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How The Economical Insurance made unauthorized two extra withdrawals from my bank account causing NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds), canceled my auto insurance because of this NSF, refused to reinstate my auto insurance, lied to me, ruined my driving history with not existing claim…
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario 2003 - 2012, at the Top of CFI’s Most Disreputable List

November 11, 2011

In Ontario - the largest province of Canada by population – the Liberal Party won in 2003 and 2007 a majority government after the major campaign promises made by its leader Dalton McGuinty that, if elected, it would not raise taxes, would improve openness and transparency in the government, repair health care, and make poverty reduction a priority.

“We will not raise taxes” Mr. McGuinty solemnly promised to nearly 13,000,000 Ontarians


 


During the 2003 campaign, the Liberal’s party leader Dalton McGuinty bought television air time to solemnly promise that he would not raise taxes if Liberals are elected.

Months after Liberal’s election victory, the Premier McGuinty imposed a health tax, called Ontario Health Premium, which is an additional amount charged on an individual’s income tax costing of up to $900 a person annually. The total collected through this tax from Ontarians taxpayers is $2.6 billion per year.

The party’s leader, Dalton McGuinty, said the tax was necessary to boost health care after he discovered a $5.5 billion deficit left by the Progressive Conservatives. It is unclear weather the premier was unaware of the deficit while making the not-to-raise-tax promise given that the New Democratic Party knew of the deficit.

As a further measure in an effort to balance the inherited province’s budget deficit, McGuinty’s government announced in May 2004 that it was removing from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) the coverage for 30 years of public funding for chiropractic services in Ontario along with the coverage for physical therapy services and eye examination coverage for adults ages 20–64.

In December 2006, by extending the legislative session Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals voted to give themselves a 25 per cent pay raise, just four days before Christmas. The legislation gave cabinet ministers a $31,000, and the Premier McGuinty a $39,000 non-taxable increase.

In 2006 the Ontario Auditor General’s report revealed practices of serious abuse of taxpayer-funded credit cards for millions at Hydro One.

  1. The company’s managers had approved $127 million in corporate credit-card expenses without sufficient receipts and purchase orders had ballooned into the millions;
  2. The company’s CEO Tom Parkinson had put $45,000 in business expenses on his secretary's corporate credit card, then approved her claim himself;
  3. Part of the mortgage on his home in Oakville, west of Toronto - $124,000 – the CEO had paid with the company’s (taxpayers’) money.

Following the Auditor General’s findings, the Hydro One CEO quitted his job and walked away with a $3,000,000 severance package.

According to the Auditor General’s report, fraud has been committed in many cases.

Here is how the Premier McGuinty addressed the issue of taxpayers’ money being spent for personal use at the government agency Hydro One: "We will work more closely with the board to ensure that Mr. Parkinson's successor sets the appropriate tone of accountability for Hydro One," McGuinty said, adding that the utility must use taxpayer dollars carefully.

In Contrast:

“Patrick Shand was wrestled to the ground by guards at a Toronto grocery store after allegedly stealing baby formula. He died of asphyxiation after he was handcuffed and kept face-down in a parking lot by his untrained captors.”

In March 2007, the Liberal government projected surplus of $310 million that fiscal year, which could be interpreted that the $5.5 billion deficit was eliminated.

Despite the financial recovery, neither the OHIP coverage for the chiropractic and physical therapy services nor for eye examination for adults ages 20–64 have since been reinstated.

In September 2007, in connection with the Ontario Health Premium – health tax on Ontarians collected by the income tax system Dalton McGuinty imposed in 2004 pointing out as a compelling reason the $5.5 billion deficit – the Premier McGuinty told Ontarions, "I'm saying if you're looking to me to eliminate your health premium in 2009, don't look to me for that. I need that money.”

Ontario residents won’t be getting a break on the controversial health tax even though the province is getting a boost from the federal budget, Premier Dalton McGuinty said on another occasion.

The Ontario government would pay for a prostate cancer test (prostate specific antigen test) for all men aged 50 years or older if the Liberals are re-elected on Oct. 10, 2007, McGuinty’s government pledged during the campaign, but the promise never was delivered during the entire four-year Liberal mandate.

The NDP leader accused Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government in October 2007 of handing out tax breaks to big banks and insurance companies - referring to the capital tax that was being phased out – indicating that banks had made in the previous year a profit of $18.2 billion.

“Under Dalton McGuinty, Ontario has become the child poverty capital of Canada while at the same time banks and insurance companies are getting multi-million tax breaks.” said Ontario NDP leader and noted further that a single-parent mother with two children and an income of $30,000 a year had her income tax increased by 24 per cent because of the controversial so-called health tax the Liberal government imposed.

Further, opposition party leaders charged McGuinty for disregarding calls to demonstrate the money he was taking in from the so-called heath tax had indeed been spent on health.

While campaigning for re-election in 2007, Dalton McGuinty again repeatedly promised Ontario residents that, if elected, his Liberal government would not bring in new taxes.

When re-elected, in the middle of the recession while ten of thousands of Ontarians were losing their jobs or were having a pay cut and difficult time to feed their family, Dalton McGuinty levied a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which combines the former provincial sales tax (PST) and the federal GST - making Ontarians pay additional 8% on goods and services that previously were not subject to the PST such as:

gasoline/diesel, electricity and heating bills, home renovations, real-estate commissions, legal fees, new homes over $400,000, private resale of car (including registration), dietary supplements, gym and athletic membership fees, aesthetician services (e.g. manicures, pedicures, facials), hair stylist/barber, dry cleaning service, internet access services, taxis, the price of hotel rooms, magazine subscriptions, lessons (for ballet, karate, trampoline, hockey, soccer, etc), funeral services, and the list goes on.

