Fraser Institute Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne ranks among Canada’s worst fiscal managers JAN 22, 2015

Wynne Truck CornwallCFN – Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne ranks as one of the worst Canadian premiers at managing provincial government finances while Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall ranks as one of the best, according to a new analysis released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

Measuring the Fiscal Performance of Canada’s Premiers, 2015 examines the fiscal records of 10 Canadian premiers (five current and five former) relative to each other during their time in office up to the 2013/14 fiscal year. Of the current premiers included in the analysis and expected to table budgets this spring, Wall ranks first, while Wynne — the premier of Canada’s largest province — finishes last.

“With sliding energy prices and an uncertain economy, it is incumbent upon all premiers to implement sound fiscal policies in their upcoming budgets to strengthen their province’s economic foundation,” said Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute associate director of tax and fiscal policy and study co-author.

“Sound fiscal policy means prudent government spending, balanced budgets and a tax burden that isn’t so heavy it becomes a disincentive for people to work hard, save, invest and be entrepreneurial.”

The study assigns each premier an overall score (out of 100) and rank (out of 10) based on their relative performance on three core components of fiscal policy: government spending, taxes, and deficits and debt. Premiers who managed spending more prudently, balanced their books and paid down debt, and reduced or maintained key tax rates — relative to their counterparts — ranked higher.

In the analysis of all 10 premiers — including former premiers — Wynne earns an overall score of just 39.5 (out of 100) placing sixth on government spending, fifth on taxes and last on the deficits and debt component, running the largest average deficit of all the premiers at 1.5 per cent of GDP.

At the top of the rankings are Kathy Dunderdale, former Newfoundland and Labrador premier (84.6), Wall (71.5) and Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia (64.8).

“While the top performing premiers should be commended, there is room for all to improve. In Saskatchewan, for example, annual government spending increases were largest, greatly outpacing average inflation and population growth. In B.C., the province’s tax competitiveness has taken a hit with recent tax rate hikes on both corporate and personal income,” Lammam said.

Meanwhile, several premiers who took office after 2013/14 remain burdened by the weak fiscal records of their respective predecessors. Alison Redford, former Alberta premier, ranks sixth overall with particularly poor performance on the government spending and deficits and debt components, while Pauline Marois, former premier of Quebec, ranks seventh overall.

“If Alberta’s current premier wants to put the province on a more sound fiscal and economic footing, a better job needs to be done controlling government spending and reversing the decline in the province’s net assets,” Lammam said.

“In Quebec, the legacy of high government debt and uncompetitive taxes presents a significant challenge if the new government wants to improve Quebec’s economic environment.”


Overall rankings:

1) Kathy Dunderdale,* NL (84.6)

2) Brad Wall, SK (71.5)

3) Christy Clark, BC (64.8)

4) Greg Selinger, MB (49.9)

5) David Alward,* NB (46.0)

6) Alison Redford,* AB (45.9)

7) Pauline Marois,* QC (40.8)

8) Kathleen Wynne, ON (39.5)

9) Darrell Dexter,* NS (36.9)

10) Robert Ghiz,** PE (33.2)

* indicates former premier

** Robert Ghiz has indicated that he will step down as premier pending the election of a new leader, scheduled for February 2015

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  1. No real surprise here. Wynn this week after an apparent epiphany regarding Ontario’s financial crisis after ten years of misspending, mismanagement and outright squandering of taxpayers money lobbied the Federal Government for funding. Wynn believes that although her government has raided their cookie jar the feds still have access to more cookies. The province has been in a tail spin of uncontrolled spending and management and Wynn believes the road to fiscal responsibility needs to be paved with more money (borrowed of course).

    The truth is that Wynn in her pleading for more seemed totally oblivious to her inability to acknowledge that there is only one taxpayer. While taking great exception to the thought of Federal Government interference with the affairs of her province Wynn had no trouble telling the Federal Government how they show manage the finances of the county.

    This weeks revelation of Wynn’s reminded me of a saying….if only we could see ourselves as others see us. Good luck Ms. Wynn.

  2. I hope this doesn’t surprise anyone. She inherited Dalton McGuinty’s mess. She needs to get people on her team who know what they’re doing. There’s a reason I call her McGuinty Jr; she’s following the typical McGuinty / Ontario Fiberal agenda.

  3. This is how the Liberal Ontario government, with the lead of our worst fiscal manger – Premier Wynn leading the pack, is going to take us to the cleaners. Remember the billions of money lost, wasted for all the scandals under the Dalton McGuinty regime? Ontarians – we have so much money to burn the Liberals stay up at night thinking how to spend it = carbon tax! Suckers!

  4. Something is wrong….I’m agreeing with PTN. Gas tax revenues go down so the Fiberals are thinking of a new tax, a carbon tax. Heaven forbid Joe Taxpayer get a break. This new tax may be all fine and well with the lower gas prices, but once the price of gas makes it way back u we’re screwed again.

  5. I am an immigrant in Canada, and always thought very high of Canadian Government management of tax payers money. I must say I am pretty disappointed in what I see around me. I can only say there is still time to recover in case our Premiers decide to take tax payer money seriously. Canadians pay more than half of their livelihoods to the Government in one shape or another especially in Ontario, I only wish the liberal fiscal managers can learn to live within the means…. like the Canadian common has done so

  6. If the Libs have been such an unmitigated disaster since coming to power, and I’m not saying they haven’t been, why did they win the last TWO elections? I have a theory that the Cons deliberately threw the last two elections. Why else would they go with one of the least bright and most repulsive leaders they could find?

  7. Author

    Oh Furtz you know the answer to that question you ol rascal TH

  8. Don’t really know the answer, Jamie, just a theory. The Cons could have and should have easily won the last two elections. Hudak blew the first one by making up asinine policy on the fly, and being repulsive. And the Cons kept him on as leader to do exactly the same thing a second time. As incompetent as the Libs were and are, at least they tried to win the elections, unlike the Cons.

  9. “Oh Furtz you know the answer to that question you ol rascal TH” – Judgement of God.

    “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”(Psa 9:16-17).

  10. Brilliant as always, Newton.
    Explains everything.

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