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!

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Will the Liberal Budget increase Capital Gains tax from 50% to 66.67% or 75%?


In the days before the Federal budget is revealed, rumours continue to swirl that the Liberals are going to raise taxes in a roundabout way, by reducing the tax break Canadians receive from capital gains.

In the 2007 Federal budget, the Conservatives increased the lifetime capital gains exemption 50% to $750,000, which means that the first $750,000 of the sale price of each shareholders company “Shares” will have a capital gain which is exempt from all income taxes.  The rate has changed over the years, so its’ not without reason to believe it might change again, especially in light of the money the Liberals promised to spend.

Currently, under the Income Tax Act, 50% of capital gains, on everything from property to stocks and mutual funds, are taxed.  The effective tax rate is therefore half of the marginal tax rate.  In some provinces, the current capital gains rate means tax of more than 25% on investments for high income investors.

Speculation is that the Liberals might move that taxable amount to 2/3’rds or 75% while they pay for all their election promises, and then eventually returning that to 50% near election time to encourage voter support.

With capital gains being taxed less heavily than dividends, there is little incentive for business owners to take cash out of their business and pay the taxes via dividends when they can just sell the company, pay the capital gain, and then start again.

The Liberals want to be more friendly to small business owners and the middle class, it will be interesting to see if they change this rate in the budget since they did not mention this in their election campaign.

A change of this magnitude might trigger an asset sale, or cool the real estate market for people who buy assets, then flip them within a short-term period of time, realizing a gain on the sale.

 

If I Ever Run For Toronto Mayor, I Want To Run As A NDP!


I watched the Toronto Mayoral debate forum, between Olivia Chow, David Soknacki and John Tory and I had an epiphany.  If I ever decide to run for Toronto Mayor, I want to be just like Olivia Chow.

Are you shocked?

I’m a fiscal conservative who would prefer to find efficiencies, reduce costs, tax less, and find ways to help everyone who needs help but as we have seen here in Toronto over the past 4-years with Rob Ford as Mayor, if you dare even make mention of cutting anything, look out.

When the Mayor commented about fact that there are a lot of libraries close together – some used much more than others – and some rarely used, he was branded a Neanderthal who couldn’t read and this fiasco even resulted in author Margaret Atwood being brought into the fray with jokes that she would be a better mayor.

If you cut, you must hate.  At least that is what the left will tell everyone.  Public service too large?  You hate unions.  Want to find cheaper ways to clean TTC busses? You hate transit.  Want to not pay for things on the backs of the property taxes? You’re rich and entitled.

Who wants all that crap!

I would want to be just like Olivia.  She was great in the debate.

Want better transit?  “Invest”.

Want to build lots of transit lines? “Invest” and “No more studies!”

Want to engage the youth? “Invest”.

Want to fight global warming?  “Invest”.

Olivia has all the answers, and at times, she had a very coy smile because she knew no matter what she said, there are around 28% of the population of Toronto who are going to vote for this modern-day Santa Claus.

You want transit?  You have to pay for it.  All Olivia needs to do is add a 1% how dare you be rich taxto the land transfer tax for every house over $2-million.  That will get me enough money to pay for whatever she wants.

Want more social programs?  Sure!  Once she adds that 1% “levy” (read: tax) on those nasty, horrible rich people (insert booing here) who dared to work hard and earn lots of money, and viola, there is money for social programs.

The debate, er, forum, went along like this through each and every question.  Screw balancing the budget.  Go away, you terrible rich folks.  Whatever you want, Santa Chow is going to get it for you.  Someone will pay for it, but let’s not let the details get in the way.  With that 1% she’ll have enough money to have studies needed to build more transit (her words last night and yes the same studies she criticized John Tory for wanting to undertake instead of just building now!)

It makes no sense.

She makes no sense.

But honestly, when nobody is listening to the message, it’s easy to be generous with your promises and critical of others who don’t want to have to raise taxes in order to fulfill unrealistic promises.  Where is the money going to come from to fulfill ALL her promises if the “rich” do not sell their houses or if they all move outside of the GTA?

