Ontario Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan on March 26, 2012.
Credits: Stan Behal Photo/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan was quick Thursday to dismiss criticism of his provincial budget from economist Jack Mintz published in the National Post.
"Who cares. He lives in Alberta. Give me a break," Duncan said.
It was just a month ago that Premier Dalton McGuinty admitted he needed to "self edit" after he upset Albertan Premier Alison Redford who had asked for Ontario's support in promoting the oilsands.
Instead, McGuinty said Alberta oil is driving up the Canadian dollar and hurting Ontario exports.
Duncan said the response to his $126-billion budget has been quite favourable with some notable exceptions.
"I would have been shocked - shocked - had publications like the Toronto Sun and the National Post had anything good to say about our budget even though they've editorially endorsed many of the things we've got in it," Duncan said.
Mintz, Palmer Chair of the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, said in the Post piece that Duncan's budget is at best a hesitant step in the right direction and at worse a failure, arguing the minister is not taking sufficient action to deal with the province's "massive indebtedness."
Mintz is the same economist that Duncan routinely quoted when defending his government's plan to bring in the harmonized sales tax.
"I'm particularly proud of the support this tax package has received from Jack Mintz, former CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute, who is one of (PC Leader Tim) Hudak's tax experts whom he quotes quite often," Duncan says in a published account of a 2009 speech in his hometown of Windsor.