Ted Arnott, MPP
Wellington – Halton Hills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2012
MPP Arnott continues to highlight need for debt repayment
(Queen’s Park) – Despite the defeat last week of his private member’s resolution calling on the
Government to commit to begin paying down the provincial debt, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted
Arnott is continuing to raise the issue in the Ontario Legislature.
During the debate on Mr. Arnott’s resolution on April 19, Liberal MPPs rationalized their opposition
to the resolution by arguing that committing to debt repayment plan once the budget is balanced
would reduce the flexibility of a future Government.
However, in a statement in the Ontario Legislature on April 25, Mr. Arnott noted that the McGuinty
Government is now promising to eliminate its new surtax on high income earners once the budget is
“Since the Premier appears to be making plans for what needs to be done when the budget is finally
balanced, how can the Liberal members suggest that talk of a debt repayment plan is premature, as
they asserted last Thursday?” Mr. Arnott asked in the Ontario Legislature. “Or is it just that any talk
of paying down the debt repels the Liberals, and makes them run the other way?”
Mr. Arnott has repeatedly drawn attention to the need to begin to pay down the debt in his 21 years
in the Ontario Legislature. It was the focus of his maiden speech in the Ontario Legislature in 1990
and he has now introduced 3 separate resolutions focusing on debt repayment.
The Government will spend $10.6 billion this year alone in interest on the debt. This represents the
third highest provincial expenditure, behind only health care and education.
This number will only increase as interest rates rise. According to the Auditor General’s most recent
report, at Ontario’s current debt level, the province will pay an additional $500 million in interest for
each 1% rise in interest rates.
“…As long as I’m in this House, I want to speak for the future generations of Ontarians who should
not have to pay for Premier McGuinty’s profligacy,” Mr. Arnott concluded.
Mr. Arnott’s concerns were further validated by reports that Standard and Poor’s have downgraded
Ontario’s economic outlook from “stable” to “negative” because of doubts about the province’s ability
to contain its spending.
(Attached: Hansard record of Ted Arnott’s speech in the Ontario Legislature, April 25, 2012.)
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Ontario Hansard – April 25, 2012
Mr. Ted Arnott: Yesterday afternoon, I listened to Premier McGuinty being interviewed on CFRB. He
said that the NDP had forced him to agree to the new surtax on high-income earners. He also said that the
new surtax would reduce the deficit, and he stated it would be eliminated after the budget is balanced. A
fair-minded person would conclude from this that the Premier has a long-term fiscal plan-at least, in his
mind-that includes what should be done after the budget is balanced.
Last Thursday, Liberal MPPs voted against my motion, which was a modest proposal speaking to a larger
principle: my belief that after the budget is balanced, the government should start making a serious effort
to pay down the accumulated provincial debt.
Since the Premier appears to be making plans for what needs to be done when the budget is finally
balanced, how can the Liberal members suggest that talk of a debt repayment plan is premature, as they
asserted last Thursday? Or is it just that any talk of paying down the debt repels the Liberals and makes
them run the other way? Is it that they’ve added so much to the provincial debt that they are oblivious and
couldn’t get their heads out of the sand if they wanted to? Or is it that they know that their record of
uncontrolled spending will eventually defeat them?
Maybe my motion struck a raw nerve, but as long as I’m in this House, I want to speak for the future
generations of Ontarians who should not have to pay for Premier McGuinty’s profligacy.