COLUMN: Ontario, what a success

SOUTH DUNDAS — British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Measured against Churchill’s quote, the Kathleen Wynne Liberal government must be the most successful government in Ontario history.

Not only is the Kathleen Wynne government successful, it is blissfully ignorant of it’s success and continues to jump from failure to failure.

An article by the Detroit Free Press published Sunday reported that there is now more vehicle manufacturing in Mexico, than in Canada. Couple that report with the announced relocation of production by Toyota of their popular Corolla line of cars by 2019, and General Motor’s recent announcement of the laying off of 1,000 employees in Oshawa. One can draw a clear line between the evacuation of the automotive industry, and something being wrong in Ontario.

The first issue higher wages. All wages are, in the end, based off the minimum wage; that’s why it is the minimum, the baseline. Every time the minimum wage goes up, everyone gets re-indexed, or at least they should get re-indexed. With the minimum wage being at $11, soon to be $11.25, all other wages will move. But it is already one of the highest in North America. Increasing the minimum wage has not brought more prosperity to low-income earners, because costs have gone up proportionally on everything consumed. Groceries are up, gas is up, fast food, furniture, electronics, and so on. All moved up because the cost of doing business has gone up.

The second issue is higher production costs. When the Ontario Government passed the famed “Green Energy Act” it signed the death warrant for industrial and commercial development in the province. Passing legislation to purposely hamstring the economy and agree to pay the highest possible price for electricity, instead of the lowest price possible, defies all common and business sense. Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli stated that energy rates for residential users would go up 44% in the next five years. According to the Bank of Canada, inflation from 2004 to 2014 was 20.27%, Ontario Class B energy rates for industry has increased by 39%, or almost double the rate of inflation for that period. Manufacturers, large and small, would be stupid not to look elsewhere to produce their products.

The third issue is a more recent one, the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. This plan starting in 2017, will shave off 1.9% of your earnings, but also cost employers the same 1.9% as a contribution. All because the Kathleen Wynne Liberals believe you are too stupid or irresponsible to save for your own retirement. Never mind that for those in the later years of their work career, the ORPP will be a pittance when combined with the Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan. Nor the fact that even long term contributors will not have much more than a pittance from the ORPP when they retire. Consider the additional 1.9% cost to the employers, on top of the nearly double-the-inflation-rate increases in electricity, and obscenely high minimum wage. Factor those together and it is a wonder there are still any manufactures left in Ontario.

Blissful ignorance of the facts was a hallmark of the Dalton McGuinty Liberal government, and it is a progressive torch that his successor Kathleen Wynne has gladly taken up. When all the industries have left, and Ontarians that can move have fled, who will fund the progressive ways of this government?

What a success we have here in Ontario, what a success.


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