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While I know the NDP stood no chance of winning re-election in 1995, I am quite certain that had they been re-elected Ontario never would have gotten into this mess.

The first Rae budget was a disaster, but after that dealing with the deficit (in turn trying to get to the debt) was the priority.

While everyone likes to blame the NDP for Ontario's problems...it was the neo-cons who did us in.


"While everyone likes to blame the NDP for Ontario's problems"

Bob Rae stood up in my Province's legislature and, with a poo-eating grin I have never before or since seen on a politician, stated that it was his governments *goal* to double the deficit and increase the debt by 50%. That was an actual, stated goal of the Rae government.

"...it was the neo-cons who did us in."

Yeah, Ontario feels positively like Texas these days after "The NeoCons", what with all the capital punishment, solid policework and crimefighting, the 110% of antional average welfare rates, and all that right to bear arms stuff. Good call.


I don't think bitchslapping Ontario on this matter is going to solve the problem.

I mean sure, as a former Westerner myself, it's easy to tell T-dot to shut the fuck up.

The problem is that when Ontario signed up for federalism, it also handed over a carte blache to the feds and the rest of Canada. Over the past (how many decades?) Ontario has been handing over billions (and billions and billions) of dollars to support infrastructure in B.C. transit in Montreal and healthcare in the Maritimes under the guise of equalization payments.

Equalization payments make sense, if you're a federalist. They ensure a standard quality of living for all Canadians and keep the have and have not provinces from turning into developing countries when certain economic trading partners in the south decide to slap on punishing trade tarrifs for raw goods and exports.

The problem with the payments is that you've got to give as good as you get. It's not fair for Ontario to have handed 23 billion over and be suffering a 2.3 billion deficit while Cowcountry fattens up on excess oil revenues.

And now Alberta's talking about completely cutting corporate taxes! So let me get this straight, we're supporting multinationals setting up shop in Calgary while we just sit back and watch the province that has held the country economically over the last decade flounder because of punishing oil prices?

That doesn't seem fair, and it certainly doesn't seem to support the tenets of federalism. That being said, I don't support stripping Alberta of its right to oil revenues, provincial jurisdiction, right right yada yada. But it shouldn't be allowed to sit on its coffers while other provinces (including BC) need help either.


jen, the equalization payments will still be calculated and ontario will still get money. it's all about the ebb and flow. do they have to look like whiners in the process?


also, you might want to question the logic of pursuing the "as a *former* westerner, i know how facile your arguments are, but moving to ontario has made me see the light" approach on this blog.

see, im a former easterner. my mom and her entire family are former torontonians. the general unsuitability of ottawa as a place of residence aside, im familiar with the regionalist rhetoric that is all over canadian politics these days. even the parties are pretty much all regionally-based.

there are charts detailing how much alberta forks over in their fat years. per capita, theyre definitely doing their part.


Welfare rates were also 110% since Ontario was the most expensive province to live in at the time. People were desperate, there were no jobs it was a recession, what were they supposed to do, cut welfare during a recession? That makes a ton of sense. I'll defend Rae until of course he runs for the liberals and becomes PM. ;)

Ontario does seem ghetto enough in recent days with SARS, blackouts, and violence. Seems 3rd world at times with that type of crazyness.


dont forget walkerton.

stephen, if you want to be taken seriously as a dipper, you have to stop using the fucking asinine "neocon" label when what you are actually referencing is neoliberalism/new public management under harris.

neoliberal exists in policy analysis. neocon is an epithet popularized by the media. much like paleocon, nobody knows what it really means.

Ainge, if you want to point out how facile my arguments are, please do so instead of resorting to ad hominem attacks that rely on a misunderstood inference of the context of my post.

I did not mean to suggest that moving to Ontario had enlightened me or made me wiser than my poor westerner self. I meant to suggest that I can see where both sides of the argument are coming from and both have valid points. Alberta is right to fear that the feds will start demanding oil royalties. It pisses me off that softwood lumber is ignored over here but it also pisses me off that the second Ontario has anything to say westerners shut it down under the auspices of whining instead of seriously considering the facts.

