2016 is the 14th consecutive year of Liberal government in Ontario. And the Liberal Party would like to tell you that Ontario has never seen better days. It was not long ago that Premier Kathleen Wynne claimed that Ontario’s economy is doing better than the economies of Canada as a whole, the US, and the rest of the G7 states.
However, is everything hunky dory?
Although Liberals are quick to point to their success, they are not so eager when it comes to addressing their economic failures. And the failures have been spectacularly disastrous. We take a look back at some of the biggest cases of wasteful spending by the Liberal Party in Ontario.
1. $70 million—on a tax plan that never took off
As Kathleen Wynne was busy explaining away how Ontario’s economy had never been better and celebrating the newly negotiated Canada Pension Plan, reports about the cost of the scrapped Ontario Retirement Pension Plan were also emerging. And the costs were unbelievably high.
Even before Wynne’s Pension Plan took off, her government had spent a whopping $70 million dollars on it. Some of the more surprising costs included more than $2 million for golden handshakes and severance pays for just the executive appointees and $8 million in marketing costs.
2. $44 million—on a jail strike that never happened
Another case of wasteful spending by the Liberals involves more than $44 million in expenditures to prepare for a correctional strike that never even occurred. And, when one examines the details of the spending, it becomes increasingly evident that it had very little to do with improving the state of prison security in the long term.
For instance, $32 million of the total was spent on one-time expenditures to prepare for the non-existent strike. This included the costs of arranging management and private security, all of which was ultimately wasted.
3. $1 billion—on gas plants that were never built
Perhaps the biggest case of wasteful Liberal spending was the scandal that led to the resignation of former Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty. Although his party may have claimed that cancelling two gas power plants had cost a total of $40 million, the true cost of the measure was far worse.
Some of the documents released after McGuinty announced his resignation reveal that the total cost of cancelling the gas plants exceeded $1 billion. Not just that. The documents also showed that the Premier’s office played a huge role in the loss.