What would you like the deficit to be?

 In Letters, Opinion

Editor:
With the provincial debt load over $340,000,000,000 ($23,000 per capita; highest worldwide) and servicing it annually cost over $13,000,000,000 it is admirable the government is intent on reducing both.
However, PC Premier of Ontario Doug Ford has developed deficits in many essential services, with your bulldozing non-consulting arrogance. The most vulnerable being hit hardest. Autistic children for instance.
Our education system is being decimated, our health care system is in turmoil, our R&D and innovation programs curtailed, our deteriorating infrastructure overlooked… all essential services our future, as a competitive society, depends on. All heading us to third world status.
Schools provide a gymnasium for developing minds to think, to question, to create and to achieve. Depriving today’s students of those essentials is to deprive them of an ability to function with the life challenges they will soon face. Ontario’s workforce will be its greatest asset for competing tomorrow.
A more intelligent approach would be to reduce excesses, trim unessential costs and encourage GDP growth. Although slower and less dramatic, it would be better balanced and less disruptive. It would make us stronger, rather than weaker.
Then, at the same time, Mr. Ford displaced the most efficient system for retailing beer in the world. All so people can grab a six-pack at a corner store and party on the tail gate of a pick-up truck… then drive off into a tree. Mr. Ford stomped the little breweries’ prospects and opened up the reason for establishing the Brewers Retail system in the first place… getting rid of the abuse of rules and illegal practices. By doing so, adding an expensive layer of distribution to cost. While, conversely, promoting “a buck-a-beer”, for which breweries can hardly put water in a can. Delivering a couple of cases to 4,000 corner stores by comparison to a couple of skids to 400 Beer Stores is significantly more expensive. Beer Stores have a 98 per cent recovery rate for recycling… Something corner stores are simply not equipped to do.
Corner stores don’t have the space for the number of micro-brewery products available. Whereas the Beer Store provides an equal opportunity to compete. Mr. Ford’s concept would give an unfair advantage to the big breweries.
A tremendous drain on provincial tax revenues is the loss of most of its car industry-support businesses and worker wages. Study the dramatic results of US States that have legislated ‘a right to work’. The unions don’t like it, but new car industries, support businesses that are thriving there. Overall wages have increased. The States have changed to ‘have’ from ‘have not’ status.
In the digital world, there is staggering change. Ontario must not fall behind, but develop a strategy to be nationally and internationally digitally competitive.  Ontario must better understand the impact on a digitized society and must invest heavily in innovation to reap the on-coming benefits.
Entrepreneurs should be encouraged through incentives, to grow… The more they do, the more the taxes.
A better approach would be to let necessity be the mother of invention.
Mr. Ford should put down his axe and put the imagination of the talent around him to work developing initiatives, for new and better revenues. Quit being destructive and start being constructive.
The idea is to create success stories. Consulting with industrial and business leaders, to develop a strategy aimed at increasing opportunities, will knock down the deficit in a more fruitful way.
Don’t let the deficit be one between your ears Doug Ford.

John Wiggins,

Collingwood.

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