Canadian Taxpayers Federation marks Ontario debt hitting $300 billion
Christine Van Geyn, Ontario director of Canadian Taxpayers Federation, looks on as the provincial debt clock turns over the $300 billion mark at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)
A horse trailer, a stadium clock, and some math.
That’s what the Canadian Taxpayers Federation used to send a flashy message to Queen’s Park about the province’s debt, which by their calculations reached $300 billion at approximately 10:34 a.m. Monday.
CTF’s Ontario director Christine Van Geyn said the debt clock on wheels was made largely with the help of their supporters.
“The reason we built an enormous clock is because we realize debt can be invisible,” she said. “But it really isn’t invisible. You can see it in resources that are being cut, you can see it in our infrastructure that’s falling apart because we don’t have the money to spend on priorities, we’re spending it on debt interest.”
The CTF built the clock by cutting out a side panel in a horse trailer, then installing a stadium clock made in London, Ont. and programmed to show the province’s climbing debt instead of game scores.
Toronto resident Shemina Keshvani said she and her family came down to see the clock reach $300 billion.
“It’s completely irresponsible,” she said. “The Ontario government is clearly not in tune with what’s reasonable.”
Last week, Ontario’s financial accountability officer warned that the province’s debt is on pace to rise by $50 billion over the next four years.
A statement from the finance minister’s office said the government remains “firmly committed” to eliminating the deficit by 2017-18.