If the $5.6 billion Tory deficit wasn’t troubling enough, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is now attempting to spin it in their favour and, I kid you not, use it to smear the Liberals.
In a Friday news release entitled Promise Breakers: Promises Made, Promises Broken by the McGuinty Liberals, the Ontario Tories list six campaign promises that they claim the Liberals have already broken. Three of those six “broken promises” deal with the consequences of the Tory deficit, and all of them are evidence of the seething occurring within the Ontario PC Party.
One of the deficit-related broken promise claims deals with the decision to lift the artificial hydro cap which was imposed by the Tories and was costing Ontario $2-million a day. Naturally, if the deficit didn’t exist there wouldn’t be a need to quickly reduce expenditures. It is unfortunate that this promise had to be broken, but it is a necessary step considering the extenuating circumstances. Such a large deficit was completely unanticipated. The Fraser Institute pegged the deficit at $4.5 billion back in September, over a billion dollars less than the actual figure.
The second and third broken promise claims have been lumped into one item entitled (and I couldn’t even make this up if I tried) “Running a Deficit and Increasing the Debt”. The Tories, who again are responsible for our $5.6 billion deficit, are accusing the Liberals of breaking their promise to balance the provincial budget and not add to the provincial debt. Evidently an elected Tory government, faced with such an unforeseen deficit, would have quickly called for their legions of pixies and leprechauns to both eliminate that deficit and fund debt payments. In the absence of pixies and leprechauns, the Tories would have carried through with their plans to simultaneously cut taxes and increase government spending, all the while putting their fingers firmly in their ears when the mighty deficit came a-calling.
The Tories’ recent Promise Breakers news release demonstrates, to me at least, that they show no remorse for the burden they have placed on the province, and will attempt to use their own failings to point fingers at the Liberals. Ontarians are smart enough to see through this misrepresentation and, hopefully, will recall this release once the next election comes around in four years time.