Premier Doug Ford continues to rant against the former Wynne government for leaving Ontario in a monstrous financial mess, but a closer look at the books seems to indicate that there’s more fiction than fact in Ford’s hyperbole.
On Tuesday in the legislature, Ford stated that the Wynne government’s shoddy financial efforts caused Ontario to lose 300,000 jobs, yet Statistics Canada data shows that Ontario’s economy actually created over a million new jobs in that time period.
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Ford contends that Wynne left office with a $15-billion deficit, but Ford’s number crunchers included about $5 billion in campaign promises that Wynne made in the budget her government presented just before the last election.
But Ford has cancelled most of those programs and the money was never spent, so it makes no sense to include those potential costs in their estimates.
The most controversial element in the deficit debate was Wynne’s inclusion of pension plan assets as government assets.
The PCs joined Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in vilifying the Wynne government for including pension funds as government assets, but a newly released assessment commissioned by the Ford government suggests that they accept the auditor general’s view of pension assets on a provisional basis.
In other words, if it makes Wynne’s bookkeeping look bad, they’ll use it, but in the future, they may use those pension fund assets to make their own financial situation look better.
It’s no secret that Ontario needed a change in government, but when the premier resorts to creating fiction over fact to validate his policies, we have a problem.