Re: Alyhsha Velji’s letter “Liberal spending hurts the future” in July 31/2019 Oshawa Express
I would start by saying that I have done a comprehensive deconstruction of the false messages about Ontario’s debt but the local papers see fit not to present the facts of that.
However, Alyhsha Velji has it all wrong. Ontario is not seriously in debt. It has an excellent credit rating – a rating that has been slightly downgraded since Ford bungled and threw away revenue sources.
Ontario does not have greater debt than California, as the total public debt includes municipalities and federal share of responsibility. That total for California and every sub-national jurisdiction is higher than Ontario’s, proportionate to population size. The debt to GDP ratio of Ontario is a healthy 37 per cent.
The Liberal spending has all been for productive purposes and for the repair of damage done by the Harris government. The province’s neglected power maintenance system and infrastructure is a big part.
Even so, it is not increasing the debt to GDP ratio as Harris did, when he put Ontario into a difficult position by reducing revenues. With Ford, the true debt to GDP ratio is also increasing for the same reason: lost revenues and unwise expenditures. From the start, the Ford message about debt was knowingly false. There are no comparable sub-national jurisdictions in the world. The powers and responsibilities of Canadian provinces are uniquely almost national in scope.
The national scene is similar. Harper incurred deficits by corporate tax cuts, while the prior Liberals had numerous surpluses. Harper increased the debt to GDP ratio after inheriting a substantial lowering. The current Liberal spending is not increasing the ratio.
Scheer is truly dangerous in his ignorance and ideological wormhole. The modern Conservative parties all are. All skewed to the far right of extremist social and economic policies to myths and long outdated ideas that serve only superstition for the first and wealthy elites for the second.