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Ontario on track for years of deficits, watchdog says

November 4, 2016

(Perth-Wellington) – Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) yesterday confirmed a $2.6 billion deficit in 2017-18, despite the Liberal government’s repeated promises to balance the books.

The report says: “Based on the FAO’s analysis of the economic outlook and the government’s current fiscal position, Ontario’s budget would be expected to remain in deficit over the next five years.”

“The report backs up what we have said for years: the Liberals’ promises on the deficit can’t be trusted,” said Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece.

Ontario’s net debt will continue to rise to $370 billion by 2020-21, the report says.

“Deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow,” Pettapiece said. “They also mean we won’t have the funds we need to reduce healthcare wait times, or build the infrastructure we need, among many other priorities.”

Pettapiece pointed to just a few recent examples of waste contributing to the deficit:

• $308 million spent on an abandoned plan to modernize the OLG
• $12 million on consultants and advertising for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)
• Nearly $3 million on a polling contract to Liberal strategist David Herle

“The list seems to go on and on,” Pettapiece observed.

Ontario has not had a balanced budget since 2007, when George W. Bush was president and before 13-year-old Justin Bieber rocketed to fame.

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