Wynne government missing big picture on Ontario finances

Even if the government is finally able to claim no deficit next year, the mountain of debt accumulated over the past nine years will still be there

Wynne government missing big picture on Ontario financesBy Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute The Ontario government is reportedly in a spat with the province’s auditor general about the size of last year’s deficit. The auditor general pegs the shortfall at $5 billion, whereas the government, using a different accounting method, says it’s somewhat lower at $3.5 billion. It’s not…

Labour peace carries a high cost in Ontario schools

Premier Kathleen Wynne is pushing for an extended contract with teachers as she prepares to fight the next provincial election

Labour peace carries a high cost in Ontario schoolsWith an eye on the next provincial election, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is attempting to secure labour peace in the education sector by extending existing teacher contracts. But a recent Fraser Institute study shows that, among the provinces, Ontario spends the largest share of its public school dollars on teacher compensation. Extending these lucrative contracts can…

Wynne’s education strategy all about her political ambitions

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is intent on bringing teachers into the fold with a new contract as she builds re-election allies

Wynne’s education strategy all about her political ambitionsThe Ontario government is signalling that the politics of re-election trumps good governance. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is secretly trying to negotiate a contract extension with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) to ensure labour peace before she seeks re-election. And she is even willing to change the collective bargaining laws that the Liberal government itself put…

Slow growth in Canada worsened by bad government policy

In recent years, Canada has seen an onslaught of growth-hindering policies such as increased spending and debt, higher taxes and increased regulation

Slow growth in Canada worsened by bad government policyBy Charles Lammam and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute It seems there’s no shortage of headlines claiming that slow economic growth is the “new normal.” The latest stream came from a recent speech in the United Kingdom by Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada. Like many diagnoses of slow growth, the…

Government policies threaten economic freedom in Canada

Policy developments at the federal level as well as in Ontario and Alberta threaten Canada’s reputation as a bulwark of economic freedom

Government policies threaten economic freedom in CanadaBy Fred McMahon and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Canada ranks a remarkable fifth in the world in economic freedom, just behind Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland. The “land of the maple leaf” is far ahead of our southern neighbour, supposedly the “land of the free.” The United States ranks 16th out of…

Band-Aids won’t work long for Ontario’s crumbling schools

$1.2 billion in new funding towards badly needed repairs doesn't come close to the $15 billion Ontario schools need

Band-Aids won’t work long for Ontario’s crumbling schoolsFor some time now, kids and teachers in classrooms across Ontario have been struggling with less-than-acceptable accommodations, ranging from asbestos to structural repair. Besides the obvious risk this puts our kids in, it's reckless to put this priority on a backburner. It deserves government’s immediate action. The Wynne government’s budgetary deficit struggles are well documented.…

Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan a recipe for failure

Huge cost to Ontarians, with very little benefit to the environment

Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan a recipe for failureBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute Over the past decade, Ontario’s economy has underperformed compared to the rest of Canada. Misguided policy choices, including tax increases and significant debt growth due to unsustainable spending increases, have contributed significantly to the province’s underperformance. The latest policy blow to Ontario’s economy comes from…

Ontario’s education file lacks accountability

The education department needs more than a fresh new face; it needs a full review that includes a new way of delivering on public education

Ontario’s education file lacks accountabilityAs is often the case with tired governments low in popularity and mired in scandal, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne shuffled her cabinet this week. The ministry with one of the biggest expenses – Education, at $22 billion – is also the most troubled. Under former Education Minister Liz Sandals, school closures, extraordinary payouts to unions,…

Balanced budget spin aside, Ontario’s finances are still a mess

In the absence of meaningful policy change, the province’s debt burden will likely hover near its all-time historic high

Balanced budget spin aside, Ontario’s finances are still a messBy Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute A new report from Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office suggests the province could finally balance its operating budget next year after nearly a decade of deficit spending. A balanced budget would be welcome (if overdue), but it should not distract from the fact the province’s fiscal position…

Ontario’s Climate Action Plan undermines case for cap and trade

Carbon pricing is theoretically the best way to reduce emissions but only if distortive regulations and subsidies are eliminated

Ontario’s Climate Action Plan undermines case for cap and tradeBy Ben Eisen and and Kenneth P. Green The Fraser Institute Proponents of carbon taxes and cap and trade schemes often defend their position on the grounds that simply attaching a “price” to carbon is the most economically efficient way to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs). They argue it is less economically damaging to simply…