Headlines in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and CBC all trotted out the cliché that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, giving the impression of a doomsday-like wealth inequality gap. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Roughly 12 hours after Premier Kathleen Wynne was re-elected in Ontario with a majority government, bond markets and international credit rating agencies sent her a powerful message about the province’s dismal public finances.
Asking for more money is common among municipal officials. Despite soaring transfers from higher level governments, municipalities repeatedly claim they need more because their revenue sources lack growth potential.
With Ontario and Quebec accounting for nearly 60% of Canada's gross domestic product, as they go, so goes the Canadian economy. Unfortunately, the economic news from Canada's largest provinces doesn't look good, and many forecasters are now downgrading their economic growth projections.
While part of the reason for their lagging economies stems from external forces (i.e., a shaky U.S. economy), the policies implemented by the Ontario and Quebec governments have contributed to, rather than mitigated, economic woes in those provinces.