My favourite exchange from the forum went something like this (paraphrased of course);

Q1: How would you get Toronto moving?”

A1: “More transit.  Invest in Transit.  Pay for it NOW.  Get started NOW.”

Q2: “Google is trying unmanned transit in San Francisco.  Would Toronto?”

A2: “Absolutely!!  We need transit moving on all the lines.  We’ll invest in that technology.”

Q3: “Unicorns.  I think Toronto needs more unicorns.  If elected Mayor, will you get us more unicorns?”unicorn tower

A3: “I’ll get those too!  I got free dental for seniors.  Subsidized metropasses for students and I love giving away stuff.  I can always raise taxes on the rich. I’m progressive.  Buy now, tax now.  The other candidates want to pay for studies.  I say forget the studies and invest in unicorns.  Why wait 10-years.  Get them here now!”

Toronto may not need unicorns, but if more than one-quarter of the city blindly support Olivia Chow’s platform, maybe after the 1% land transfer tax levy, they should all be next.

Who needs fiscal restraint when you’re spending other people’s money, anyways.

This modern-day Robin Hood has it all figured out.  Steal from the rich to give to the poor.

Psst… Want more trees too?

unicorntower2

It’s the Wednesday sensory post at Urban Daddy’s blog. Come touch, hear, taste, see and smell.


Today’s post at this urban daddy’s blog covers the five senses; touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing.  Originally my 5 included touching and feeling, lol, but I wised up when editing this post.  So please, have a read and let me know your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree.

 

And we’re off…

 

Can you smell that?

It smell like an election is coming to the province of Ontario.  To no ones surprise, the Liberal party is in fear that voters here might give them the same treatment that the Federal Liberals received so Premier Dalton McGuinty is throwing out the campaign promises left, right and… well, centre.  After 7 years in power and numerous taxes – and George Smitherman, the Liberals are promising to cut perks to MPP’s to the tune of $15,000 per year, and promising to refund passengers of GO Transit if the train / bus is more than 20 minutes late.  The NDP are countering with a pledge to remove the $45 fee for having a fire truck show up.

Can you hear that?

It sounds like choking and it was the Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo who has been talking the talking but his play has not been walking the walk… For his sake I’m sure all Vancouver fans were hoping for a shut out tonight and a Stanley Cup to go with his Olympic gold medal, but sadly the shut out came to Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and now questions about Luongo’s play, his comments and his value to the Canucks in light of his play and Cory Shneiders’s play will be a hot topic throughout the summer.

For me, personally, I was pulling for the Bruins (predicted a 4-0 win!) because I don’t like Raffi Torres, Aaron Rome, Burrows or Kessler and the whole lot of diving I have seen. It’s the same reason I detest the Philadelphia Flyers. Teams like that cannot win playing goon hockey because it signals to the rest of the league that it works. That is bad for hockey. Plus, any team that is being built for the future by the Toronto Maple Leafs and that eliminated the Flyers AND Montreal Canadians is great to me!  Canadians on the Bruins want to win it for Horton… Nathan and Tim.

Can you see that?

 I see Canada Post employees walking the picket line and frustration that this has dragged on. Shouldn’t Canada Post sit down with the union and realistically spell out the future? Let those who have walked the routes for years retire in peace and just curb the future hiring. If postal service is declining and an issue is the starting wage being $26/hr, up from $23/hr, then don’t hire more workers. Problem solved. I actually like, and respect postal workers. Say what you will, they do the job and are friendly. Iron it out!

Can you taste that?

It’s a bunch of lefties swallowing their words.  I think during the G20 summit in Toronto, when a mob broke out and started destroying the city, setting police cars on fire and causing chaos in this cit, the cry from the left was that the police (and the “man”) we squashing the constitutional rights of these protestors.  Free speech, right to assembly, right to destroy police cars, yadda yadda yadda,  I had that battle and now here we are in Vancouver and the hoodlums have taken to the street and have, are seen bouncing on police cars and being shitheads.  Yes, alcohol is a factor, but no one is criticizing the police for their use of tear gas in dispersing this crowd. 

Can you feel that?

