Halloween decoration aims to spook taxpayers
Ontario Debt Graveyard (Courtesy Leardi Law Firm)
An Amherstburg lawyer says his Halloween decoration is meant to scare Ontarians.
Anthony Leardi has created the Ontario Debt Cemetery at his law office on Sandwich Street.
The graveyard features five tombstones, each delivering a statement about Ontario’s debt situation that Leardi researched.
“The purpose is to draw attention to Ontario's scary debt” says Leardi.
One “tombstone” reports that Ontario is spending over $31 million per day just in interest payments on the debt.
“That’s a lot of money,” says Leardi. “Imagine what we could do if we didn’t have to pay interest on that debt. You could build a new high school in Ontario every single day.”
Another “tombstone” reports Ontario’s interest payments at over $11 billion per year. “You could build three Gordie Howe bridges every year with that money,” says Leardi, “but instead we are wasting it on interest payments.”
On Tuesday, Ontario's auditor general said the way the Liberal government is cutting hydro bills by 25 per cent purposely obscures the true financial impact of the measure to avoid showing a deficit on the province's books.
Bonnie Lysyk estimates the plan's total cost will be $39.4 billion over 30 years, but the accounting the government is using in the plan means Ontario's net debt and future deficits won't reflect that.
Leardi is no stranger to political issues. He was a municipal councillor and was formerly the deputy-mayor of Amherstburg.
“A few years ago I put just one tombstone in my Halloween display at home as a bit of a joke. Many people commented on it so I decided to go bigger,” says Leardi.
The “graveyard” will stay up until October 31st.