The only way Ontario can balance its books is with a strong economy.  Cutting the provincial bureaucracy makes absolutely no sense because civil servants spend their incomes in their communities.  The labour expense of one organization is the revenue of another.  To get Ontario working again, my plan is:

Full Employment for Ontario

10 Million Jobs in Ontario in four years.
Full employment for the 7.5 Million people in the labour force.
2.5 Million jobs for people wishing to move here for a better life.

There is no need for public sector job cuts with tax changes, elimination of subsidies, and interest savings from the people and businesses in Ontario.  Operating our own bank as we have done in the past (1922-2003) would help to balance the budget and sustain growth by keeping more money here recirculating within our economy instead of leaving tax-free and returning as foreign ownership of our resources and industry.

It sounds a bit like the Ontario PC Party's Million Jobs Plan but it's 10 times better.  Why?  Because my plan doesn't have any delusions of bringing Ontario back to it former manufacturing glory.  Here's my plan:

Idea Details
  1. Eliminate Government Handouts and Subsidies to Businesses.
  • A good business plan does not depend on subsidies.
  • No need to pay businesses to hire people they would have hired anyway.
  1. Review & Revise Regulations
  • Truth & Reconciliation Commission for Regulations.
  • We need to rethink whether a regulation achieves its intended purpose and determine whether there is a better and more competitive way to achieve that purpose.
  1. Corporate Tax Reform
  • Let's revise the tax code to level the playing field for all businesses.  Investments that improve productivity should be rewarded.
  • Consumption taxes include life cycle environmental, health and resource depletion costs.
  • 10% non-refundable and/or minimum corporate income withholding sales tax on income generated in Ontario by foreign companies or ventures.
  • Ontario companies that pay as much as 35% in Federal and Provincial corporate taxes cannot compete with foreign companies that pay 5% or less. We need a withholding tax on foreign company revenue top ensure they pay tax.
  1. A Single Tax Rate with No Deductions.
  • Tax earned income at the same rate as capital gains and dividend income, not twice the rate as we do today.
  1. Banking Reform.
  • Re-establish the Province of Ontario Savings Office (POSO) to work with Credit unions and let it hold low interest mortgages for single family homes, condos, apartments, co-op, seniors, community or low income housing.
  • Ontario has the right to its own publicly-owned bank.  There is no good reason not to, many good reasons why we should, and ample research and evidence of the harm that is being caused to all of Ontario because we do not.
  • The former PC government closed POSO for ideological reasons in 2003, which had a major adverse effect on Ontario's treasury.
  • The publicly owned Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB) is Alberta's largest bank with the most branches in the province.
  1. Fair Enterprise
  • That is, Free Enterprise with a conscience because Free Enterprise isn't free or fair at all.
  • Fair Enterprise policies level the playing field and requires open bidding and full cost accounting of public sector projects and services.
  • With no grants, subsidies, incentives or tax concessions businesses have to compete to survive and lobbyists, cronies, friends and family do not have an opportunity to take advantage.
  1. Community Enterprise
  • Benefits the communities in which energy projects are based because revenues stay in Ontario.
  • Host communities truly have a say in renewable energy projects.
  1. Affordable Energy
  • The ONLY way to reduce the cost of energy is to generate LOWER COST POWER.  Anything else is SUBSIDIZED power.
  • We're already committed to paying for high-cost FIT contracts so we have to dilute their effect with cheap hydroelectric power.
  • To absorb this additional power, we can manufacture green ammonia, which is a product that uses air, water, and electricity as its feedstocks.  It is also a highly valuable commodity.
  1. More Skilled Workers
  • Rather than just focusing on old manufacturing economy Skilled Trades, we need to our colleges and universities to train people for the demands of the modern, knowledge-based economy.
  1. More Inter-Provincial Trade
  • We are already in an economic partnership with the other provinces (Canada) and we need to cooperate and reduce trade impediments with ALL provinces and territories, not just British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  1. Eliminate Dysfunction at Queen's Park
Real Democracy at Queens Park
  • Allow electronic Petitions in Ontario like they are now allowed in Ottawa.
  • All accredited political parties get to submit written questions to the Speaker (there is a partial precedent for this in 1991 the New Brunswick Legislature when Liberal Frank McKenna defeated PC Premier Richard Hatfield when he won all 58 seats with 60% of the vote.)
  • All accredited parties have access to the Queens Park Press Gallery for monthly press conferences.
  • All accredited party leaders are allowed to attend question period or any sitting in the house or committee (except those in camera).
  • Citizen Initiated Referendum and Mixed Member PR with two MPs per riding which are twice the size so the number does not increase and all MPs run locally and elected as the Constituency MP or Party Riding MP (usually the first and second place finishers) and no MPs appointed from an an Citizen Initiated Referendum and Mixed Member PR with two MPs per riding which are twice the size so the number does not increase and all MPs run locally and elected as the Constituency MP or Party Riding MP (usually the first and second place finishers) and no MPs appointed from an an at large party list.at large party list.
Democracy  in the Media.
  • A one hour weekly program on TVO called Provincial Political Affairs shared by all accredited political parties, and equitable time in the news and public affairs programming of all licenced broadcasters in Ontario with $Million dollar fines.
  1. Reduce Debt
  • Once we have a strong economy, government revenues will increase faster than its expenses so that we are in a budget surplus situation.
  • With a budget surplus, we need to pay down our debt while strategically investing in our infrastructure.

