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

No red flags in expense audit, says former Fraser Health boss who fired Murray

Wynne Powell said report showed need for tighter rules, but didn’t suggest abuse of expense claims

RCMP’s auto theft team nabs Chilliwack suspect

Kao Daniel Macaulay, well-known to police, arrested in stolen red Honda on March 20

UPDATE: Man with gunshot wound drives into ditch on Chilliwack River Road

Serious crimes investigators believe early morning shooting to be targeted

WATCH: Rally at MP’s office Friday in Chilliwack to stop KM pipeline

Water samples from Chilliwack rivers were delivered to MP Strahl’s office in a symbolic gesture

Garrison store going to new heights for children’s charity

Save-On Foods employees raising cash for BC Children’s Hospital, by throwing managers from airplane

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Gas prices likely driving Canadians to US pumps

Customs say cost of fuel, nice weather, spring break are contributing factors of uptick of traffic

VIDEO: Hockey tournament remembers young fan

Hundreds take part in annual Jordan Owens memorial in Lower Mainland

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Most Read