage.

 

Education

  • Implement full-day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year-olds by September 2014
  • Expand student nutrition program to 340 more schools
  • Integrate 60 minutes of physical activity into the school day
  • 3-year $150-million spent on technology and learning fund for tools such as tablets and cameras and professional development for teachers
  • $10-million to create Experience Ontario – Done – Experience Ontario is a pilot program for a limited number of recent high school graduates who have an interest in attending postsecondary education or apprenticeship training, but are uncertain of their next steps.
  • Keep 30% off tuition grant for post-secondary students – Hidden tax increase because if tuition drops by 30% and teachers / teaching assistants, etc., keep getting pay raises, then who gets to make up the difference… Ontario Taxpayers!
  • Build new post-secondary campuses and create spaces for 15,000 more students – this was announced – to be built in Markham – a joint venture between Seneca College and York University. Ironically, after the York University FINALLY opened, a mere 10-years later than it should have, the government plans to build this campus where there is no underground service… Can you say commuter University part 2.

 

Transportation/Transit

In 2014, the Ontario Liberals pledged to;

  • Invest $15-billion in transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, including the electrification of GO Express Rail and downtown relief line
  • All-day regional express rail GO service in Waterloo Region
  • Invest $14-billion in transit projects outside GTHA, including $1-billion in Ring of Fire transportation infrastructure
  • Two-way, all-day GO Train service in more communities
  • $2.5-billion for highways including expanding Hwy. 427 and expanding Hwy. 7 to four lanes between Kitchener and Guelph

They didn’t agree to speed up the building of current Toronto projects like the Eglinton LRT, or the proposed Finch LRT, which has been dragging along for 6-years costing commuters and business owners significant amounts of money each and every day. Ultimately, they can propose what they want, but they have to get the job done, and that has not happened, anywhere.  Traffic is getting worse by the day.

 

Consumers

  • Lower auto insurance rates by an average of 15% by August 2015
  • Create Consumer Bill of Rights

This pledge was a giant joke, as Ontarians pay some of the highest insurance rates in the world, while Ontario insurance companies make some of the highest profits in the world.  Additionally, what good is a Bill of Rights without any teeth? 

Family care

  • Pay for one cycle of in vitro fertilization – check. Good one!
  • Increase Ontario Child Benefit to $1,310 & index it to inflation afterward – done. Currently at $1378 per child per year.
  • Call on federal parties to include a national child care program in 2015 election platforms… Err, okay, this has not happened. Maybe they should focus on, I don’t know, Ontario!
  • Increase Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program rates for people with disabilities by 1% in 2014-15

Where was removing the Child Fitness Tax Credit??? Wasn’t mentioned but was removed – essentially a tax increase! Families put kids in programs for health and due to the tax incentive.  The removal of this credit is significant, sadly.

WSIB is killing Ontario businesses due to the costs to administer and it punishes the workers. This needed a major overhaul, but wasn’t touched.

 

Environment/Energy

  • Eliminate debt retirement charge on residential electricity bills
  • Develop program to reduce electricity bills for low-income families
  • Keep Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program to help businesses reduce energy costs
  • Expand outer boundary of Greenbelt over next six years
  • Promote urban forestry
  • Address algae problems in Great Lakes
  • $30-million over next 10 years to maintain Walkerton Clean Water Centre
  • $30-million over next three years to promote local food
  • $25-million over three years for cycling strategy CycleOn
  • Expand provincial trail network

I’m not even going to touch this disaster portfolio by the Liberals. They spent, spent and then spent more, and they taxed, raised, and increased anything and everything to pay for their out-of-control spending. Gas taxes went up, user fees increased, hydro coasts soared, Liberals went to jail, Liberals went on trial, and everybody had to pay.

 

Political reforms

  • Maintain MPPs’ salary freeze – still $116,500 as it was in 2008. Not even increased in line with inflation. That must suck.
  • Cap public sector and broader public sector executives’ salaries – check
  • Reduce number of government agencies by 30% in 2015

There are currently 28 Ontario Agencies;

Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
Government & Consumer Services
Environment & Climate Change
Citizenship & Immigration
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Attorney General
Natural Resources & Forestry
Children and Youth Services
Municipal Affairs
Health and Long-Term Care
Treasury Board Secretariat
Tourism, Culture and Sport
Labour
Natural Resources & Forestry
Community Safety and Correctional Services
Education
Finance
Advanced Education and Skills Development
Transportation
Northern Development and Mines
Research, Innovation and Science
Energy
Infrastructure
International Trade
Housing
Children and Youth Services
Francophone Affairs
Community and Social Services

In 2010, I counted 26 of them. I’m sure there must be more, but merging them together doesn’t mean efficiencies were created, it just means fewer web-pages to have to update.

