Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Role Reversal

What's happened to proud, populous, wealthy Ontario? The one-time engine of the Canadian economy is staggering under the weight of its massive deficit. Its unemployment rate is nothing to be proud of, in this recovering economy. Under its current Liberal government leadership the province has stumbled from one misfortune to another. Not attributable necessarily to the inadequate governance of Dalton McGuinty entirely, but sufficiently so.

The candidate who pledged no new taxes if he were to be elected premier, wasted no time in saddling Ontarians with a new tax they hardly believed they'd see re-visited, once the province had freed itself of health-care insurance premiums. We've been paying them again for years, without seeing one iota of improvement in our health-care delivery. But children barely removed from infancy will now attend junior and senior kindergartens full time.

We'll be feeling the pinch soon of the harmonized sales tax, a necessary evil, but necessary at this particular time in the economic situation? The province has so mismanaged its coffers that it is no position now either to relay to the municipalities badly needed funding to assist cities through the heavy lifting since Mike Harris' common-sense revolution left municipalities holding social services' bags the province once picked up.

And now, struggling provincial business entrepreneurs attempting to enter the alternate-energy market with their brilliantly devised, but lack-of-funding and -opportunity-impaired initiatives now stand the real danger of going under, instead of moving up. Their own government hesitates to invest in their home-grown green-energy initiatives.

Instead it's gone out of its way to invest taxpayer funding to invite foreign energy companies to move right in. The truly exciting $7-billion 'green energy' deal that Ontario has signed with Samsung and its partners to bring their business to Ontario at the mere cost of $303,000 for each of the 1,440 manufacturing jobs that will be brought to the province is Ontario's bid for congratulations.

Ontario's Green Energy Act, which pays out to producers of alternate energy sources like wind power four times the market rate and 15 times the rate for electricity through solar power delivery is an incentive to Ontario start-ups, if they could get the foothold they're looking for. But there's a problem in an availability shortage of transmission capacity.

So bringing Samsung into the picture as the officially sanctioned first-opportunity-user of existing wires, will effectively trample on the potential for Ontario's home-grown entrepreneurs. Aren't we clever? Where South Korea has hardened its market against competition by outsiders and build its industry into a world-class one with heft, we do the opposite.

There was a time not all that long ago when countries with the technological advances sent work over to less advantaged countries to produce parts. Ontario is now on the receiving end of what used to be the status of less developed economies, while South Korea stands loftily in the position of calling the control shots.

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