Politicians won’t fix Ontario’s finances: CFIB

March 20, 2012 | Last updated on March 20, 2012
2 min read

Ontario’s small business owners are “angry and frustrated” that the province’s politicians appear unable to balance the budget, according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The survey, which received 3,300 responses, asked business owners about the current state of Ontario’s finances, and about the Drummond report, regarding the elimination of the province’s $16 billion deficit.

Their resounding answer: business owners have a deficit of trust, and lack confidence in the capabilities of Ontario’s politicians.

While governments are just catching up to the implications of the economic slowdown now, many Ontarians have already felt and dealt with them in their own place of business—having had to cut their own salaries, freeze wages and reduce overhead expenses to preserve the bottom line.

So, while 78% of respondents want the government to act within the next 12 months, most have no faith in the current minority parliament to meet their proposed target to balance the budget by 2017/2018.

“Despite putting all parties on probation by electing a minority parliament in the recent election, Ontarians are seeing very little evidence of politicians, regardless of political stripe, putting the public good ahead of their own,” says Satinder Chera, CFIB’s Ontario vice-president.

With the Ontario budget one week away, CFIB has recommended measures aimed at building all-party support for making the deficit public enemy number one and winning back the public’s trust.

Chera adds, “For example, legislating spending limits that balance spending with revenues would demonstrate the commitment of all parties to balance the budget come hell or high water,” concluded Chera.

Read the survey results and CFIB’s budget recommendations.