Published on Toronto.com
By Sevaun Palvetzian
A lot of themes pop up in the regular news cycle.
One in particular is the provincial government’s aim of “balancing the books.”
This is an important goal. It’s a fact that we have been spending more than we have, and the levels of debt have been increasing at an incredible rate. The government estimates that Ontario was overspending $40 million each day, ultimately adding $200 billion to our debt. Overall, we are the largest holder of debt among states and provinces globally, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
That’s not an international No. 1 goal we should aspire to.
Getting Ontario’s books back in order should rightly be a priority — especially when the debt share for each Ontarian is nearly $23,000. It’s simply irresponsible to leave our future generations with such a huge debt load to carry forward when they’re cash-strapped themselves.
But the equation on “saving” isn’t always straight math.
As one order of government trims down their budget, it is often the case that costs trickle down to another one, in this case to Ontario’s cities and towns. For Toronto, our city manager has notified the mayor and council that these cuts carry a total cost of $178 million this year alone. The bottom line? The needs of our residents don’t disappear even if they do disappear from a government funding budget line.
Plus, not funding these programs, many of which are proactive in nature, may cost way more down the road when a bigger problem pops up, which — you guessed it — will still need to be covered by taxpayers’ dollars.