Money: Randall Denley: Explaining the miracle of Ontario's disappearing deficit - PressFrom - Canada
  •   
  •   
  •   

Money Randall Denley: Explaining the miracle of Ontario's disappearing deficit

10:50  20 september  2019
10:50  20 september  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Ed Helms worried about explaining Demi Moore 'fling' to his wife

Ed Helms worried about explaining Demi Moore 'fling' to his wife The Hangover star Ed Helms didn't need to worry about explaining a rumoured fling with co-star Demi Moore to his wife - she thought it was hilarious. Helms was on holiday with his family after wrapping new movie Corporate Animals with the Ghost star when his publicist called to alert him to the fact a tabloid reporter had called requesting a comment about the on set romance that never was. The funnyman, who is also one of the film's producers, assured his representative there was no truth to the story, and then fretted about what he was going to say to his wife and mother-in-law.

It’ s understandable that Ontarians are cynical when it comes to budget deficit numbers. They’ve had years of training under the former Liberal government, which made an annual ritual of congratulating itself for achieving a lower deficit than it professed to expect.

Randall Denley is a Canadian journalist, author and politician. A longtime columnist for the Ottawa Citizen, he has also published three novels. Born and raised in London, Ontario , Denley graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a journalism degree in 1973.

Rod Phillips wearing a suit and tie: Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips, right, with Premier Doug Ford.© Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips, right, with Premier Doug Ford.

It’s understandable that Ontarians are cynical when it comes to budget deficit numbers. They’ve had years of training under the former Liberal government, which made an annual ritual of congratulating itself for achieving a lower deficit than it professed to expect. Not that the Liberals produced even a single balanced budget in the last decade, but they did create the impression of a determined crawl toward a distant target.

Then the PCs took power and shocked the public with the news that the deficit for 2018-19 would be $15 billion, far more than the $6.7 billion the free-spending Liberals had promised. That led to allegations that the PCs had inflated the number for political purposes.

Randall Denley: Ontario's new student fees policy is a chance for campus papers to prove their worth

Randall Denley: Ontario's new student fees policy is a chance for campus papers to prove their worth Ontario’s “student choice initiative” is a classic Doug Ford 1.0 policy, introduced last January when Ford and his team still thought it was wise to take on all comers in their rush to transform pretty much every aspect of the Ontario public sector. The policy allows Ontario college and university students to opt out of non-essential services, such as campus newspapers and radio stations, food banks, clubs and marching bands. The vast majority of what students pay for is sacrosanct, things like athletics, health and campus safety Student leaders are naturally upset about the prospect of losing financial backing for their favourite clubs and causes, and the Canadian Fede

Lisa MacLeod Ontario ' s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, speaks during an Even in the perpetual- deficit world of the Liberals, the level of service the NDP calls for was never attained. — Randall Denley is an Ottawa political commentator and former Ontario PC candidate.

Randall Denley : Let’s end Ontario ’ s ludicrous monopoly on beer. Randall Denley : Municipalities are miffed because reducing Ontario deficit will affect Ontario is not there yet, but Phillips’s plan is a step in the right direction. Randall Denley is an Ottawa political commentator and former Ontario PC

Now, we find out that last year’s provincial deficit was actually $7.4 billion. Not an inconsiderable sum, but $4.3 billion less than the PCs had estimated back in the spring. What’s going on?

For opposition politicians, who had always claimed that the PC number was full of hot air, it was superficial vindication. The actual numbers tell a different story and it’s a good one for Ontarians who are serious about bringing the province’s revenues and spending back into balance.

There is no doubt that the PCs’ initial $15 billion deficit number was maximized for effect. The premise was that the deficit would be that high if all the Liberal spending promises were put in place, but no one thought the PCs would do that. They made a few quick changes, reducing the deficit estimate to $14.5 billion. That was followed by more detailed work that took into account various spending reductions and a big efficiency push. The new number last spring was $11.7 billion. The province’s Financial Accountability Office looked over the government’s numbers and predicted a $12.3 billion shortfall. That was confirmation that the PC’s estimate was accurate at the time. A difference of $600 million on a $161 billion budget isn’t much.

