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Finance

Public sector has become an unsustainable monster

When are our federal, provincial and municipal politicians going to acknowledge they've created a public-sector monster the private sector can't afford?

A new study by the Fraser Institute reveals what a monster it's become.

It says that in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available, the public sector workforce in Ontario, at 1.3 million employees, accounted for almost one in five workers (18.7%).

Further, these public sector employees are the "haves", compared to the 65.6% of private-sector workers, and 15.7% who are self-employed, who are the "have nots."

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Dow hits 20,000 for first time while TSX tops closing record

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, resuming a rally that began in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's surprise election victory.

Canadian stocks also climbed to a record as commodity prices roll higher amid expectations of stronger global growth, stoked by U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to shift the U.S. economy into higher gear.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 0.3 per cent to 15,658.13, topping the previous closing record of 15,657.63 set on Sept. 3, 2014. The intraday record is 15,685.13 points.

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Ontario auditor blasts Liberals for poor oversight of road and transit contracts

Ontario's auditor general says the Liberal government is doing a poor job of overseeing contractors for road maintenance and public transit projects, spending millions of dollars to repair their shoddy work, including part of one bridge that was installed upside down.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk also blasts Metrolinx for weak management of public transit contracts, warns of serious shortcomings in the health-care system, and predicts cap-and-trade will cost businesses and individuals $8 billion between 2017 and 2020.

In her annual report, Lysyk says the pavement on some Ontario roads and highways that is supposed to last 10 to 15 years starts to crack after just two or three, significantly increasing the Ministry of Transportation's repair costs.

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Wynne sued over Hydro One sale

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and two of her senior ministers are alleged to have committed "misfeasance in public office" when they sold off Hydro One shares and used the public sale to enrich the Liberal Party, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

In a statement of claim filed with Ontario's Superior Court and obtained by the Toronto Sun, the Canadian Union of Public Employees alleges Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and former energy minister Bob Chiarelli engineered the multibillion-dollar sale to "reward private investors" who could then in turn support the party through lavish fundraisers.

"The claim alleges, among other things, that the sale was approved and conducted, in whole or in part, to curry favour with an elite class of financial institutions, law firms and investors who stood to benefit from the sale, for the purpose of rewarding their past, and encouraging their future support for and financial contributions to the Ontario Liberal Party," CUPE's statement of claim says.

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Ontario Hydro Auditor's Report Finds Consumers Overcharged By $37 Billion

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk says electricity customers in Ontario have paid billions of dollars for the Liberal government's decisions to ignore its own planning process for new power generation projects.

The Ontario Power Authority's 20-year technical plan, which was updated every three years and reviewed by the Ontario Energy Board, would have offered protection to consumers, said Lysyk.

"Instead of following the legislated process, the Ministry of Energy itself effectively assumed responsibility for electricity planning," she said.

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