National Post, Ontario could lose its 'have' status
Perhaps the most startling element of the report, written by Global Insight managing director Dale Orr, is how far Ontario has fallen in terms of economic growth per capita, which is how standards of living are measured. This may not bode well for the province's Liberal government, which faces an election in October. Premier Dalton McGuinty's government has been under attack from economists who say the province's tax regime is not competitive in terms of attracting business investment and, as a result, its economy has suffered.Toronto Star, Ontario's economy a concern
In an historic first, the province's unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for six straight months this year and now stands at 6.5 per cent, compared to 6.1 per cent nationally.
And in another historical first, Montreal now has a lower unemployment rate than Toronto (6.5 per cent compared to 6.9 per cent).
Ontario's economy will face more sub-par growth this year, while Newfoundland and Labrador's will grab the top spot, according to two major banks' provincial forecasts released Friday.
BMO Capital Markets foresees Ontario's economy facing such challenges that "it is fair to ask whether Ontario truly is still a so-called 'have' province," pointing out that the province's jobless rate has, for the first time ever, moved above the national average over the past year.
Financial Post, Ontario tax policy no friend of growth
Mr. McGuinty is, of course, a pro at taxing, having slapped Ontarians with a $1.6-billion health "premium" soon after taking office and instituting the first corporate tax increase in 18 years. With sublime timing, he hiked the general rate to 14% from 12.5% in 2004 and the manufacturing rate to 12% from 11% -- just as the province was sliding into a manufacturing recession as the loonie soared.
Ontario has a combined federal/ provincial corporate tax rate of 36%, compared with 32% for Quebec and an OECD average of 28%. Ontario's marginal effective tax rate, a broad measure of the investment tax burden, is the highest in the country at 37%, compared with 25% for Quebec.
Past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour, you know.
At any rate, all this economic doom and gloom aside, the always comical Ben Chin, a failed Liberal Party candidate, has an amusing YouTube newscast spoof up where he's playing a wacky newscaster - it's both funny and ironic.
Count on your Ontario Liberals to shine out like a shaft of gold when all around it is dark.