No doubt that Alberta pitches in but despite all this so-called ebb and flow Money seems to consistently flow from Ontario and ebb into the money pit that is Quebec. But that's another argument.


RE: When Ontario signed up for Federalism...

-One thing that if often neglected (or not known) is that one of the big reasons "Canada's" pushed for federalism and a union of the provinces (espeacially Upper Canada (i.e.: Ontario)) is that it was saddled with a huge debt created by public works projects, mostly canal building.

Confederation in part, spread Ontario's (and Quebecs) debt around to the Maritimes and other regions of the country as they joined the country.

Just some historical quibbling...


Fair point. Though you can't exactly say that the Maritimes haven't more than made up for that share of debt.


jen, you still dont understand. i used to be a die-hard liberal, see. much stifling of petty regionalism as a tool of analysis ensued.

the issue of whether or not that particular article contained whining has little to do with whether every single other article showcasing ontarios place in federalism contains whining.

do people from vancouver really identify as 'westerners'? like poor you that you had to live in port moody and all that, but maybe i can remind you this whole city isnt made up of a bunch of barbara yaffes.

go through these posts, my papers, and any statements csis must have on me, and see if there is any other instance of me standing up for the klein government. there isnt. yay.

so dont try to make nice through the dissing of quebec. see, i lived in quebec, so i can understand the merit behind arguments with a quebec bias. ok, by lived in quebec, i mean i spent easter at antonio's house.

also, if you actually read my post, it obliquely hints that i kind of like the nep as an idea if the going gets tough.

then i say alberta should save it for a rainy day. see, they keep electing these governments who suck bung at fiscal management but can make tax cuts and pay things off due to rolling in dough.

so, really, replies insisting that i am a vitriolic "westerner" because i referenced a need to call a waaahmbulance, are not going to be treated so much as arguments but as rote attacks on 'the western mentality'.


My two cents:

The Alberta Government takes in more cash from liquor and gaming revenue than from oil or tarsands alone. Most of that cash comes from Natural Gas, not oil or tarsands.

In addition, although there are no numbers on it, there are plenty of Easterners working in Fort McMurray and spending that money back home, which is a very efficient means of getting money out to the East Coast.

A very cynical way to look at it, I admit, is to view equalization as a means to keep people out of Alberta. If the folks in the Maritimes have a nice enough safety net, then Alberta actually benefits by poaching the most enterprising and entreprenurial minds from the East Coast, since it is almost an unwritten rule that if a young person wants to have a future, they have to leave the Rock. Where do you think they are going?

Without equalization there would be way more people moving to Alberta. Supposing Layton gets his way and slaps an export tax on Natural Gas, people don't have to move I guess.


interesting points, aaron. and an interesting snack you posted on your blog.

there are a lot of maritimers all over canada, hence the proliferation of "the newfie bar" ... a shining example of this is the atlantic trap and gill in vancouver.


A few things about Fort Mac.

The only thing that is there is work. Housing is expensive, there are no women and there is no social scene.

All that they do have in terms of recreation is drugs and have to chose harder drugs that clean out of their systems faster.

Most people go up there for only a few weeks at a time.


Me, I just came by to give kudos where kudos are due....

It was the term 'whaaaaaambulance' that knocked me out.


"so, really, replies insisting that i am a vitriolic "westerner" because i referenced a need to call a waaahmbulance, are not going to be treated so much as arguments but as rote attacks on 'the western mentality'."

I never said that. In fact I never made any connection between your western status and your post. I only made reference to the fact that I'm from the west.

Your responses to most of what I'm saying both here and on my blog don't make sense. Here you've yet to even talk about anything I've actually said, instead relying upon some bizarre inferred insult that was never thrown at you.

Right o then. Superimpose some insult on this and make me out to be a snob like you know me. The judgement train is moving on.


you could have saved time and words and just posted this cos it's not like your comment was really that constructive in my rehabilitation from annoying bitch with blog to civilized alternative to sheer msm evil.

oh noes!!! lack of serious debate on the intarnets!!!

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