Despite objections from at least five of his cabinet ministers, Premier Dalton McGuinty personally pushed for the recycling program that led to eco fees on electronic and household goods, the Star wrote.

Through the provincial legislation, Waste Diversion Act (WDA), on July 1, 2010, Dalton McGuinty imposed eco fees while trying to convince Ontarians that the fee was not a tax*.

*Definition of tax by “the OXFORD dictionary for the business world”
“Tax – n. 1. money compulsorily levied by the state or local authorities on individuals, property, or businesses.”

Consumer and legal experts were maintaining that the new Ontario "eco fees" charged to consumers on thousands of products were not only a tax, but also an illegal tax under the Canadian Constitution.

At a time when Dalton McGuinty announced the economic downturn, Ontario became a province with the highest university tuition fees in the country according to a 2009 Statistics Canada report.

To make poverty reduction a priority, if elected, was Dalton McGuinty’s promise during his campaigning in 2003 and 2007.

Dec 2010 - “Hunger and poverty are at a crisis point,” said Dr. Gary Bloch, a family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital and assistant professor with the University of Toronto. “We are facing the highest levels of food bank use and some of the highest rates of social assistance use ever,” Dr. Bloch added.

Mar 2011 - 400,000 Ontarians are forced to turn to food banks every month, according to a new report by the Ontario Association of Food Banks.

Nearly 500,000 working poor in Ontario remain without dental care in 2011. Additionally, those who lose their jobs during this economic downturn, lose their benefits as well.

367 executives in the Ontario Public Service, including more than half of the Ontario’s Deputy Ministers, earn in 2010 more than what is allowed under the maximum salary cap for their positions with the silent approval of Mr. McGuinty.

During the worst recession in our province’s history and poised to increase taxes in July 2010, McGuinty gave the 1,251 unionized tax collectors up to $45,000 each (totaling about $45,000,000) in severance pay as their jobs transferred from the provincial ministry of revenue to the federal equivalent despite the fact they were not even missing a day of work. Premier McGuinty defended them making taxpayers pay for it.

To have Sarah Kramer as CEO of eHealth, Dalton McGuinty intervened using an order in council, bypassing the competitive selection process, over the objections of officials in the Health Ministry who felt she was inexperienced. Five months after starting her job, the eHealth CEO Sarah Kramer received $114,000 bonus. Soon after the general auditor report revealed abuse of taxpayers money at eHealth, she was forced to resign leaving the crown organization with nearly $317,000 in compensation after only 8 (eight) months on the job.

In July 2008, the government under the leadership of premier McGuinty eliminated the last “night court,” making it more difficult for drivers who want to dispute their traffic ticket by forcing all trial requests, trials, and receiving disclosure requests to be held at the Old City Hall during daytime working hours of the court.

In 2010, McGuinty’s government made a reform that favoures Auto Insurance companies at the expense of Ontario drivers. With such reform Dalton McGuinty allowed the insurance companies to cap the benefits for accident victims with severe non-catastrophic injuries at $50,000, down from $100,000 before the reform. Accident victims with so-called minor injuries ( i.e., whiplash, sprains and strains injure ), who constitute 80% of all accident victims, will be entitled to only up to $3,500 in medical benefits – 96.5% cut from $100,000 before the reform. In addition, the premiums (the amount motorists pay insurance companies for an insurance policy) are still climbing.


Premier McGuinty’s Promise to Improve Openness and Transparency in the Government After Coming to Power in 2003

Liberal government spent $2,400,000 taxpayers’ money to fight a lawsuit launched by parents who were promised by Dalton McGuinty during the 2003 provincial election campaign that he would dramatically improve treatment for their autistic children if elected.

4 and 1/2 years the Star media battled to obtain government information on how much the province paid outside lawyers and consultants in civil cases against the government despite promises by the Liberal government and Premier Dalton McGuinty to improve openness and transparency after coming to power in 2003.

In 2006, an opposition then party leader introduced legislation called "Truth and Transparency in the Justice System Act" but it was voted down by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal majority.

By using its superior power, McGuinty’s government bypassed the ombudsman's office and squandered taxpayer’s dollars by hiring outsiders to investigate public complaints against government officials because it wanted to maintain control over the investigation, dictate the scope of it, and retain some control over the results, has charged the Ontario’s ombudsman in 2007.

About 8,000 people die in Ontario each year from in-hospital errors - given the 2004 report prepared by Canadian Institute for Health Information according to which nearly 23,750 people die each year from in-hospital errors in Canada. The non-profit agency further indicates that it is more than the number of people who die from breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents and HIV combined.

Having the power to investigate hospitals, the Ombudsman Marin argues, would allow him to monitor hiring practices of medical professionals and ensure personnel are qualified.

In a statement, the Ontario Ombudsman André Marin said he's made repeated requests to Premier Dalton McGuinty and the province's top bureaucrats for the right to investigate public complaints, decisions and quality of care issues in hospitals, but McGuinty has NOT agreed to expand the ombudsman's powers of investigation making Ontario the only Canadian province where hospitals are not subject to the scrutiny of an ombudsman.

Dalton McGuinty’s statement:

“Minister Bountrogianni and I, along with our Cabinet colleagues, have been fighting for fairness for the people of Ontario.”

Sincerely,
Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario”


 

With files from various sources

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ABOUT CFI: Canadians for Integrity (CFI) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to identifying, challenging, and deterring public officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.