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Ontario on track to balance books by 2017-18: Sousa

By Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Ontario Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa (Toronto Sun files)

Ontario Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa (Toronto Sun files)

TORONTO - 

The provincial government will release a fall economic statement that shows Ontario is on track to balance its budget as planned by 2017-18, Finance Minister Charles Sousa says.

Ontarians shouldn’t expect a dramatic departure in fiscal style, he added.

“Some would advocate for a slash-and-burn policy. We reject that. And others will ask for a tax-and-spend policy, which is also precarious and would harm our economic recovery. We need to take the balanced approach,” Sousa said Monday.

Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli said the Liberals’ vow to balance the books is more fiction than fact.

“The one key component is a wage freeze, (an) across-the-board wage freeze, and there’s no plan that that’s coming,” Fedeli said. “In fact, eight out of 10 managers received a pay increase in the last year. There’s just no way they’re going to be able to balance the budget.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath viewed the Liberal government’s statement with equal skepticism.

The government has never brought in an economic statement or budget where the numbers looked the same as in a previous version, she said.

“I think we’ll all be interested to see what the Liberals claim in this economic statement but frankly their numbers have never held water,” she said. “This is a government that claims to want to be open and transparent.

“Let’s hope they start with the economic statement.”

While no date has been set, the government is expected to release the economic statement within weeks.


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