By David Olive Business Columnist Fri., April 26, 2019 How to account for Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s obsession with alcohol? In its April 8 budget, the Ford government proposed extending serving hours for bars and even golf courses to 9 a.m. It called for importing the U.S. practice of binge-drinking, tailgate parties outside sports venues. Ford would authorize municipalities to allow drinking in public parks. The budget would cut beer prices at legion halls. That’s a partial list of Ford’s liquor liberalizations. The premier had already scrapped a scheduled, routine increase in the beer tax. That same budget calls for the sale of beer in more than 10,000 convenience stores (or “C-stores”), big-box outlets and supermarkets. That would more than quintuple the number of outlets selling beer and wine in Ontario, if all of the province’s 9,000 convenience stores begin stocking six-packs of Moosehead. Article Continued Below … [Read more...] about Why is Premier Doug Ford so obsessed with liquor?
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By Martin Regg Cohn Ontario Politics Columnist Thu., April 11, 2019 Thanks to Ontario’s good-news budget, good times are here again. Even if they never actually left. Remember Doug Ford’s grave warnings that we face a “carbon-tax recession” dead ahead? Recall all that scaremongering from the premier about the “job-killing” federal terror of a tax? Never mind. Changed our mind. Ford’s very own finance minister, Vic Fedeli, now admits that, far from facing the worst of times, this is the best of Tory times. Fedeli’s no-recession concession came in a budget that wasn’t merely anti-climactic but amnesiac. Article Continued Below What about the premier’s alarmist claims of a runaway $15-billion deficit that sent shivers through Bay Street? Good news — Fedeli says with the Tories in control, it’s back down. Stand down. Which raises a nagging question about the much-anticipated Progressive … [Read more...] about In Ford’s first budget, the good times are back — even if they never left
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief Thu., April 11, 2019 Ontario is turning over a new leaf — or at least a fresh trillium logo — with the first budget tabled by Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli will release the fiscal blueprint Thursday and is expected to outline how the province will stanch the red ink. “It will be a reasonable, pragmatic, sustainable path back to balance,” Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy, who helped craft the fiscal plan, said Wednesday. “We are looking to cut … the level of spending (of) the previous Liberal government that we inherited, which was unsustainable,” said Bethlenfalvy. “I think we’re going to do it in a way that is modest and sustainable,” he said, declining to say whether the books would balanced before the 2022 election. Article Continued Below As first disclosed by the Star, a new … [Read more...] about Ontario budget 2019: Vic Fedeli unveils the Ford Tories’ first fiscal plan
By Allison Jones The Canadian Press Wed., April 10, 2019 TORONTO—Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government will lay out what it calls a responsible path to balance in its first budget Thursday, but critics are warning that shiny baubles will mask deep cuts. Premier Doug Ford has promised to eliminate a $13.5-billion deficit, but has not yet said how long that will take. When asked Wednesday about any cuts that may be planned to achieve balance, Ford did not provide details. “I think you’ll be impressed,” he said. “We’re going to be thoughtful and we’ll balance, but again, we’re going to make sure that we’re doing it properly.” After the Tories took office last year they pegged the deficit from the previous Liberal government at $14.5 billion, but the financial accountability officer has said it was closer to $12 billion. Opposition politicians have accused the Tories of inflating the deficit so they … [Read more...] about Ontario’s path to a balanced budget will be responsible, Ford says
By Shawn Jeffords The Canadian Press Thu., Feb. 14, 2019 TORONTO - Doug Ford vowed Thursday to keep seeking so-called efficiencies to balance the budget after the province’s financial watchdog said Ontario had limited opportunities to cut already low government spending. The Progressive Conservatives have said the deficit for 2018-19 is projected to be $13.5 billion, although opposition politicians have accused the government of inflating the figure to justify cuts to programs and services. A report from the Financial Accountability Officer released Thursday said the Tories would be limited in how much government spending they would be able to cut, noting that in 2017 the province’s per capita spending on programs was already the lowest amongst all the provinces. Ford said, however, that he believes his government can achieve its plan. “No one will ever convince Doug Ford ... that there isn’t waste in government,” the premier said. … [Read more...] about Ford to keep seeking efficiencies despite FAO warning of limited chances to cut spending