As much as Kathleen Wynne desperately tries to change the channel, this election campaign she is going to have to defend a 15 year Liberal record of scandal, waste, and mismanagement.
Here are 10 things Kathleen Wynne is crossing her fingers that the people of Ontario will forget during tonight’s debate. She shouldn’t hold her breath:
2. Cancelled gas plants: The Liberals cancelled two gas plants to save a few seats during an election year. This cost Ontario taxpayers a whopping $1.1 billion, and a senior Liberal operative was recently sentenced to four months in jail for deleting e-mails surrounding the decision. Kathleen Wynne was the co-chair of the 2011 Liberal election campaign when the decision was made, and she personally signed an important cabinet document during the gas plants scandal. One of Kathleen Wynne’s first decisions after the 2014 election was to cancel a committee that was searching for answers surrounding the cancellation.
3. The fire sale of Hydro One: As a result of Kathleen Wynne’s Hydro One fire sale, Ontario taxpayers now help to foot the bill for the six-million dollar man and golden parachute severance packages.
4. Cuts to front-line health care: Liberal cuts have created a hallway health care crisis in Ontario. We now have the longest wait times in Ontario’s history. The Liberals have fired more than 1,600 nurses. The Liberals cut physiotherapy services for seniors. The Liberals froze hospital budgets. The Liberals have slashed physician services, and cut medical residency positions.
5. School closures: Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals have closed more than 600 schools – more than any other government in our province’s history.
6. Broken election promises: Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals promised balanced budgets for years to come, but in 2018, Kathleen Wynne plunged Ontario into a $6.7 billion deficit. The Auditor General and the Financial Accountability Officer have said that the deficit is actually closer to $12 billion. Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals promised to lower auto insurance rates by 15 per cent, and then later called this a “stretch goal.” The Liberals promised to develop the Ring of Fire, but their most recent budget and throne speech made no mention of the project.
7. Doubling the debt: Over the last 15 years, Ontario’s debt has more than doubled to help pay for Liberal scandals and waste. Ontario taxpayers now pay $1 billion a month on interest payments which crowds out all of the services families depend on like health care and education.
8. Higher taxes and fees: Creating the cap-and-trade carbon tax and health tax. Hiking the aviation fuel tax, beer and wine taxes, and sin taxes. New taxes on small businesses and middle-class families buried deep in the 2018 budget. Hiking the cost of getting a driver license, fishing and hunting license, camping license, liquor license, event permit, and court application. The list goes on and on.
10. Lining the pockets of Liberal insiders: Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals gave $163 million to their largest corporate donor. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals spent $11.7 million from a low-income hydro relief program on consultants and advertisements. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals created a new home care agency benefitting a union running Liberal-friendly attack ads. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals gave consultants $6.5 million for the sale of an agency which sold for only $6 million. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals sold off Hydro One and then held a $7,500 per plate fundraiser with banks that ran the privatization.