  • Introduce financial accountability officer – done
  • Give municipalities option of ranked ballots as an alternative to first-past-the-post in elections

After a review of the facts, this government has essentially lived up to their spending promises, however, there are 2 areas where I believe they failed miserably;

  1. Spending, and
  2. Taxation.

Increased spending where there is a balanced budget means the government takes in X amount of dollars in tax from Ontarians, and spends X amount of dollars.Unfortunately for all Ontarians, the government took in X amount of dollars from Ontarians, yet spent hundreds of billions of dollars more than they took in.

The effect of this spending means that Ontario has to borrow the money and has to pay interest on this borrowed money.

The amount Ontario has borrowed, or the deficit, currently stands at $325 billion dollars!

Imagine earning $100,000 per year, and borrowing $30 million dollars from the bank?  Then having to borrow more and more each year just to make the minimum payments on the interest to stay out of bankruptcy?  That debt will never be paid off unless you earn significantly more amounts of money, reduce all of your expenses, and if the lender agrees to reduce the interest.

If, however, the bank calls the loan, then you are bankrupt.

The same holds true for provinces.

The long-term effect of this irresponsible spending is that going forward for every X dollars the province brings in as tax dollars, there is an amount, let’s call it Y, which the government MUST pay in interest to the bank on the money they had to borrow. That means in order to balance a budget, they have to get even more money from Ontarians, which means even higher taxes, or they have to cut spending.

But if they cut spending, then they have to cut services, which is what they claim the Conservatives always do, so they don’t cut expenses or raise taxes, they do it in a much sneakier way so that you never know they are doing it.

One way this government has reduced spending and increased taxes, for example, is by getting rid of tax credits or deductions, such as the Child Tax Credit, or the Transit Credit. By not allowing these credits, the government no longer has accept less taxes from Ontarians and they win again because either these Ontarians will get back less taxes (because no deduction).

It’s brilliant.

It’s devious.

It’s immoral.

It’s like reducing the size of a jar but charging the same price. Consumers think they’re getting the same amount for their dollars, but in fact they are getting less and paying the same.

If the government told you back in 2014 that they would spend the province into bankruptcy and increase taxes by 3-4% on every Ontarian earning over $40,000/year while cutting credits and deductions, would you have voted for them?

Funny how that was never discussed…

 

Note: By moving the middle tax bracket, your $70,000 of income in 2014 put you in the 9.15% tax bracket, but in 2018, it puts you in the 12.16% tax bracket. That move increases taxes on the “middle class” without increasing the tax rate.  This was done while both the Liberal governments here in Ontario and Federally have been campaigning against the “rich and wealthy.”

These adjustments, along with the adding of levies, and user fees, and all those other words which mean tax, is just another way to prove that this government is underhanded and untrustworthy.

So instead of posting each parties platform and going through the pros and cons of each government, I decided to save everyone time and pull out what I feel really matters.

Liberals: More spending. Budget not balanced until 2024-2025.  Wave hands, and magically increase taxes on everyone over $50,000.

NDP: Even more spending.  Remove the power for governments to call an end to strikes. Debt and deficit to continue to grow.  Money to come from increasing taxes on the”rich” which we now know to be everyone over $40,000 per year.

Conservative: One or 2 years of deficit, then balanced budget and begin paying down the debt.  Plan to get more money into the governments pockets is not through increasing the tax rate, but by lowering taxes, gas, hydro, and letting Ontarians spend more money because 8% of that HST (consumption tax) belongs to Ontario.

Green: Increase spending for 2-3 years, no balanced budget for 3-4 years, and increased revenue to come from taxing the “rich” taxpayers and corporations.

 

Personally, if you ask, I’d rather tighten my belt buckle now and pay that bit extra in order to see the deficit reduced so that my children are not paying for this in the next 5-10 years.  Unfortunately, because the Liberals typically spend without consideration for where the money to pay for it will come from, it puts the next governing party in a bad light because they have to reduce waste, and cut where the Liberals didn’t want to.  It’s a great strategy to keep getting elected, but as a Taxpayer its annoying and unfair.

Good luck and get out there and vote!  It’s your democratic right!

Posted in Community, government, Life, politics, Toronto

What the Ontario Liberal Party, NBA referees and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have in common


I have to be honest.

I’m pissed off.  I am fired up and I have not felt this way in a LONG time.

What has me all fired up, you ask?  Well it is the common bond that ties together Ontario Liberal Party leader Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the referees of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who “officiated” the Toronto Raptors series against the Brooklyn Nets.

