While Ontario is carping about slipping into "have-not" status and calling for increased handouts from Ottawa, economists are saying it's all about government spending.
TORONTO (CP) - The policies of past premiers are more to blame for Ontario's current fiscal challenges than the $23-billion gap between what the province pays Ottawa and what it gets back to help fund federal services, economists say.
"The fiscal gap and the idea of Ontario becoming a have-not province are related, but not closely related," says BMO Nesbitt Burns economist David Watt.
"The major part of the problem in Ontario over the past few years is on the spending side, and unimaginative policy decisions, and we haven't really done much on the fiscal side to sort of stem problems with the increased spending."
I will say this, however: Is there any doubt the equalization program is a complete disaster, and needs to be scrapped ASAP?