If you look at the record of the Ontario Liberal party over the last eight years, you will see they have only managed to balance the books twice. The last three budgets are the biggest in Ontario history and they are planning to run deficits for the next five years, every single one of them bigger than anything the Bob Rae government did.
Ontario Liberal budgets
2003 - 2004 -5.5 billion
2004 - 2005 -1.6 billion
2005 - 2006 -1.4 billion
2006 - 2007 +2.3 billion
2007 - 2008 +0.6 billion
2008 - 2009 -6.4 billion
2009 - 2010 -19.3 billion
2010 - 2011 -14.0 billion
2011 - 2012 -16.3 billion
Steve Paikin: “Adam [Radwanski] and I actually were both at the NDP launch of their fiscal platform this past weekend, and they do have the most modest financial promises – costed out, independently verified – of all of the four major parties.”
I don't condemn the Liberals for the deficits. They may have been prudent. Certainly the 2009/10 budget deficit was the right thing to do. Where I have problems is with their rhetoric claiming the NDP would be worse managers than they are, without putting up one bit of evidence to support their assertion. On the contrary, the evidence supports the NDP in Canada as the most fiscally successful governments.
Coming out of the 80's recession, the NDP in Saskatchewan were the first government in Canada to balance their budget. In the 90's, NDP governments in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba dealt with huge budget transfers cuts to health care from Ottawa and still managed more balanced budgets than Conservative and or Liberal provincial governments.
A Liberal Government in BC has run the largest deficits in that province's history. In fact the BC Liberals have run the five largest deficits in BC history in just the last ten years.
Andrea Horwath has proposed deficits no bigger than either Hudak and McGuinty. The NDP plan has been reviewed by competent and credible economists as fiscally sound.
What it comes down to is priorities. Thats why the more people hear from Andrea Horwath, the more they will look at her plan. It's been happening during the campaign. The NDP have gone from 16% on day one to 26%. Horwath may not win the war here, she has however put the NDP back in the game and will continue to be a significant player after the election. It will be an entirely different election next time out.
The Ontario NDP fiscal framework can be found here.