Feb 14, 2022

By Christine Ross

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Ontario is projecting a 13.1-billion deficit this fiscal year, down from the province’s last forecast mostly due to higher revenues.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy says the government has invested most of the $2.7 billion in COVID-19 relief funding announced as part of the fall economic statement with $500 million remaining for the rest of the fiscal year.

The money has gone to hospitals, rebates and grants for businesses, long-term care and personal support worker training, but does not include the current protests and blockades.

“These numbers reflect our third quarter which ended December 31st but also include out COVID-19 spending until February 2nd so it does not really reflect what’s going on at our borders, or in Ottawa but obviously they could have an impact,” said Bethlenfalvy.

The 2021-22 deficit projection is $8.4 billion lower than in the fall economic statement.

“What I can tell you is that through our fall economic statement, we had an eye on not only protecting our health care investments which we can continue to do, but we have an eye on economic recovery.”

No date has been released for the budget, which must be tabled by March 31st.

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