The Ford Government this week posted an eye-watering deficit of $9.8 billion in its 2024 budget

Our MPP, Dawn Gallagher Murphy, says that shouldn’t concern us because the Government is on the path to balance the budget. It hasn’t lost its way.

Her predecessor, former MPP and health minister, Christine Elliott, now a lobbyist for the private health sector, spent her entire political career railing against deficits.


She told MPPs 

“deficit financing is anathema to Conservatives”

because that means

“we are paying more and more in interest payments” 

Christine Elliott took every opportunity to denounce the last Liberal Government for running up deficits.


And now her close personal friend Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ford’s Finance Minister, is the author of this heretical $9.8 billion deficit.

In the 2018 Provincial election, Bethlenfalvy contributed $10,000 to Elliott’s election campaign in Newmarket-Aurora.

So I don’t expect to hear any criticism of Bethlenfalvy from Elliott, Ford's former Deputy, the health minister turned money-grabbing lobbyist.

Nor from Gallagher Murphy who hailed the Budget on Twitter (X): 

“Building a Better Ontario continues the government's Plan to Build, keeping costs down for Ontario families while retaining a path to balance.”

$13.9 billion in debt interest

In the meantime, the Ford Government will be shelling out $13.9 billion on debt interest in 2024/25.

Gallagher Murphy believes borrowing to fund tax cuts is the way to go – whether it’s Ford’s 5.7 cents a litre cut in gas taxes or getting rid of licence plate fees. 

The six-month extension to the gas cut will cost $620M. Eliminating the licence plate fee costs the Provincial Treasury $1.1 billion in lost revenue every year. 

Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are now spending 35% more than the last Liberal Government and the provincial debt 

“has soared by $116 billion to $462.9 billion, the largest debt of any sub-national jurisdiction in the world.”

Carbon Tax or Carbon Rebate

Yesterday, Gallagher Murphy told MPPs that no Ontarian should have to choose between filling up their car with gas or filling up their pantry. It was another jab at the “Carbon Tax”.

Across the country about 80% of people can expect to get back in rebate more than they pay. In Ontario, a family of four will get a $1,120 rebate in 2024. (Gallagher Murphy says Ford’s cut in gas tax has saved the average household $320 since it was introduced in 2022.)

The Federal Government has done a very poor job of explaining carbon pricing. So that people who should know better say the “Carbon Tax” is just another audacious money grab - unrelated to the fact that the Canadian north is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet and our forests are going up in smoke.

New job!

Perhaps in her new job as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry she will at last make the connection between climate change and what she must know is happening out there – thawing permafrost, disappearing ice-roads, shrinking ice-cover, starving polar bears.

And, year after year, vast swaths of forests burning out of control.

We could see the blue haze here in Newmarket.


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Update on 29 March 2024: From Newmarket Today: Newmarket-Aurora MPP blasts Carbon Tax increase

Update on 30 March 2024: from the Toronto star: Ontario budget an "abdication of responsibility"

"The Ontario budget set base funding for forest firefighting at $134.9 million this year. $81 million less than it spent overall in 2023.

"But (Alex) Catherwood (press secretary to Minister Andrea Khanjin) said it would be "completely inaccurate" to suggest the forecasted spending was a budget cut, saying the Government would "spare no expense in ensuring the safety of people, property and communities". 

From Christine Elliott's 2018 Candidate's Campaign Return to Elections Ontario: