It Is Time To Get Serious About Job Creation

April 8, 2013


Last month, Ontario’s private sector lost 58,000 jobs, the largest decline since the recession. March also marked the 75th consecutive month that Ontario’s unemployment rate was higher than the national average. With Ontario’s economy in serious trouble and after more than six years of below average performance, one would expect to see our provincial government implementing a job creation strategy. But sadly, we see a government preoccupied with clinging to power and putting the desires of special interest groups ahead of the needs of the 600,000 Ontarians who woke up this morning without a job or any job prospects.

Over their reign, the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals have enacted a long list of policy changes that have bogged down entrepreneurs in regulations and have made doing business in Ontario very expensive. Businesses that are trying to hang on here, are dealing with the highest electricity rates in North America, and the highest WSIB rates and property taxes in Canada. We have seen companies leaving our province in frustration and taking tens of thousands of jobs with them to our neighboring provinces and states. The McGuinty-Wynne policies have decimated our once leading manufacturing sector, shedding another 5,700 jobs last month, more than 300,000 in total since coming to power. The message is always the same; our Ontario businesses can no longer compete in Ontario. But the message is not being heard as we see new taxes being implemented again this month with the new trades tax and the Eco tax increase of up to 2,200% on farm and other off –road tires. When is enough, enough?

Eighteen years ago, Ontario was in a similar financial mess after ten years of mismanagement by consecutive Liberal and NDP governments that resulted in cuts in services and jobs. Back then, the people of Ontario turned to a fiscally responsible PC government to lead them back to prosperity and as history shows, Ontario’s economy roared ahead and became the leading job creator in North America. Ontario can create jobs again, but only if its government takes action to allow businesses to grow and stop the overspending that puts all our services at risk. A government’s role is not to create jobs, but to foster innovators and job creators – establishing an environment that encourages the private sector to grow, invest and create skilled jobs that contribute towards new infrastructure and social benefits, such as health care and social services.

Ontario is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a highly motivated work force, but it needs some help. We need to start by only having as much government as we can afford, getting our fiscal house in order, reducing red tape by eliminating the more than 386,000 pieces of regulation by at least a third, treating affordable energy as a cornerstone of our economic growth and by modernizing our labour legislation to deal with the new realities of the twenty-first century. The decisions won’t be easy, but if anyone believes that we can again prosper without cutting government spending, then let me remind them, we have a billion dollar power plant to sell to you. It’s time to put the people of Ontario first and change to a government that will make them a priority.