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Ontario wants you to donate your next tax rebate to help pay down the debt

Last Updated Dec 21, 2015 at 3:52 pm EDT

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne stands at the podium as the provincial government announces the launch of its new birth certificates in Toronto on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Residents of Ontario: The provincial government needs your help.

See, the province has a little problem, something about a debt of $298.9 billion.

And sadly, it has no plan to pay it down. You don’t just happen upon $300 billion unless your name is Zuckerberg.

So the Ontario government is hoping you’ll write them a little cheque, or agree to click the little box on your tax form donating your next tax rebate to the province.

You probably don’t need that money anyway, right?

“It’s an unusual thing for someone to do, but I would encourage any Ontarian who wants to make a contribution feel free to do so,” Deb Matthews, chair of the government’s treasury board, told The Toronto Star this weekend.

Your taxes are clearly too low, or we’d be making some headway in terms of the debt or even this year’s $7.5 billion deficit. You didn’t receive a bill for the $21,000 every man, woman and child in Ontario owes, did you?

And that 70 per cent increase in your hydro bills between 2006 and 2014? Yeah, thanks for that. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $133 billion you’ll owe by 2032 for the energy decisions the government has already made.

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You can write the cheque out to the Ontario Opportunities Fund, which was initially set up by former premier Mike Harris back in 1996 when he took over for Bob Rae.

According to The Star, a full 36,560 of your fellow Ontarians have already donated to the fund since it was implemented, and the fund pulled in $135,289 last year.

That’s nice, but come on Ontario, we can do better than that! At this rate, it will take over 2 million years to tackle just the current debt, let alone all the accumulated interest.

And there have been so many unexpected costs lately. The gas plant scandal was supposed to cost $230 million, but that ended up being closer to $1 billion. The smart meter program ended up costing $1.9 billion, more than twice the original estimated cost. And then there’s that $9.2 billion in extra costs for the Green Energy Act. Money just seems to be flying away, and we’re not talking about wind turbines here.

So look into your heart. Forget about the Syrian refugees or the Salvation Army this year. Skip your annual United Way donation or whatever cancer or heart foundation you usually give to. Those guys don’t know the first thing about crippling debt or borrowing beyond their means. They’re actually required to have balanced operating budgets. Pffft.

No, it’s time for Ontarians to band together and bail out our country’s biggest charity case: The Ontario government.

Please give today.