ONTARIO DEBT HURTING OUR COMPETITIVENESS

QUEEN’S PARK – A new study by the Fraser Institute provides evidence that Ontario’s massive debt is hurting our ability to compete with neighbouring U.S. states for jobs and investment, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown said today.

“These States are attracting companies Ontario should be getting because they’ve shown they are open for business. These Rust Belt states reduce red tape and have lower hydro rates while Ontario can’t stop spending,” said Brown.

“These States are attracting companies Ontario should be getting because they’ve shown they are open for business. These Rust Belt states reduce red tape and have lower hydro rates while Ontario can’t stop spending,” said Brown.

The Fraser Institute found that despite its comparative economic strength, Ontario amassed far more government debt than every single so-called “Rust Belt” state.  As of 2011-12, Ontario's debt was 36 per cent of the province's GDP (it’s nearly 40 per cent) compared to 5 per cent or less in government debt in the states studied.  The study also debunks the myth that external forces are to blame for Ontario’s ballooning debt and deficit.

"If the changing nature of global manufacturing could explain the debt and deficits in Ontario, then we'd see similar problems in the Rust Belt, but we don't," said Jason Clemens, study co-author.  As well, over a 14-year period, average government spending as a share of GDP in Ontario was 17 per cent, much higher than any state studied, and dwarfing Illinois (10.2 per cent) and Indiana (11.5 per cent).

Ontario PC Finance Critic and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says this is further proof the Liberals’ spending addiction is not only hurting Ontarians by eroding core services such as health and education, but it’s making us a less attractive place to live and do business.

“Once again, the Liberals have been presented with clear evidence that they’re failing as fiscal managers.  They need to listen to the experts and act.”