BUDGET THURSDAY, ELECTION RHETORIC NOW

Apr 28, 2014

By Andy Johnson

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The next Ontario budget doesn’t come down until Thursday and it’s still unclear whether the NDP will once again save the minority Liberal government from falling. While we wait, the pre-election rhetoric is ramping up. Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday there will be a lot in the budget to recommend it to both the NDP and Conservatives. However, it’s unlikely any budget support will be coming from Tim Hudak’s Tories. Hudak is accusing the government of using card tricks and “fiscal sleight of hand” to sell its deficit reduction numbers, which according to PC Finance Critic Vic Fidelli, don’t add up. Fidelli says Wynne and her cabinet knew in 2009 – 10 that a deficit of $24.7 billion dollars was false and they repeated in the 2013 budget, with no plan to reduce the number to zero, as promised, by 2017 – 18. Aside from a myriad of spending announcements over the past couple of weeks, the actual content of the provincial budget is a mystery. Finance Minister Charles Sousa has admitted the provincial books won’t be balanced in the next couple of years, but claims he is still on target to eliminate the deficit by 2017 – 18.

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