Ontario premier Doug Ford has an unusual problem for a conservative. The provincial government’s Financial Accountability Office says that the government has a $2.1 billion budget surplus instead of a $13.5 billion deficit. This is an amazing turnaround of $15.6 billion. It raises all kinds of questions for me.
Many years ago, before the major use of credit or debit cards, I took a hands-on course in super-market management. The training was in one of the largest chain stores in the Toronto area. One of the things I found in cash management was that you needed to worry more about the cashier who frequently finished the day with more money in the till than the one who was a bit short.
One of the traits of the Harper federal government was this tendency to have more money left over each year than expected. What the Harper conservatives had learned was that money, promised to be spent, but not spent, was money in the bank.
There are cabinet retreads in the Ontario government who served in that last Harper government. They obviously brought some of those ideas with them.
And, you have to admit, $15 billion would have gone a long way in retaining nurses in Ontario’s health system. Part of it could have helped settle teachers into teaching instead of worrying about the cost of food at the grocery stores.
But the cheapskates in the Ford government would rather have ignorant voters think the Ford crowd knows how to manage their money. As it is, retaining our capabilities in healthcare, providing adequate teaching staff and in all aspects of managing government services in Ontario are in question. The Ford government cannot be trusted to spend the money it promises to spend.
The worst part of it is the failure to stay alert to cost of living concerns of those least able to handle them. The money for the Ontario Works program and The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) has been jerked away from these people and then only replaced when inflation is running rampant. Doug Ford makes Scrooge look like a saint
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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