Despite the liberal government’s feeble attempt to try and suggest they might be close to balancing the budget, the only hope of a balanced budget is a new government in 2018.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa
TORONTO – Ontario’s financial watchdog warns the province’s net debt will grow by another $50 billion to $350 billion in the next four years.
The Financial Accountability Office says the net debt will keep growing largely because of the Liberal government’s $160-billion, 12-year plan to invest in infrastructure and public transit projects.
The FAO says the debt will also grow because it predicts a return to annual budget deficits in 2018-19, even though the Liberals promise to balance the books next year.
This year’s provincial budget forecast Ontario’s net debt would hit $326.8 billion in 2018-19, which was as far out as its projections went, so the FAO’s prediction of a $350 billion debt by 2020-21 is not a big stretch.
The FAO says Ontario’s net debt “increased significantly” during the 2008-09 recession, and grew by $139 billion between then and 2015-16.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the Liberals made a deliberate decision during the recession to stimulate economic growth, which he insists meant the downturn was not as deep or as long as it might otherwise have been.
Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press courtesy of BNN on July 19th 2016