The release of the Auditor-General’s highly anticipated pre-election report reveals what is truly at stake when Ontarians finally head to the polls on June 7. Ontario’s independent fiscal watchdog revealed that the government deliberately underestimated the province’s deficit for this year and the future. It isn’t $6.7 billion this year as stated, but $11.7 billion. The main reasons are the temporary hydro rate reduction plan, whose costs are hidden on OPG’s balance sheet, and erroneous accounting practices that the current government has repeatedly employed that consider pension plans as revenue. (They aren’t). At this rate, we will owe 40 percent of what we earn by the next election and have nothing to show for it.
Ontario was the most heavily indebted sub-national government in the world even before these revelations surfaced. This report provides a sobering insight into the disparities between the fiscal fantasies presented by the current government, and the dire economic realities our province faces. Ontarians deserve the truth, not the government’s re-election ploys. The government knowingly and willingly took the people of Ontario for fools, and they will do it again if they are given the opportunity. Ontario’s rightful place is as the economic engine and role model for Canada. The current government can lay no claim to either. On June 7, Ontarians will decide whether they condone a record of misspending, scandal, illegal government record destruction, and corruption, or demand change premised upon fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability.