Ontario to table first balanced budget since the recession on April 27

Ontario budget to be tabled April 27

TORONTO — Ontario’s first balanced budget since the recession is set to be delivered April 27.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced the date Thursday in a speech to the Empire Club of Canada, saying that gives the government room to make new investments.

The budget will include a public transit tax credit for seniors 65 years and older. That would come after the federal government recently announced it was eliminating a 15 per cent tax credit for commuters who buy a transit pass.

The Ontario tax credit “will make it more affordable for (seniors) to go to the gym, the library, or to take their grandkids to a concert,” Sousa said.

Sousa highlighted in his speech investments the government has made in the innovation sector, saying more of that can be expected in the budget.

“We must embrace new, potentially disruptive technologies,” he said.

He also signalled that more health spending is coming, saying that sector will get “a major booster shot.”

Even though Ontario’s Liberal government has managed to knock down a deficit that was at one point more than $20 billion, the province’s debt continues to grow.

It has swelled to more than $300 billion and in last year’s budget interest on that debt was more than $11 billion and was growing twice as quickly as any program spending area.

The Progressive Conservatives have accused the government of artificially balancing the budget, through the use of one-time money from asset sales and the use of a reserve fund.

Sousa has said he intends to put measures in the budget to address the red-hot housing market in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. He is set to meet with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday to discuss housing in the region.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Local Hero Awards coming to the North Island

“These people are making a difference in our communities and deserve to get recognized.”

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Grant funding denied for Fort Rupert Curling Club’s new roof, District on the hook for full costs

“I think we did our job in helping the curling club have a facility that is no longer leaking.”

Port Hardy Fire Rescue puts out structure fire

Approximately 20 firefighters responded to the incident.

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw warns dealers and bootleggers they are not welcome

“My hope is that our community works together on this problem as one.”

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read