Any guesses?

Let me throw out a couple of terms which come to mind;

Stupidity.
Incompetence.
untrustworthy.

… and with all of these terms there is the one thing that binds them – that they are all completely inadequate at doing their jobs – and the frustration that they will not be punished for their inadequacies.

I’m at a loss.

Let’s start with the Premier of Ontario who took over from the former Premier but won this leadership role without a) knowing of any wrongdoing by the party before and b) took part in any decisions which were wrong (ie/shredding documents).  She thinks the people of Ontario are not aware that she is the exact same as Dalton McGuinty.

Really, Kathleen Wynne should not Wynne (err, win) the upcoming Ontario election, right?  She’s lied, played dumb, and is suing anyone who talks shit about her. She has proven to be a clone of Dalton McGuinty – spend first, then delist services and tax later. Then blame the Conservatives… Or the NDP.

Now that the campaign is on, I listen to her talk and no matter what she says, I cannot hear her.  I want to hear her – her message, her thoughts on the Province, on the city I live in, and on the hot button issues, but I cannot.  She talks and talks and I hear, “blah, blah, blah” and that noise is the past 9-years of Liberal rule and the lies, and waste that they have created all the while running the Province without any public scorn that has come the way of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (more on him coming up).

I’m angry because I feel like no matter what she says there are a whole lot of Ontarians who are going to vote for her anyways because the Liberals are the middle of the road party so a vote for them is a “safe” vote. But it’s an expensive vote!

I’m even more frustrated because I do not feel that the PC’s leader is fit for the job – he’s not warm and fuzzy like Dalton was – and no one wants to see a NDP government in power (thank you Bob Rae), I’m afraid for Ontario…

Now on to Toronto and Mayor Rob Ford, who continues to show even his most ardent supporters that he’s somewhere between a moron and a giant moron when he tells the public he’s not drinking anymore, that his drug use was a one time affair (drunken stupor, anyone?), and then he continues to get caught doing the things he’s been stating he was not doing.  On video yet!

So here is what I know now about him.

He’s a liar.
He’s a thug.
He has addiction problems.
He is in denial, and he thinks that the public will continue to forgive him time and time again.

That was until this latest video emerged of him getting high, talking rudely about fellow colleague Karen Stintz and in doing so, flushing away his chances at re-election.

So he pulls the rehab card.

And while everyone knows he should have been in rehab a long time ago, he has “checked into” the world’s most effective treatment facility where after one week he is able to make outgoing calls and report that he feels “incredible”.

This time no one buys it, and trust me… in the same way the Toronto Star refuses to touch the George Smitherman story, they will find Ford and expose him again.  Even toying with the idea of Doug Ford running for mayor was thrown out, the bottom line is that Rob Ford will not and can not be Mayor come the next election.  Politics is about trust and he’s blown it time and time again.  I don’t trust him, the people of Toronto don’t trust him and those who were out to get him from election day (hello Joe Mihevc) are laughing and laughing.

The final piece of this puzzle of stupidity have the names and faces of the referring crew who handled the Toronto Raptors series against the New Jersey (err, Brooklyn) Nets.  Foul after foul called on the Raps and you started to understand that the whispers surrounding this series might be true – that no Canadian team was going to beat the Nets.

Even after acknowledging that the Nets tanked their last 2 games of the season to set up a playoff series with the Raps, the league said and did nothing, and while fouled after foul were committed against the team from Toronto, they said little more.  It got to be so obvious that even in the game 7 loss, the refs called a foul on Kevin Garnett of the Nets instead of Deron Williams because Williams would have received his 6th foul and fouled out of the game, whereas KG could take another.  On this specific play, it was 100% clear that Williams bear hugged and took down the Raptors player and sat on the floor hands together as if praying not to be called.

Clearly guilty.

Until determined to be innocent by the referees.

It was awful.  Embarrassing.  A black eye for a league which already had to deal with a referee who was cooking games for betting purposes.  The league would have been wise to comment at any point in time to suggest there was nothing happening – even suggest there would be a review – but the league was silent and the Raptors lost.

 

So here I sit, frustrated that Wynne, Ford and these referees continue on today as if they have legitimacy in their roles but they do not.

They lie, cheat and steal and until we, the public, have our say and force them to find a different job, we will continue to be frustrated, and shake our heads in bewilderment.

 

 

Posted in news, politics

Undecided? Not sure who to vote for in the Ontario Election? You MUST read this!


So the Ontario election is coming up on this Thursday, October 6th, and you, like many I have spoken to are undecided. Whatever should you do?

Let me give you some suggestions / recommendations / my opinion to see if I can help you make a decision.

