The Ontario Liberals have been an utter disaster when it comes to hydro rates. Over the past ten years of Liberal government hydro rates have skyrocketed and they are set to increase by another 42%.The Ontario Liberals have also forced “Smart” hydro meters on an unwilling public, which have added hundreds of dollars of errant costs to hydro bills across the province. The Smart meters have NOT saved families money – as the Liberals initially claimed. Furthermore at more than $ 1 – billion, the cost to implement the Smart meter program has been an enormous waste of taxpayers’ money.
After promising not to raise taxes the Ontario Liberals surprised taxpayers with the HST in 2010. This new tax scheme has increased prices on many goods and services across the province and has hit Ontario’s families hard. Newly taxable items include: real estate sales, home heating and electricity, used car sales, internet access, as well as domestic air, rail, and bus travel. Let’s not forget the $ 45,000 severance packages for Ontario’s accountants and auditors – many of whom immediately transitioned to working for the federal government.The Ontario Liberals have ignored repeated requests from economists to make the HST “revenue neutral”. They have also ignored seniors groups and low income families that have been particularly impacted by the new taxes. Instead, the HST scandal has become the largest tax grab in Ontario’s history.
THE TIRE TAX
After promising not to implement any new taxes in 2003 – and reaffirming in 2005 that there would be no new tire tax, the Ontario Liberals again broke their promises. In 2009, Ontario implemented a tire tax that is the most expensive in North America.
Instead of calling it a tax the Liberals called it a “fee” and attempted to misdirect hardworking Ontarians. The program was designed to support an over-priced tire recycling scheme, which in itself was another Liberal failure.
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation was a government body that the McGuinty/Wynne government was responsible for overseeing. The MPAC significantly undervalued and/or overvalued numerous taxpayers homes resulting in either higher property taxes or a loss in home value. The MPAC refused to investigate the Auditor General’s initial findings.
Similar to the eHealth scandal, the CancerCare Ontario scandal involved very lax spending controls and oversight. Ontario’s taxpayers are once again expected to foot the bill for high-priced consultants performing questionable work. Over a brief two year period $ 75 – million was allocated to these consultants, many of whom are close Liberal associates and friends. Nearly $ 20 – million was directed to one organization – the Courtyard Group – without any bidding process whatsoever.
Allegations of widespread abuse of taxpayers’ money at Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. began to surface in the mid-2000’s. These abuses ran all the way from out of control expenses to outright theft of lottery winnings.Ontario’s Auditor General implicated the McGuinty Liberal government in the original mismanagement as well as the attempts to hide this waste from public scrutiny.Millions of public dollars that were meant to reach hard-working Ontarians were instead wasted by OLG employees on expensive dinners, gym memberships, and social clubs.Make sure you check back tomorrow for the next item on the Liberals’ “Legacy of Shame” list!
This scandal continues to be a strain on Ontario’s taxpayers, as after more than one billion dollars of wasteful spending the program has yet to be completed. Part of the massive cost over-runs involved frequent use of high-paid consultants who performed little or no work and billed taxpayers for large sums. The McGuinty-Wynne government has been unhelpful in trying to discover any wrongdoing and they have utterly failed to provide effective spending controls.The entire eHealth boondoggle has come to symbolize government ‘pork’ and cronyism.
After signing a pledge not to raise taxes in Ontario the Ontario Liberals introduced the Ontario Health Premium, which is the largest single tax increase in our province’s history.
This was only the first of many new taxes and service fees that McGuinty and Wynne would force on Ontario’s families. The Ontario Health Premium was also implemented alongside other legislation that delisted many services covered by OHIP, which now require taxpayers to pay out of pocket.