Ontario’s net debt has approximately doubled over the last decade and now stands at roughly $300 billion—or $21,000 per Ontarian.
Canada enjoyed an economic and fiscal renaissance starting in the mid-1990s that lasted more than a decade.
The Ontario government has dug itself deep into debt and continues to spend more than the revenue it brings in each year.
If the first step towards remedying a problem is admitting that you have one, Alberta is a long way away from fixing its budget woes.
Alberta’s budget, to be unveiled on Oct. 27, will contain the province’s seventh deficit in the last eight years, most recently projected at $5.9 billion.
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.
Provincial cries for more federal money are as old as Confederation, and rarely have any substance to them.
In a recent column in the Edmonton Journal, a local historian mused that modern governments have become too enamoured with “the unfettered market of purely economic conservatism.” He then equated higher taxes and more government spending with compassion.
As expected, the 2015 federal budget had the general feel of an election budget, with a small surplus and a smattering of initiatives to satisfy various voting groups.