1. Vote. Regardless of whom you decide to vote for, it’s your democratic right to vote and you should do just that for the billions of people who cannot vote, or who are in countries where they are not allowed to participate in the vote for fear of being punished.

2. Vote Liberal. Are you shocked? Me too. I cannot believe I wrote this. If broken promises, an unclear platform, secretive sex education to grade 1 students, a billion wasted on eHealth, cigarettes for votes and all that is to your liking, then put that “X” for good ‘ol Dalton. If, on the other hand you are holding back on voting for Timmy Hudak because he doesn’t look the part, or you don’t get that warm fuzzy feeling, I leave you with this advice… We know what damage Dalton has done. You don’t know what damage – or good – that the PC’s can do.  We’re still in a recession and conservatives are good to have in power during this time.  See Stephen Harper and Canada.

3. Have NDP Leader over for a BBQ. Of the 3 leaders a poll indicated that most Ontarians would like to have NDP Leader Andrea Horwath over for a BBQ and hang with her. I’m all for that. She seems nice and all, but be carefull what you wish for. I saw a great cartoon explaining socialism, which I will post if I can find it, but there was a poor guy in the street asking some guy for money and the guy responded “SURE!!!” and as he’s doing that he is reaching into the picket of the guy standing behind him – lifting his wallet and grabbing the money needed to give to the poor guy. Am I saying that socialists are thieves? Heck no. I’m saying the rob Peter to pay Paul routine gets tiring after a while. If the NDP we to – heaven forbid – take power of Ontario again – SEE BOB RAE – then all the “Peter’s” will leave the province. No Peter… No money for Paul.

4. I don’t smoke but I do like my cookies. Thank you Liberal MPP Mike Colle for the Dad’s Oatmeal cookie at the Eglinton West station this morning, with your campaign sticker on the back. You are not in my riding, I’m voting PC and you told me last month to vote Liberal so there are “not Conservatives at all three levels of government”. Ummm, good platform.

5. Where exactly was George Smitherman’s donor list? I suspect some of you are looking at this and are ready to dismiss this. It was an issue from the Toronto Mayoral election when now-Mayor Rob Ford disclosed his donor list and former Liberal health cabinet minister Smitherman refused to. Sure 4 months aft the election he had to, but I still do not recall seeing that. So why the concern? As Health Minister, Smitherman was in command of a billion dollars of your and my tax money which was wasted. Did he accept the blame? Nope. Did he blame others… Yup. And he ran away from Provincial politics all the way back to Toronto in hopes of being elected the mayor of Toronto. In doing so, he received donations from citizens like you (not me) and your neighbours, but he also took donations from some pretty suspicious characters. I recall Barbara Hall – former mayor of Toronto and now the Integrity Commissioner in her very non-partisan position was endorsing Smitherman. Something was not right with his campaign and I think he learned all his tricks from Dalton.

6. Thinking more Liberal and less Conservative are you? Here’s something you need to know about the NDP – Liberal unholy alliance. First of all, if the race is close, organized labour (unions) tend to remove support from the NDP and move to the Liberals. Secondly, the last time there was a minority government, the Libs and New Democrats worked together to push through all the Liberals legislation. Above board? NOT.

7. Speaking of organized labour… On Tuesday, October 4th, in Windsor Ontario, Liberal leader McGuinty got yet another boost from Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union boss Ken Lewenza. With polls still pointing to a close finish when voters head to the polls Thursday, the union chief took aim at Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s “defeatist attitude” in opposing government aid for economic development.
I’m sure he meant he didn’t like Hudak’s anti-union stance…

8. My friend, Mike Yen is running for the PC’s in Trinity-Spadina and he reported that a group on non-English speaking residents went to vote for him and asked the volunteers there to assist. They asked what number on the ballot Mike was – He was #8, but these volunteers told the group he was #4. #4 belongs to the NDP candidate in the riding. The volunteers… NDP sympathizers.
That, my friends, is dirty politics and a reason to avoid the NDP.

9. The Liberals vowed to fund IVF, not only because doing so is a kind thing to do, but mainly because doing so would save teh government a ton of money. It’s taken them 5 years to look into it. $30million to save $30million. Dollar for dollar. What is taking so long!!

10.  I almost forgot the HST!   What party increases taxes during a recession???  Right!  The Ontario Liberal Party.  And what did Finance Minister Dwight Duncan have to say about the HST?  He basically said that they brought it in because it should have be done years ago but only they had the balls to do it.  Yikes. The HST was not a good idea. It may never be a good idea. It should not have brought in during a recession, and in BC, where the HST also came in at the same time the HST did in Ontario, well that leader was forced to resign and it’s being removed in 2013.

