The Ontario government has never made a secret of its desire to have the federal government help fund Ontario’s provincial budget. It even started its own think-tank with $5 million in 2009, which regularly publishes reports that call on the federal government to rescue Ontario’s provincial finances.
Imagine you’re near what you thought was a dormant volcano but it suddenly erupts. Assuming you escape, you might later reflect that there was nothing “sudden” about it.
Amid a gathering fiscal storm, the Ontario government will soon table its budget for the coming fiscal year and beyond. There’s a lot riding on getting things right.
Over the past decade, the province of Alberta treated boom-time resource revenues like a permanent state of affairs. That set the province up for fiscal failure, for multiple lost opportunities.
Premier Philippe Couillard recently declared that government finances and the economy are his top priorities, stating that “the goal is clear: consolidation of public finances and economic re-launch.” This is laudable.
In the debate over whether the Alberta government should reduce and reform spending to cushion the blow from falling revenues, some claim higher taxes will balance the books.