Today, Statistics Canada reports via The Daily on the average weekly earnings of payroll employees. In absolute weekly earnings, Ontario is second only to Alberta ($798.45 and $818.87, respectively). But in terms of growth over the last year (May 2006 to May 2007), Ontario is second last.
The year-to-year increase in average weekly earnings for all of Canada was 2.9%. The only province that did worse than Ontario’s 2.4% increase was British Columbia, at 2.1%.
Yes, even the Atlantic provinces beat Ontario, with increases ranging from 2.8% (Nova Scotia) to 5.1% (Prince Edward Island). This adds an ironic twist to the gaffe of Thornhill Liberal MPP Mario Racco, who last year embarrassed McGuinty just prior to a premiers’ meeting with this outburst:
“Tell me something, what’s the economic status of the Maritimes? Are they ‘have’ provinces or ‘have-not’ provinces? How is their economy doing? Why is it that Ontario has been doing much better than them?”
--Toronto Star, July 19, 2006
Coincidentally, today’s Daily also includes a report on canola processing, entitled “Crushing Statistics.” Indeed. Here are few more, from a column last week by the Toronto Star’s Ian Urquhart:
Rising along with interest rates and the Canadian dollar are concerns at Queen's Park about the impact on the Ontario economy.
Once the "fat cat" of Confederation – and still considered that in the rest of Canada – Ontario is now looking more scrawny than plump.
In an historic first, the province's unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for six straight months this year and now stands at 6.5 per cent, compared to 6.1 per cent nationally.
Alberta, the real fat cat, is faring best with an unemployment rate of just 3.8 per cent.
Even Quebec is gaining ground, with an unemployment rate now just four-tenths of a percentage point higher than Ontario's. (The spread between the two provinces last year was four times wider.)
And in another historical first, Montreal now has a lower unemployment rate than Toronto (6.5 per cent compared to 6.9 per cent).
--Toronto Star, July 20, 2007
The McGuinty Fiberals ran their last election, and their administration, on health care and education, perhaps assuming that Ontario’s strong economy could be taken for granted. This is a classic Liberal mistake, also made by the last Liberal premier, David Peterson.