Flaherty takes a shot at Ontario

In Stittsville, Ontario, at what will likely be his last “media availability” before tabling the federal budget in a week’s time, I asked Finance Minister Jim Flaherty what he thought of the provincial budgets already tabled by Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He didn’t have much to say about those provinces, but he did say this:

“I’m concerned about Ontario. Let’s face it, the credit rating agencies have already warned Ontario. The Ontario government appointed Don Drummond to look at their situation. Don Drummond warned Ontario. What we’ve basically seen in Ontario is eight, almost nine, years of spending mismanagement. They need to focus, for the good of the country, quite frankly, on the spending side of the ledger and get things under control. What we’ve seen so far from Ontario and this is disappointing but not surprising is … this ‘we’re in a lot of trouble. Don Drummond says we are, so we’re gonna blame Alberta. We’re going to blame other Canadian provinces.’ Next week, I expect they’ll blame the government of Canada, the federal government, despite the fact that our transfers to Ontario are up by 77 per cent since we took government in 2006. This year, we’ll transfer $19.2 billion to the government of Ontario. But I forewarn you about that, that we’ll see this blame everybody else and don’t look at their [spending]”

One thought on “Flaherty takes a shot at Ontario”

  1. Flaherty left Ontario with a huge deficit when he was in the Harris government. Now, he can be smug because he is using Ontario’s money to dish out to the other provinces. Alberta gets an extra billion for health care. Where is that money from? Why is Ontario still paying 40 percent of Canada’s bills?

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