Ontario's pot Crown corporation lost $42 million in latest fiscal year

Ontario's pot Crown corporation lost $42 million in latest fiscal year Ontario's pot Crown corporation lost $42 million in latest fiscal year

According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the carbon tax the federal government plans to impose on Ontario is Even if his numbers bear out, it’ s difficult to take Trudeau at his word after his dramatically broken deficit Randall Denley is an Ottawa political commentator and former Ontario PC candidate.

Randall Denley : Ontario ’ s deficit report shows cuts alone are not enough to restore fiscal sanity. The increasing demands of health care are one of the reasons why the Ford government is pushing so hard to get Ontario ’ s spending back in balance.

Now we’ve learned that those numbers were off by a mile, but in the right direction. What happened, and will it happen again?

The miracle of the disappearing deficit is relatively straightforward. Taxes came in $1.2 billion higher than anticipated. Most of that was a higher corporate tax take, the benefit of a strong economy. Program spending was $2.3 billion less than expected, primarily in education, social services and justice. Various other minor adjustments contributed to the $4.3 billion difference.

Not everything went down compared to earlier expectations. For example, health spending was up $300 million mostly due to the costs of a contract settlement with doctors and increased demand for cancer treatment.

For those who remain sceptical of the latest number, it’s worth noting that the figures have been signed off on by the provincial auditor general.

There is no guarantee that the deficit number for this budget year will be as low as last year’s. Finance Minister Rod Phillips is still projecting a $10.3 billion deficit and he will update that figure in November. That sounds like frustrating backsliding, but the changes of last year can’t all be relied upon to repeat. For example, business taxation fluctuates considerably and is difficult to predict. The savings the government hopes to make in education are all subject to successful contract negotiations with education unions.

Federal government posts $14B shortfall in 2018-19

Federal government posts $14B shortfall in 2018-19 OTTAWA — The federal government ran a $14-billion deficit in 2018-19, according to its latest annual financial report, the third year in a row with a shortfall bigger than $10 billion. The deficit for the fiscal year that ended March 31 was $900 million smaller than the government projected in last spring's federal budget, however. Revenues in 2018-19 expanded by $21 billion — or 6.7 per cent — compared to the previous year, said the report released Tuesday. The government's revenue ratio, which is total revenues as a percentage of the size of the economy, increased last year by 15 per cent to reach its highest level since before the financial crisis in 2007-08.

Ontario ’ s huge deficit and mounting debt threaten the services citizens rely on. That’s not just Premier Doug Ford’s problem, it is all Ontarians’ problem, and the public should expect every MPP in the legislature to help fix it.

When it comes to Ontario ’ s -billion deficit , Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet face two challenges. The first is simply making people believe that it matters. The second is doing something about it. Right now, Ford’s focus is on public awareness.

So how did the deficit number get so high in the first place? In part because of two big changes the PCs made. They decided to accept the recommendation of the auditor general that pension funds included as assets by the Liberals be excluded because they are not money readily accessible to government. The PCs also transferred the cost of the Liberal power rebates to the province’s books, where they should be. Together, those two moves added about $5.4 billion to the deficit.

When it comes to eliminating deficits, there are two schools of thought. The PCs chose the supposedly easy path of cutting the deficit gradually over five years. That hasn’t done much to lessen complaints about austerity and cuts, even though provincial spending is at a record high. The alternative approach is to move quickly and get it over with. The goal of the exercise, it’s easy to forget, is to create budget sustainability so that revenues and expenses are in balance and Ontarians don’t need to agonize over cuts in the future. That can’t come soon enough. If the PCs surprising deficit reduction holds up this year, Ontario is well on its way to balance.

Randall Denley is an Ottawa political commentator and former Ontario PC candidate. Learn about his new book Spiked at randalldenley.com. Contact him at [email protected]

Search continues for five kids last seen in Ontario but Amber Alert cancelled .
Police in Ontario have cancelled an Amber Alert for five children who were allegedly abducted by their father a week ago but say the search continues. Niagara regional police issued the Amber Alert on Tuesday as they looked for Eska, Evalyn, Magnus, Mattias and Sovereign MacDermid, who range in age from five to 14 years. Police say the children, who are all Asian, were last seen in the community of Jordan in the town of Lincoln, Ont., with their father, 49-year-old Ian MacDermid.Investigators allege MacDermid took the children from their family home sometime between Sept. 19 and Sept. 25.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 23
This is interesting!