Election fever in air

We must be gearing up for a provincial election.
Even with the chills of winter still storming around us, Premier Kathleen Wynne appears to have rallied her troops this past weekend to be ready to pound on doors and wear out shoe leather on the sidewalks.
She pummelled the Harper government, lambasted the provincial Tories and leader Tim Hudak, and, without naming Andrea Horvath, indicated to her attentive audience that the New Democrats were not ready to govern.
All the provincial parties are ready to get into the election ring right now.
Wynne’s new path will include reversals of the McGuinty plan that called for reducing business taxes to make Ontario more competitive. Businesses can be ready to pay more to cover her financial promises to Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa to pay for major transit improvements for those cities.
She even may throw in a few goodies to gather NDP support so that she does not have to negotiate publicly with Ms. Horvath.
The big question will be “How much can Andrea Horvath and the NDP stomach in the next provincial budget?” She has cornered the Liberals by getting them to reverse their stand to increase the HST and the tax on gasoline across the province to pay for transit in those communities.
Numbers still must be worked out to determine how much business taxes must be increased to pay for transit in a select number of communities. Without finding new funding for those projects, Ontarians will see their provincial debt growing to pay for those political decisions.
Premier Wynne plans to roll out a new provincial retirement savings program that will supplement the CPP. The plan may be a sleeper in that she will target employers with higher payroll taxes on salaries and wages paid to employees.
It will be another way to tax employers while bribing workers to vote for the provincial Liberal Party.
Workers will not see a dip in their salaries but employers will see a dip in their profits.
Now we all like to be bribed at election time. We all think that getting someone else to pay for buses and subways and sewers and roads is in our best interests. We would like someone else to pay for an increased pension.
Ultimately, however, there is only one taxpayer. We only get to discover which pocket the provincial government is going to pick after the legislation is tabled in the legislature.
Now the Conservatives under Tim Hudak originally had promised to create “Right to Work” legislation, but now have backtracked on that idea.
Mr. Hudak believes he can cut provincial spending, cut taxes, reduce the deficit, fund transit, spend more on hospitals, and be fiscally responsible. He dreams big!
Should he form the government, we can expect some real belt-tightening across the province—and that means municipal governments once again will be called upon to pick up the difference that provincial assistance would have provided.
No one is quite sure about the fiscal policies of the NDP. Ms. Horvath has called for capping senior public-sector salaries and called for lower auto insurance costs.
She did support Wynne’s plan to collect taxes and tolls to fund Toronto’s transit expansion.
The May provincial election may be postponed to June if winter persists. But you only can keep your troops at the ready for a small period of time before their momentum is lost.

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