Ontario election reality check: “The leanest government in Canada”?

Global News

Question: Is Ontario the “leanest government” in Canada?

Analysis: Yeah, kind of.

In response to Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s announcement Friday he plans to axe 100,000 public service jobs in the province, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne shot back that Ontario is “the leanest government in Canada.”

Sounds impressive. But is it true? Depends what you look at.

If it’s purely government expenditure per capita, then she’s about right: According to the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, the Ontario government spent less per capita in 2011-2012 – roughly $7,600 – than any other government in Canada with the exception of Quebec, which spent $7,196.

Newfoundland, the highest-spending province per capita spends over $12,000 per capita.

Ontario did spend far more (approximately $122 billion in 2011) than any other province, but that makes sense: Its 13-million-person population is significantly larger than that of any other province.

Additional data from Statistics Canada shows…

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