Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty sharply criticized the Ontario government Wednesday for its reluctance to cut business taxes, and what he called a “lack of vision.”
The McGuinty government suffers from a “lack of leadership, a lack of vision and a lack of economic stewardship,” he said in an early morning speech in Toronto to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The provincial government “fails to understand the long-term benefits of tax relief,” he added.
The business tax burden is putting Ontario manufacturers at a disadvantage, Mr. Flaherty said. It is also driving away new business investment.
Bailing out individual industries “is just the kind of protectionism that hurts trade and kills jobs” he said.
Nevermind the fact of the fiscal disaster Flaherty left for the Liberals, his criticisms are pretty juvenile for the federal government.
If anyone doubts Flaherty is playing politics here, as opposed to genuine criticism, then the answer is found in his omission. Last time I checked, Quebec's taxes where quite high and their manufacturing base was in trouble. Why does Flaherty continually chastize Ontario, while remaining silent on Quebec, which may well be relatively less "visionary"? Shouldn't Flaherty be calling out Charest too? Flaherty might have some credibility, if his comments weren't so obviously political in nature, rather than a genuine attempt to offer a path forward. What an ass.