Liberals have no business lecturing anyone on math

Premier Kathleen Wynne announces a provincial election at Queen's Park on Friday. (DAVE...

Premier Kathleen Wynne announces a provincial election at Queen's Park on Friday. (DAVE ABEL/Toronto Sun)

Christina Blizzard, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:37 PM ET

Wonky math myths were on everyone’s lips last week, as the provincial election campaign kept up its long march across the province.

While critics were busy splitting hairs over Tim Hudak’s bad campaign math, they seem to have forgotten how excruciatingly bad with numbers the Liberals have been over the past 10 years.

On Thursday, we learned the Liberals are planning a secret bailout of a real estate deal in downtown Toronto.

The MaRS building was supposed to be a centre for innovation and research.

In 2007, the Liberals gave the project a $234 million loan, then in 2011, plowed in an additional $71 million for Phase 2.

It all went bad. The building is only 30% occupied and the government is stepping in to stop it from going bankrupt.

The building was supposed to spur the “knowledge economy.”

I well remember former Premier Dalton McGuinty holding a news conference there about seven years ago and holding up his BlackBerry built in Waterloo — to demonstrate what a wonderfully innovative province this is.

That worked out well, didn’t it?

Those reporters on the cutting edge of technology scrambled to report it on their smartphones.

It’s almost like the Liberals are the kiss of death to business.

They have the reverse Midas touch. Whatever they touch turns to crap.

“When did government get in the mortgage business?” asks Nipissing Tory Vic Fedeli.

He thinks the $317 million is just the tip of the iceberg.

“One thing for sure, this isn’t the full set of numbers, Fedeli said. “It could be the bulk of them. It could just be the tip of them.”

He wonders what side deals there are that we don’t know about.

He has every right to ask that question. This is the same party that insisted it would cost a mere $40 million to scrap the Mississauga gas plant. Turns out it cost $1.1 billion to move it and the Oakville plant.

Bad math? Stupidity? Or just incompetence? You decide.

The Liberals have been highly critical of Hudak’s job creation numbers, but notably silent on their own flawed and false job numbers.

Their Green Energy Act (GEA) was a masterpiece of doublespeak.

In a column in the March 1, 2009 Toronto Sun, the Energy Minister George Smitherman said the GEA will, “shape not only the way we do business in Ontario, but the way we think about energy and consumption.”

He got that right. Just not perhaps the way he expected.

Electricity costs skyrocketed and most of our manufacturing sector moved to the U.S.

“The proposed GEA has the potential to deliver 50,000 new jobs to Ontario in the manufacturing, assembly, retrofit and architectural sectors, just to start,” he said.

How many were actually produced?

In a 2011 report, then provincial auditor-general Jim McCarter said most of the these jobs were in construction and would last no more than three years.

McCarter also said that for every job created by the GEA, two to four are lost in manufacturing because of higher electricity costs.

Then there was the sell-off of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission that operated train service in Northern Ontario. In his 2012 budget, then-finance minister Dwight Duncan announced the government would sell off ONTC — shutting down a Northern Ontario train lifeline.

At the time, the government said it would save nearly $266 million over three years.

Turns out we got railroaded.

In her report last year, provincial Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk said not only will it not save money — it’s going to cost us as much as $820 million. It seems the Liberals hadn’t factored in hefty severance payments to employees.

The Ornge air ambulance scandal is well documented. Millions of dollars were squandered when a rogue CEO was given carte blanche to create a web of companies out of what had formerly been a public company.

But the wasted money isn’t the real scandal.

On Friday, we learned more troubling details when Ornge was charged with 17 counts under the federal labour code as a result of deadly crash last year that killed two pilots and two paramedics.

Among other things, the charges allege Ornge allowed the pilots to fly the chopper “without adequate training in the operation of that specific aircraft.”

And you’re still worried about Hudak’s math?

I think the Liberals are long overdue a class in arithmetic.

Apparently, they still can’t add. They haven’t been able to balance the books once — even though they signed a pledge saying they’d do so. We’re now looking at a staggering $300-billion debt.

Libs need lessons in history and ethics.

Then they can lecture the Tories on math.

 


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