Premier Kathleen Wynne emphatically stated in a recent tweet that Conservative opposition to federal carbon taxes “will put as many as 40,000 public sector jobs at risk” in Ontario.
Wynne left little room for misinterpretation.
But it was fake news. A 37-word fiberal.
“The Conservatives’ plan to kill carbon pricing and rush to balance the budget will put as many as 40,000 public sector jobs at risk,” Wynne insisted in her tweet Sunday. “That means higher class sizes, longer waits for health care and fewer community supports.”
The premier was categorical. She made a definitive link between Tory carbon tax opposition and public sector jobs cuts. She said those plans “will” put jobs at risk, and lead to other cuts.
Based on what?
A speculative magazine article in Maclean’s.
The 40,000 job cut figure comes from a recent opinion piece in the magazine by Mike Moffatt, an assistant professor at Western University’s Ivey Business School and a director of research and policy at Canada 2020.
Canada 2020 is a left-wing, “progressive think-tank” that Maclean’s itself in a 2017 article described as having a “symbiotic relationship with the Liberal Party and the Trudeau government.”
Might not be the most objective perspective on Ontario PC policy intentions.
However, Moffatt was transparent in his March 8 analysis that he was speculating about possible ways a Conservative government might deal with lost carbon tax revenue — potentially a $4-billion hole in $142 billion budget projections from the Conservatives.
Moffatt clearly stated his assumptions — that the Tories would “make up any carbon tax revenue shortfall through spending cuts, rather than running a deficit.”
Those are pretty big, even pretty Liberal assumptions; however, Moffatt wasn’t hiding them.
“My intent was not to predict what the Tories would do, rather it was to examine their options,” he wrote in Maclean’s. “To date, no leadership candidate has indicated what the Tories would spend less on.”
“Without additional information, it is hard to know how such spending cuts would affect Ontarians, in terms of services and jobs,” he added.
So Moffatt took a guess, and made that point in another tweet: “In the piece, I use the assumption that the 4.5% spending reduction from baseline will be made across the board. In the absence of any other information, I can’t think of a better way of doing it.”
Perhaps the Conservatives and new leader Doug Ford can.
But in any case, Moffatt’s guess was good enough for Wynne, who categorically concluded Conservative carbon tax opposition “will put as many as 40,000 public sector jobs at risk” in Ontario.
Even though no Conservative candidate or campaign document includes a plan to cut 40,000 jobs — or classroom, health care or community support programs.
Even though Ford, who’s only been on the job since the weekend, has never said he would cut 40,000 Ontario public sector jobs to offset lost carbon tax revenue.
The closest he’s come is suggesting he would “find the efficiencies just like we did at the City of Toronto.”
He’ll need to detail where he expects to find the money, and has said he’ll do that.
Wynne, meanwhile, has issued no campaign platform document so far and has a host of costing questions of her own — including a promised OHIP+ free prescription drug plan experts say will cost $1 billion, double her estimate.
And she is hardly in position to preach about fiscal responsibility. Wynne’s election budget will be based on an $8-billion deficit and broken promise to balance the books this year — the 12th Liberal deficit in 15 budgets. Her Liberal government has doubled spending and tripled debt since 2003.
With a recent Dart Insight poll showing 81% of Ontarians want Wynne’s scandal-plagued government gone, her shot at the Tories is understandable.
It just has no basis in fact.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies