The seeds of Ontario’s growing debt addiction were sown in the fertile soil of the 1999 provincial election campaign.
Dalton McGuinty, the future premier, entered the campaign an unknown rookie peddling a platform he later admitted in his autobiography was “full of generalities but not much detail.”
McGuinty was, however, clear and detailed in at least one regard — his contempt for the debt incurred by the government of then-premier Mike Harris.
“The Harris Agenda has threatened our future by adding $22 billion to the provincial debt, increasing property taxes and introducing new user fees,” McGuinty argued in his “20/20 Plan, A Clear Vision for Ontario’s Future.”
“We would never jeopardize our long-term economic well-being with the sort of shortsighted, irresponsible policies put in place by the Harris government,” his 20/20 document suggested.
But that’s exactly what McGuinty did after winning power in 2003, and what Kathleen Wynne continued to do since succeeding him in 2013 — become debt junkies.
A Fraser Institute report released Thursday details the ballooning of Ontario’s net debt under the Liberals — which has almost doubled since ’07 and is tracking toward a record $318 billion.
The report shows that even if the Liberals manage in their upcoming budget, as promised, to balance their books in time for an election next year, they expect to continue racking up $9…
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