 

I am very concerned that Ontario's economy is nowhere as strong as it needs to be.  I know that cutting waste from the government is important and balanced budgets should be the goal of any government but reducing the provincial deficit will not grow the economy in a recession.  It is more important to create a climate for businesses to succeed and I think that excessive regulation, red tape, and burdensome energy costs are things we need to address.

Regulations are important but they should not be an end in itself.  Not having enough regulations and inspections to back them up leads to situations like e-coli in drinking water and listeria outbreaks in packaged meat.  There needs to be a balance here and we need to make sure that regulations don't cause businesses to become uncompetitive.

The PCs and NDPs want to bring manufacturing jobs back to Ontario. I also want Ontario to become the manufacturing centre of North America.  However, with increasing reliance on robotics and automation, spending a pile of government money will not bring back the employment of Ontario's former manufacturing glory.  Ontario's improving economy is reflected in the jobless recovery where jobs are slowly being added by innovative companies (see Bizzline: Survey shows manufacturing optimism).  "Manufacturing jobs" is a great sound bite but the government can reduce unemployment by encouraging ALL businesses (not just those in the manufacturing sector) to succeed.  Retaining existing businesses should be as important as bringing in new business.

CBC Business:  ANALYSIS Are robotic smart machines behind the jobless recovery?

I do not believe that turning Ontario into a right-to-work province (like the PC Party wants to do) will help the economy grow.  Looking back in history, one of the first things that Henry Ford did was pay his employees enough to buy the cars they were building.  Cutting wages just means that the PCs want us to compete with 3rd world labour, which will just put us in a race to the bottom.

Tim Hudak new mantra is that he's going to create 1 Million new jobs (the way I read it:  bring back the old lost jobs) with their Advanced Manufacturing Plan but these ideas are mostly common sense than bold although I think it's out of character for Tim Hudak to want to subsidize manufacturers by "making investments in plants".  If a manufacturer is going to invest in new technology, it is going to be in automation that reduces labour costs and increases productivity.  Any company that is ready to invest in productivity-improving technology isn't floundering.  And why are the PCs only concerned with manufacturing?  Don't they care about the other sectors in the economy?

The NDP want to create jobs but don't promise a number.  Their policy sounds good too but "Rewarding Job Creators" is a subsidy that doesn't guarantee that good, high paying jobs will remain after the rebate cheque is cashed.  There are already lots of examples of companies that took the money and ran.  "Buy Ontario" sounds great too but this eliminates the need to be competitive with government purchases.  Uncompetitive businesses do not excel in the world market.  The NDP's idea to prevent gas gouging is already in place in Nova Scotia and they've gotten permanently higher (but less volatile) gas prices out of the deal.  Do we really need more regulations like these?

With the implementation of the Green Energy Act, the resulting Global Adjustment is adversely affecting our businesses.  This cost MUST be reduced.

I think the best way to create jobs is to rethink all of the regulations and red tape that businesses must overcome to be competitive.  I propose that we establish a "Truth & Reconciliation Commission for Regulations".  We need to rethink whether a regulation achieves its intended purpose and determine whether there is a better and more competitive way to achieve that purpose.

This review of regulations (or lack thereof) will also benefit consumers because the way things are done now often does not benefit consumers either.  Any review of regulations will not lessen the protection of the public interest but will in fact increase it by streamlining the process for consumers to get answers to questions and access to information.  Ontario needs to have a permanent compliance and complaints process for consumers as well.  There must be a public interest to balance the economic interest (i.e., profit motive) of regulations.