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Is Queen's Park itself the problem? Gene Balfour says yes. "Libertarians...are..."defenders" against all other political parties who continue to expand the state."

Libertarian candidate says government at all levels has become too big

in Community/Poverty Reduction by

Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns will be interviewing all provincial candidates in the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock riding in the coming days. Today, we speak with the Libertarian candidate Gene Balfour.

Benns: As you see it, what are three of the top issues in this provincial election?

Balfour: As I see it, there is one main issue from which many other issues arise. The main issue is that Ontario voters have allowed our governments at all levels to become too big.

To substantiate this statement, I offer five metrics to consider:

–       380,000-plus is the existing amount of regulations that the current and past Ontario legislatures have assigned to government “responsibilities” as regulations. All regulations are the fiduciary responsibility of the Ontario Government to enforce. With this number of  enforcement responsibilities, it easily explains why Ontario employs about 1.4 million public servants.

–       25 years  is the “doubling rate of regulation expansion”  which was “only” about 190,000 regulations under Bob Rae’ s NDP government.

–       $158.5 Billion is the recently announced provincial government budget that is, in essence, the cost of enforcing  380,000-plus  government “responsibilities” which all require budget allocations to manage.

–       $311 Billion is the current size of the Ontario’s government’s  public debt. It is rising rapidly as new regulations are passed and spending commitments are made. This amounts to ~$22,000 per man, woman and child.

–       44 per cent is the current rate of taxation from all sources that the average Canadian must remit to tax collectors from their earned income.

These metrics explain how much burden our governments have imposed on the financial and social liberties of Ontario residents. It further explains why Libertarians are politically active to defend and protect individual persons and their property from intentional and unwanted harm and aggression by others, including people employed by the state. In fact, Libertarians do not see ourselves as “politicians” but as “defenders” against all other political parties who continue to expand the state.

Benns: What are the answers to poverty and low incomes for many people in this riding?

Balfour: I worked for 42 years before retirement in 2017, and 35 years was as a professional recruiter. I have interviewed over 10,000 candidates and found employment for more than 1,300. I understand the job market like few people can from this experience,  and I have come to certain conclusions about the role of government in job markets:

  • Governments cannot “create” jobs as many politicians claim unless, of course, they are government jobs under their hiring authority. Private sector jobs will increase in direct proportion to a healthy environment within which business employers can invest, compete and thrive.
  • Government policies actually harm the job market in most cases. They often create conditions under which business growth is hampered and job growth is not possible. Some examples include the Minimum Wage Law that hurts employers and many employees who have lost jobs due to required business adjustments; excessively high electricity prices due to the Green Energy Act and other misguided polices; excessive regulatory compliance costs; high corporate and individual taxes that “scare away” business enterprises and top talent that can earn more after tax elsewhere.

If elected, I would fight to repeal all legislation that impedes a healthy economy within which everyone can not only “survive,” but “thrive.” I would oppose government expansion which has proven repeatedly to pass on the associated costs to Ontario residents in terms of higher taxes, more debt, job losses, business relocations from Ontario, excessive energy costs, and any individual costs that are imposed on struggling residents and that can be directly traced to  unnecessary and biased legislation.

All ships will float more safely if Ontario unloads its excessive regulatory cargo and makes room for the needs and interests of citizens.

It will be a pleasure to fight this battle at Queens Park if the constituents of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock ask me to do so as their elected MPP.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting. I agree that government is too big and that there are too many regulations. But I do not agree that a freer market will end poverty.

    Sadly, very few politicians are addressing a major problem in all our societies – the rising control of governments by organized crime. More than anything else, violent and fraudulent organized crime causes poverty. It also threatens social order.

    We need some bureaucracy and some regulations. The charm is getting the balance and the motivation right for both in our society.

    But even more than organized crime, government (elected also but mostly bureaucrat executives) corruption threatens our democracy. I wish some leader would take that on and correct it.

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