Column: Ready to take on Kathleen Wynne and the provincial Liberals
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski
On March 10 the membership of the PC Party chose Doug Ford as our new leader. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Ford as we take our message of accountability and change to the people of Ontario. It is great to have the issue of the leadership race behind us now so that we can concentrate our efforts on the real challenge: defeating Kathleen Wynne and her tired, old, and out-of-touch Liberal government.
On March 19 Kathleen Wynne made a desperate attempt to pull a rabbit out of a hat, hoping she could fool the people one more time. She prorogued the legislature so that she could introduce a Throne Speech. A Throne Speech is traditionally used to signal a new beginning, and it is clear that Wynne and the Liberals would like you to believe that they can start all over again. I recently had the opportunity to respond to the Throne Speech and you can watch that response here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOWXzNfBQrc
Over the last 15 years while the Liberals have been in office, they have more than doubled the province’s debt, taking spending to record levels, but they have also made life harder for the people of Ontario. Let me remind you of the 300 per cent increase in your electricity bills, the endless increases in licensing fees of every nature, and who can forget the health tax? In spite of taking more and more out of people’s pockets, they still have managed to burden this and future generations with a debt that would have been hard to imagine only a few short years ago. Servicing the debt is now the third largest item in the provincial budget — exceeded only by health and education; this at a time when interest rates have enjoyed the longest sustained period at very low levels, but what happens when those rates inevitably go up?
It’s not like they haven’t spent money. The Liberals are very good at that. In 2002-03 government expenditures were $66.5 billion versus a projected $150 billion for the fiscal year of 2018-2019. The problem with Liberals is that they are more interested in simply spending money rather than being concerned with the results.
Liberals like to say, “Look at how much we have been able to spend.”
I like to say, “Look at what we’ve been able to accomplish by spending your money wisely.”
Despite the fact that they spend money at record levels, the services received by people seems to be fewer and fewer. For example, 34,000 people are currently on a waitlist for a bed in a long-term care home. What’s more, those aging at home are unable to get the care they need.
In a budget coming Wednesday, it is expected that we will be going even deeper into debt. Wynne and the Liberals have decided that the only way for them to win the election in June is to bribe you with more of your own money. What Liberals fail to realize is that there will always be requests for spending from the electorate: it is the job of government to provide the best-possible services while still acting responsibility and respecting people’s ability to pay.
As you read this we should be in the middle of Holy Week, a very special time for Christians all over the world. I hope that you have some time to reflect on how your faith impacts your life and those around you on a daily basis. Christ is Risen, Hallelujah!
John Yakabuski is the Ontario PC Party member of provincial parliament for the riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.