That is what effort and success feel like.  Chris Bosh, LeBron James and the Miami Heat do have that feeling, nor do the Vancouver Canucks – he Ryan Kessler, that comment about winning and becoming a “legend”… yeah, not.  I also feel satisfaction knowing that I have stepped up my exercise for 26 consecutive days now while taking part of the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).  My team is doing great, and personally, I feel the need to walk as much as possible – as the team leader – to set an example and setup expectations with the walkers on my team.  I’m averaging almost 20,000 steps per day and now that my team has fallen to second for our company in North America, I feel compelled to walk even more to get us back on top.  That other team surely cannot keep up that pace every day… Can they?

I’m in the top 10% of the participants for steps (and 3 of my team members are averaging more steps – one has lost 15lbs so far too) and my team sits at 921st in the world out of 18,137.  Seeing these statistics and seeing the weight loss, feeling my clothes getting a little looser makes me want to walk that much more!  Go team.

Let’s Set the Record Straight: I don’t hate Liberals or NDP and their supporters… I just don’t understand them!


I felt like I needed to get that out-of-the-way in the title, before starting my post with this additional disclaimer.  I don’t dislike or look down at poor people either.  I was one myself – sort of, as a child who asked for little and needed little.  I grew up in what I would call a middle class area in Toronto and it could have gone either way for me.  I went to good, not great schools and my interests growing up were certainly not school, but instead hockey, baseball, wallball and soccer.  If my parents had allowed me to drop out of school (like that was ever an option) to play sports, I would have done it in a heartbeat. 

But I didn’t.

And as I grew older and realized I knew people who were much better with money than me, and I knew people who were much worse, my life decisions were made.  Spend $20.00 on cigarettes to be cool, or get good grades to build a future for myself.  With the support of my parents and some really awesome – incredibly smart friends in high-school, I worked my ass off on my academics, kept my nose clean (very clean actually) and when I turned 14, I got a job in the summer so I could have spend money.

I worked all summer and made $200.00 which I used to purchase a refurbished ghetto blaster.  It was huge, black and had movable speakers.  It was awesome and I loved it.  But it also made me realize that I worked so hard the whole summer and within 5 minutes all that money was gone and if I wanted to get more, I would need to earn it.  

For the better part of the next 4 or 5 years my sister and I worked for North York Parks and Recreation – sometimes in 3 different facilities on weekends, in the summer and sometimes both.  At one point her and I worked all day during the week in the summer, and on evenings and weekends – we had 3 jobs – we made some good coin at $5.25/hour, and we learned it’s more fun to earn your money than to be given it in the form of say an allowance or a handout.

So there is the basis for what I’m about to say and how it relates to my frustration with voters in Toronto and the promises (handouts) being offered by the Liberals and NDP.  

 Now, please all you tree-hugging, left-wing “commie pinkos”, I’m not heartless.  I’m what you would call a social Conservative, much like the party in power, actually.  I do understand there are some legitimate reasons why people cannot work, I also know there are many illegitimate reasons why people choose not to work – those ones like to play the system.  I think those in need should 100% be supported by the rest of the citizens of this country, rich and not-so-rich alike, and yes they deserve our support.  No one likes to see people living on the street, just as no one likes to find out that the guy next door living on welfare has a bigger TV than you and takes more trips than you because he’s living of your sweat and blood.

I also like trees, a lot.  I think we need to keep the environment in check at all costs and we need parks and clean water and safe foods, as much as we need smaller, accountable government and to know that our tax dollars are going to help pay for roads, hospitals, social programs and to make our country safer and cleaner for us residents and for tourists.  I do not, however, think it is ever acceptable to get caught up in scams and schemes which use taxpayers money to allow non-arms length business interests to get rich.  The Liberal Ad Scam make me sick to my stomach.  George Smitherman and his reluctance to provide his donor list in the last municipal election proved – no so much in the facts as he has yet to produce his list – that Liberals feel they can run government in a much different manner than you or I would.

