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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Matthew Lau: Here’s the truth about Ontario’s dismal economic performance that Wynne’s Liberals hope you don’t notice


The Ontario Liberals must surely be joking. Kathleen Wynne, for example, wrote last week in the Huffington Post that by “every measure, our economy is outperforming the competition.” A day earlier, her finance minister, Charles Sousa, said much the same in his budget speech. He concluded by saying that it was “time to look back on what we have achieved together. We have so much to be proud of.”

Since he insists, let us look back on the Ontario Liberals’ economic achievements, of which they are so proud. Wynne and Sousa point to Ontario’s 2.7-per-cent GDP growth last year as proof that Ontario’s economy is “growing and leading.” But was that growth driven by smart economic policy, or by other factors like Toronto’s hot housing market?

Here’s a clue. If Liberal central planning is the recipe for prosperity, perhaps Wynne should explain why inflation-adjusted GDP per capita growth in Ontario from when the Liberals were elected in 2003 to 2015 was a paltry 6.9 per cent (or 0.56 per cent a year, on average). That’s barely half the rate of growth of 13.0 per cent that was seen in the rest of Canada...


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