TORONTO – It turns out Ontario’s economic performance isn’t as strong compared with some of our American neighbours as Premier Kathleen Wynne claimed.
Wynne last week announced that Ontario’s first quarter economic growth in 2016 was 0.8 per cent, or three per cent at an annualized rate, which she boasted was “a faster rate than Canada, the United States and all other G7 countries.”
But Wynne compared Ontario’s growth with that off the entire United States, ignoring the fact that Arkansas, Washington and Oregon all had annualized growth of 3.9 per cent in the first quarter, while Colorado matched Ontario’s three per cent.
NDP finance critic Catherine Fife accuses Wynne of misleading people about the province’s economic performance, and says the premier wants to “spin” the figures to make the Liberal government look good.
A spokesman for Finance Minister Charles Sousa denies there was any attempt to mislead on the GDP numbers, and says the province always compares its performance to the United States as a whole, not to individual states.
Progressive Conservative finance critic Vic Fedeli calls it a “stretch” for Wynne to say 0.8 per cent growth in one-quarter will stay the same throughout the year and result in three per cent annual growth.
Fedeli also says the Liberals can no longer boast that Ontario is the number one jurisdiction in the world for foreign direct investment because the province has now fallen to fourth place.