I think I saw a Liberal ad last night during the hockey game in which Michael Ignatief referred to the Liberals and being your Liberals, like family.  Really?  Yikes.  Much like the family I don’t already speak to, I don’t need that relative who is going to go though the drawers in my house looking for spare change to take and them blame it on the Conservatives…

Get my point.

Now I know if you are still reading you are either a Conservative and are nodding your head up and down, or you are a Liberal supporter and are cursing me under your breath.  I fell I need to provide examples of what I feel are dirty politics by the Liberals and NDP which go far beyond their massive egos which lead them to believe in the first place that we need yet another election because “Stephen Harper doesn’t treat Canada fairly”.  No, he doesn’t treat you fairly and there is no better ego fix for Iggy or one-liner Jack Layton that to be Prime Minister, or Deputy PM.  This is very much an ego-based election than it is one based on policies.

As a country heading out of the recession which began September 15th, 2008, Canada has received top marks for being one of the countries least affected.  I know being in the finance industry, that I saw the job losses, the bankruptcies and the reduction in hiring, but I have also seen the turnaround at a time when other countries are still wallowing in despair.  But the Liberals would have you believe that was a fluke and now, if you re-elect Stephen Harper and the Conservatives they are going to buy helicopters (or fighter jets) and have corporate tax cuts… Yeah, and?!?  If that is what is keeping Canada out of the recession – defense spending and allowing businesses to continue to operate, should we now decide that is bad?  I’m not sure I’m following Iggy’s logic.

I know, Iggy… Let’s follow the Liberal model and spend as much as we can to buy votes and not worry how we are going to pay for it.  Case in point, Universities are a provincial responsibility, yet just a day into the election, here is Iggy promising to give each student $1000.00 towards their education (hear Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty scratching his head?). 

Okay, so you want to pay off the university kids right, for the easy vote.  A vote for Iggy means a vote for lower tuition.  Good one.  I’m glad Universities make so much money that they can forego those funds.  Wait, they can’t.  So that money is going to come in the form of new taxes.  Thanks Iggy.  I know tuition is out of control, trust me.  I worked all summer while in University to pay for my tuition when it cost me $3000-4000 for the year.  It’s higher than that now, but when I was working minimum wage was $5.35, now it’s $10.25 in Ontario – thank you again Dalton. 

So when I received my spring newsletter from my MPP, who turns out to be Dr. Eric Hoskins, (who knew since I’ve lived here for almost a year and didn’t know he was the MPP – but I guess in times of election, it’s time to show off your pictures in the neighbourhood helping out and of you with your fellow Libs), I wanted to see what platform he was standing on.  Fortunately for this post, our MP, Dr. Carolyn Bennett also crept out of the woodwork.  Her claim to fame was a private members bill to prevent the killing of the long-form census… Oh yes. 

So I decided to take a peek into these beautiful newsletters to see what the good doctors was doing for the folks in my ward, an ethnic part of Toronto which contains an affluent area and some pretty run down areas. 

Here is why – as a member of the workforce since I was 14, I will not be voting Liberal;

Under the section entitled “Tax cuts, Benefits and Tax Credits Working For You” I found;

  • The Libs permanently cut taxes for 93% of Ontarians (I am disregarding this since I vote for the person, not the party.  With no supporting figures to support this claim, I choose to ignore it and look for the footnote instead).
  • Eliminated income taxes altogether for 90,000 lower-income people (Wouldn’t lower-income people pay less taxes anyways?)
  • The Ontario Clean Energy Benefit lowers our hydro bill by 10% every month for the next 5 years (maybe to offset the disaster that was the Clean energy act and smart meters).
  • Increased the child benefit by $1000… For low-income families (I’m okay with this but have always wondered how to be sure this credit gets spent on the kids?  Make it payable to a day care or for a live-in caregiver?)
  • Introduced a permanent sales tax credit… For low-income families (in what form?)
  • Introduced a property tax credit and energy tax credit… For low-income families
  • and paying my family $1000 because they feel guilty that they put in the HST.

