During the last election, Doug Ford made a lot of promises to Ontarians. But he never gave them a plan. David Reevely writes that Ford and Ontarians are about to have a rude awakening:
Ford’s big promise is jobs, especially manufacturing jobs. Ontario’s unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent, nearly the lowest it’s been in a generation, but with big disparities between urban areas and more rural ones. Manufacturing employment specifically is down about 300,000 jobs over the past 15 years. But fulfilling that promise will be difficult.
Manufacturing suffered more here in May, with 12,000 jobs in the sector disappearing from Ontario. Other industries more than made up the loss, but “employment in (manufacturing) reached a five-year peak in December 2017, and has been trending downward in 2018,” Statistics Canada reported. Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia — all lost manufacturing jobs in May, with other provinces posting just tiny increases.
Moreover, Donald Trump's trade war won't make things any easier:
The hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs we retain depend a great deal on trade with the U.S., which President Donald Trump is torpedoing. The animosity only really started during the campaign, and Ford doesn’t have a real response yet, though he’s promised to stand with the federal Liberals as they marshal Canada’s response.
Ford will have to decide what sort of aid his government will give the workers whose jobs Trump has targeted, starting with steel and aluminum and potentially expanding to automakers. If the tariff tiff is temporary, that’s one thing. If it lasts a long time, help for businesses — manufacturing businesses! — that can’t survive without access to the American market could turn into corporate welfare.
And, of course, Ford's first official acts were to end the cap and trade system and to sink the Ontario Green Fund -- which supported initiatives to save and refocus on green energy. Ending both initiatives will cost money -- a lot of money.
The bottom line is that the man who promised to get a handle on Ontario's deficits is simply digging a deeper hole.
But, then, Dougie was never the sharpest tool in the shed.