Wednesday, 5 October 2011

How will Oak Ridges-Markham candidates wrestle our accumulated debt to ground?

Brian Weller

BY Brian Weller | BLOGGER

Oak Ridges-Markham

Despite prognostications to the contrary from a variety of pundits and party hacks, I have found an interested electorate out there and predict that we will have more voters going to the polls in Oak Ridges-Markham than in previous elections. And judging by the quality and number of questions asked, voters want to know who has a plan to wrestle our accumulated debt to ground! Certainly, each has made themselves available to the media and their teams have been busy erecting signs and meeting with as many voters as possible but each have been staying very close to the party line in their presentation of jobs, education, health and transportation issues. 

To be sure, it has been a knuckle-busting fight to this it should be! But taxpayer debt has received little recognition, even though many voters have clearly developed DAD, 'deficit attention disorder'! Which of course begs the question...where is the money coming from to reduce our onerous accumulated debt of around $235,000,000,000; the largest in Ontario's history? Local voters are clearly not pleased with debt that has left them behind and know that our $15 or 16 Billion provincial deficit cannot continue. 

Local voters know that whomever forms the next government, they will have difficult choices to make so I asked each candidate to respond to the #1 question in our riding......please explain what steps you would take to wrestle our accumulated debt to ground, either through raising revenue or cutting expenditures or a combination of both? The following are their replies.....

answer......Ruida Lu, Independent says "Ontarians are already paying higher taxes in comparison to people in other parts of the world. We deserve better! I won't increase taxes. I will create more sources of revenue which include leasing province-owned idle assets to the private sector, and creating advertising spaces on and in public buildings. I will focus on improving efficiency of the public sector, to make it more on par with the efficiency of the private sector. I want to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy without cutting necessary services, close loopholes, and fully utilize existing resources (which represent “sunk cost”). I will bring transparency and accountability to Queen’s Park. I want to ensure that public officials do not abuse their power or misspend funds."

answer......Karl Boelling, Libertarian says "I'd eliminate the debt the same way anyone would, in the real world...stop spending and start paying it off. Get rid of anything that's a waste, and if there are any white elephants hiding then find a way to actually make them pay for themselves. Sell off assets that aren't doing anything to someone who will actually make use of it. There should be no need to raise taxes. And the government employees? Like employees anywhere (in the real world) they are sort of expected to make their companies money or those companies go out of business. All this is not rocket science...if it was, the last few years would have been much worse all around but everyone dug in and now we've all found more ways to work smarter, and more efficiently. I see no reason why our government can't do the same.............Apologies for the rant, but almost everyone knows the answer for eliminating focus on paying it off before you take on anything else. Life doesn't always work that way but with of bit of effort you can keep to a course like that pretty well......What else can I say, except for my mortgage I have no debt...and my income is less than average......... It can be done....and once it's done, you really don't do it again.....People are smart and tend to's about time we had a government that could (learn) as well."

answer......Trifon Haitas, Green Party says, "I will focus on creating sustainable, long-term jobs, and stop burdening our children with today’s debts. We can only achieve this future by unleashing and nurturing the creativity and innovation of our entrepreneurs and workers to build strong local economies. The Green Party is committed to responsible stewardship of our natural and financial resources and will promote policies that ensure we live within our means. As your Green MPP, I will fight for good jobs and a fiscally responsible government with lower income taxes on families and local businesses to stimulate job creation, reward efficient use of resources and responsibly balance our finances with a revenue neutral tax on waste, pollution and carbon emissions, reward efficient use of resources and responsibly balance our finances with a revenue neutral tax on waste, pollution and carbon emissions and balance the budget by 2015, saving billions in debt and ensuring our tax dollars are spent on public services instead of interest payments."

Responses from the other candidates were not received by the deadline but will be posted, as received.

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