So moral of this story… The Liberals want low-income families to feel welcomed in Ontario.   They obviously feel that the middle and upper-middle class can fend for themselves.  You know that group, right… The group who work long hours – usually both parents, hire caregivers, send their kids to programs, private schools or after school programs, buy clothing and accessories for their kids, and for themselves, and who visit attraction in Ontario, eat out, volunteer their time and give to charity, you know the ones who, in a nutshell, stimulate the local economy due to their disposable income.  The message from the Liberals… We’ll help you, but you must be poor.  Frankly, I appreciate the efforts here, really I do, but I expected that from the NDP.

I guess when you aim your campaign against the Conservatives being for big business and for the “rich” you can’t put anything in your platform to assist the middle class or upper-middle class.  They, who are you elected officials, making over $100,000 per year must be able to go it alone if you vote for the Liberals.  Raise your families, stimulate the economy AND help the lower-middle class and lower-class. 

A vote for the Liberals is a burden to anyone who has worked hard to further themselves and their families.  Seriously… Why try?  Find a job working for cash, and live off the handouts.  Where is the incentive?  

At least the party that gave us George Smitherman (where is your donor list George?) and the eHealth scandal is not afraid to come forward and talk about their spend-first, tax later campaign against the middle class.

Federally, all the Liberals are doing is complaining that Stephen Harper, if given a majority government, will suddenly switch his agenda from that of leader of this country – steering us out of a recession, to Stephen Harper, the man who will waste money on helicopters and corporate tax cuts… Yeah, right Iggy.  That’s it… You believe that, because no one else does, or at least anyone educated doesn’t believe that, and I’m sure people who do believe it can be bought with fancy credits.

So what else have the Libs taken credit for?

  • That 200,000 more students are attending college, university or learning a trade
  • that they’ve increased graduate spaces
  • Capped tuition fees
  • Invested $6.2 billion dollars in higher education (umm, we’re in a recession guys)
  • recovering 91% of jobs lost in Ontario during the 2009 recession comparing that total to the 12% recovered in the US
  • They created a tax reform plan.  I love plans!
  • Invested $10.8 billion in transit since 2003 (cause that makes it look better)
  • Established Metrolinx
  • Committed $8 billion to Transit City
  • Committed $11.5 billion to a $52 billion dollar project in Toronto and Hamilton for more rapid transit.
  • Reduced crime by 17% since 2003.
  • Ensured safe drinking water and resurrected the dead.

Wow.  A lot of claims, commitments and a LOT of spending!  No worries about raising the deficit to stay in power, eh?

I’m just concerned that Ontario will do what Ontario likes to do and that is vote Liberal regardless of the policies or the parachuted candidates dropped into ridings by Iggy and friends.  Paul Martin, Jean Chretien were the same.  Stephane Dion was… Let’s not go there.  Bob Rae, they are all the same.   They are political celebrities who are above you and you should know that.  They make the bucks but criticize the Conservatives for wanting to allow people to make a living.   They want you to put them in power so they can run the country for their egos, not because they have a special policy or idea.  Ask Iggy or Jack Layton – all quips aside – what they would do different to steer Canada away from the recession and they’ll tell you Stephen Harper wants to but helicopters.  They won’t tell you that deep down inside they know that giving tax cuts and tax credits to people means either a giant deficit or higher taxes.  The can’t tell you that because who the hell would vote for that? 

They won’t comment to you that Stephen Harper also promised money to help students pay for their post-secondary education – but only after the debt is paid off because that is fiscally responsible.  As a person who has NEVER charged a single purchase on my credit card that I did not have the money in my bank account to pay for, I don’t understand the Liberals being okay with adding and adding to the debt and deficit and paying millions of dollars in interest.  What a waste.  Stop cutting taxes, stop giving credits, pay off the debt and deficit, then use the money that was paying down the debt to pay for social programs or to provide cuts for the poor. 

I guess I would be asking for too much. 

It just irks me that I try to keep my expenses to a minimum and being fiscally responsible in my house but come election time people vote Liberal without a hint of what the Liberals will do once in power, which always results in a raise in taxes (hello, HST!!!).

So please, read the literature that comes in and don’t believe the big red Liberal machine.  Ask questions, call your MP and MPP on their claims and see what they really stand for.  Is it you and your riding or is it about them getting elected?