MPP JOURNAL for the week of March 26, 2021


David Tilson, MPP Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey

Ontario's Strong Fiscal Performance Leads the Nation

Smart consumers tell me that it pays to look around and compare prices and services. We are all curious about how much another house on our street sold for, or how much gas costs at one station and then at another down the street. Information makes us better and more savvy consumers.

This is also true in our roles as citizens and taxpayers. It pays to look around and see how the government that we support with our tax dollars is performing compared to others.

Recently, two of North America's leading public-policy think tanks, Canada's Fraser Institute and the Cato Institute of Washington, D.C. completed a very interesting study of the fiscal performance of 54 of this continent's jurisdictions. These experts ranked Canada's seven biggest provinces and 47 US states. The study aimed to provide Canadians with information about how provinces tax and spend. After all, it's your money, you should know how it's spent.

Of all 54 governments, these experts named Ontario as the best fiscal performer in Canada and the third best in all of North America. Only Massachusetts and Nevada came out ahead of Ontario.

"Strong spending control and income tax cuts helped give Ontario the first-place ranking among the provinces, and third place overall among fifty-four North American jurisdictions," explained the Fraser Institute in a news release.

Provinces that had the most success in eliminating and reversing large deficits fared the best in the study.

Under the Mike Harris Team, Ontario has done just that and more. Ontario is doing better. More jobs have been created. There is a restored sense of optimism and hope in this province. There is more opportunity and more investment. But, there is more to do.

In July 2000, the Mike Harris Government met The Common Sense Revolution's five-year goal of creating 725,000 new jobs. Since achieving the target in July, the Ontario economy has created a total of 807,200 net new jobs since the Harris Team's Throne Speech in 1995.

We can't take this for granted. The firm leadership and tough decision-making that has made Ontario the strongest fiscal performer in Canada must continue. Jobs and prosperity are the highest priorities of the Mike Harris Team. The opposition and the union bosses have criticized and tried to stop all our efforts to bring fiscal sanity and responsibility to this province. If it were up to them, Ontario would return to the high tax, high-spending, job-killing ways that prevailed during the Liberal-NDP rule. They would take us backwards.

Despite Ontario's record growth, we must continue to lower taxes and cut red tape to ensure we remain competitive in a changing global economy. That's why we are always looking for new ways to promote economic growth throughout the province, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government and to reduce the size of government. These goals are key to ensuring the protection of existing jobs and creation of new jobs for Ontario families.

The Fraser Institute/Cato Institute study tells us that in order for Ontario to continue its strong fiscal performance, we need to be constantly vigilant when it comes to spending and taxing. The Mike Harris Team is committed to reducing taxes and cutting red tape. Ontarians can rest assured that jobs and the economy are our number one priorities. We recognize that there is more to do and by focusing on these key areas, we can help create and keep more jobs in Ontario. Like you, we are moving forward hopeful and confident.

And the next time taxpayers are given a chance to compare the performances of governments, the Mike Harris Team will keep Ontario on top.

For further comment: David Tilson, MPP

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