Provincial government adjourns for the summer - back in September - lots of politicking ahead of us - this time next year we will have decided if we want the Liberals back in office.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 15th, 2017



The Ontario Legislature has adjourned until September 11, 2017.

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon set out what the government has done and the direction they expect to go during the balance of their term.

McMahon with senior couple

McMahon talking to seniors during her annual Tea.

McMahon is the Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport and a member of the Treasury Board – she is part of that group that determines policy and the direction the government wants to go in – they measure the risks that are both financial and political.

Governments do what they believe is best for the public that elected and what they feel they have to do to stay in power – it is always a very delicate balance.

In her report to Burlington citizens McMahon said:

McMahon at Up Creek - side view - smile

McMahon at a community event just after the August 2014 flood. she was instrumental in getting provincial funds into the hands of those whose homes were seriously flooded.

Ontario is creating opportunity and security for the people of Burlington and across the province through a series of comprehensive measures introduced during the spring legislative sitting. These measures support good jobs, fair workplaces and better wages, prepare our workforce for the new innovation economy and make life more affordable for workers, students, seniors and families.

Ontario’s economy is in a relatively strong position. However, many people are not feeling that growth in their everyday lives. To help more Burlington residents get ahead and stay ahead in a changing economy, the government has announced actions that will make a positive difference in people’s lives. These are possible because Ontario has balanced the budget. These actions include:

• Raising the minimum wage and creating more security for employees through landmark changes to employment and labour laws

• Making prescription medications free for everyone 24 years of age and younger through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare — the biggest expansion of universal Medicare in Ontario in a generation

• Launching a pilot project to assess whether a basic income can better support workers and improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes

• Making it more affordable to buy or rent a home, expanding rent control and bringing stability to the real estate market through Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan

• Lowering electricity bills by 25 per cent, on average, for all residential customers and as many as half a million small businesses and farms

• Providing access to affordable, quality licensed child care for 100,000 more children, including 24,000 in 2017–18

• Making it easier for Ontario businesses to grow and create more jobs by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens

• Creating tomorrow’s jobs today, and attracting talent and investment by funding transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and 5G (fifth-generation) wireless networks

• Continuing to stand up for Ontario workers and businesses by actively defending the province’s trade and investment interests with U.S. legislators and businesses.


Burlington MPP Eleanor|McMahon with a constituent.

“Actions introduced this legislative sitting are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives” said McMahon

The province goes to the polls on June 7th, 2018 when the government will have to defend this record which includes selling off a significant part of Hydro One and cutting hydro rates by 25% knowing that those rates are going to have to rise – but not until after the provincial election.

The provincial government finally eliminated its deficit, but its debt is rising to new heights.

Ontario net debt

The 2008 recession forced the province to borrow – that borrowing has slowed down – but they are now selling off highly valued assets – Hydro One – to raise funds.

The deficit is the financial shortfall during any one fiscal year – we spent more money on providing services and paying interest on the debt than was brought in as tax revenue

The debt is the money we borrowed when there was a deficit and we didn’t have the money to pay our bills.
One of the things Ontario did was sell a portion of Hydro One to the public. That raised a tonne of money which the province is using to pay for large infrastructure projects that we would normally have had to borrow money to pay for,

The province’s first balanced budget in a decade gets rid of a deficit that had at one point reached about $20 billion, and the government is projecting that balance will continue through to 2020.

The debt, however, is another matter. It is projected to be $312 billion this year, or roughly $22,000 for every Ontarian. It is projected to grow to $336 billion in 2019-2020.

The province’s net debt has tripled since the provincial Liberals came to power. In the last budget presented by Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives before the 2003 election, the debt was about $110 billion.

The overall size of the budget, meanwhile, has roughly doubled – from $71 billion in 2003 to $141 billion this year – the government is spending more money which is fine just as long as tax revenue covers all the spending – and that the tax rate is something the voters will live with.

Interest on debt is the fourth largest spending area, at $11.6 billion. It is also projected to be the fastest-growing spending area, at an average 3.6 per cent a year from 2015 to 2020, compared to an annual 3.3-per-cent increase in health and 2.8 per cent in education.

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown maintains : “There is no plan in the Liberal budget to get the debt under control.”

Patrick Brown Looking sideways

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown maintains : “There is no plan in the Liberal budget to get the debt under control.”

“We are spending more servicing the debt each year than we’re spending on all transit and provincial highways, more than we’re spending on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services…more than on care for seniors, more than investments in our post-secondary education, more than supporting northern communities,” he said.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said debt is in fact being managed.  “A first step to managing debt is coming to balance,” he said.

Combined debt fed + prov

We have gotten into a borrowing habit – is this the way to run an economy? There are different views and different political philosophies. It is complex – but we are paying the interest on this debt.

“The debt-to-GDP ratio is improving”, Sousa said, “and the percentage of the budget that goes toward servicing the debt is considerably smaller than it has been in years.

“We’ve locked in those rates over long periods of time to minimize volatility and risk,” he said.


The choices if you don’t like the Liberal government: NDP leader Andrea Horvath and Progressive Conservative leader of the opposition Patrick Brown.

The net-debt-to-GDP ratio is down to about 37.5 per cent from a high of roughly 40 per cent in recent years, but the government hopes to wrestle it down to pre-recession levels of 27 per cent by 2029-30. In the interim, the government has set a target of reducing that number to 35 per cent by 2023-24.

That’s the big picture – you get to decide if you can continue to live with it or if you want to get somebody else in the legislature and see if they can do a better job.  They do work for you – never let them forget that.


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1 comment to Provincial government adjourns for the summer – back in September – lots of politicking ahead of us – this time next year we will have decided if we want the Liberals back in office.

  • Roger

    I am not sure if it NDP, PC or Green – pretty sure my vote and a number of people I know will not vote to put a Liberal government back in Queen’ Park