So to recap:

NO Liberals.

NO NDP.

Yes to Voting

Yes to Premier Hudak.

Posted in government, Life

How to Confront a Back-Stabber. This is going to come in handy one day soon!


I saw this post about how to confront a back-stabber and all these warm fuzzy thoughts came back to my head about being stabbed in the back by a former colleague at the Canada Revenue Agency.

I hoped this article would give me all kinds of ways in which I could get even should the situation arise again, or given me some insight into how to handle myself professionally should our paths ever cross again because I hate confrontation just for the sake of confrontation.  I’m absolutely not going to seek her out to have a conversation with her.

The article, however, focuses on talking to the back-stabber in a non-threatening environment, and reminds the reader that a back-stabber act this way because they are insecure and that possibly they do this to protect a friend, or because they are finally in a position of power and don’t fully understand the repercussions of their actions.  The recommended approach takes the emotion out of the confrontation and provides a safe environment to let that person know you are on to their deceptive ways.

Here is the Coles notes version of my story;

While working for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) I had applied for many management positions in the almost 11-years that I worked there, but was never chosen to be a permanent Team Leader / Manager.  Many times it was because there were employment equity guidelines to meet, and as I was told, as a “white male” I would always be near the bottom of the list until our representation was met.

At first, I understood, but as I progressed and moved up in the CRA, it bothered me that I could “act” as a Team Leader, and I could manage teams but never permanently, as once I completed my MBA the decision made even less sense.

A Managerial position had posted in a different tax office, and I met all the criteria.  It would have been a new challenge, new people, new office, a fresh start and it would have been managing staff which I was quite good at, so I applied.

I was contacted right away by their HR representative which is unusual (to get into the CRA was an 11-month process)and she told me that I was by far the best candidate, and she asked me for 3 references.

I chose them, but in the process of checking them, the HR representative contacted my new Team Leader, who had been managing my team for only 6-weeks.  Not only that but she had been away from the office for 2-years on maternity leave and while she was gone, she had completed her qualifications, written the test and been selected to become the TL.

I was okay with that because when she joined the CRA, I had trained her and her friend and I had managed her on a couple of occasions.  In fact, prior to her return, I had been leading the team – handling any escalations, addressing staffing matters, set up the goals and objectives for the team and leading the team meetings.

When she arrived, I gave her all the information and took a step back.  She booked a meeting with me right away, sought out my opinions and asked me to continue helping out with the day-to-day operations, which I did.

Then after 6 weeks, she was gone.  Nobody knew where she went or what had happened to her, but I later found out that she left to accept another position (and she didn’t even telling the team), so the Assistant Director appointed another team leader to run our team, and she booked a meeting with me and asked me to continue to run it for her.

Sounds okay, right.

Here is where it gets wacky.

Since it takes ages for government processes to run their course, 5 or 6 months had passed when I was approached out of no where by a colleague about a rumour that she had heard that I was not going to get this position because this outgoing TL had told the hiring board that I was a terrible leader.

How this colleague even knew I had applied was a shock to me.

Silly as it seems (and those of you never having worked in government you may think this is all crap, but it is SO true and happens all the time) so I called HR, who told me that a “better candidate was selected”.

I waited until the posting was public and realized the candidate had nowhere near the experience, or education that I had, and clearly HR made this decision because of what the TL said.

It bothered me, but I was now looking for roles in the private sector, and found one as the Tax Manager of a large Transfer Agent.  Upon leaving the CRA, I requested access to all of my records and in doing so I was given a copy of the written reference that this TL provided to the board.

It was a joke.

In the area that asked if I had ever led a team formally or informally, she said “no”.

In the area where it asked if I had any experience with goals or objectives, she said “no”.

Under the last area asking if I was good with people and would – in her opinion – be able to lead a team, she said, “no”.

And as such, due to her treating this matter like it was a big high-school joke – I was denied this position.

I wanted to confront her but not because I hold a grudge but because with the casualness this woman lied to the hiring board, I wanted her to know that I knew what she had done.  If she can lie to her employer with such ease, she must be able to do the same to her children and her family.

I wonder how she would feel if that happened to her, or her kids?

I also wanted to let her manager know the situation but it would have all seemed so petty and was not worth my time, stress and effort.

But what would I say? I’m an emotional guy and while this really upset me at the time, it bothered me more because it’s not right, it wasn’t fair and it was wrong.

Thankfully this article gave me some suggestions.  Now I know.

http://www.wikihow.com/Confront-a-Backstabber

I’ll update this post if I ever run into her again!