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$1.3 B deficit still forecast for 22-23

By Randy Thoms Aug 14, 2023 | 2:12 PM

The Ontario government is still forecasting a deficit of $1.3 billion for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy released the latest financial update on Monday.

He says while inflationary pressures have eased slightly, there are economic issues still impacting the province.

“The impact of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate policies increases will continue to weigh on many people in Ontario and on our economic outlook for the remainder of the year. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Ontario is not immune to any potential economic slowdown,” says Bethlenfalvy.

“We will continue to take a targeted approach to our plan that supports businesses and people today while building a strong fiscal foundation for future generations.”

Bethlenfalvy’s update differs from the one presented by the Financial Accountability Office earlier this year.

The FAO forecast a surplus of $3 billion for 2023-24.

Bethlenfalvy says the FAO is using a different methodology to come to its conclusion.

“That they use unaudited numbers. They use unconsolidated numbers. They don’t include schools and school boards or colleges or hospitals in their numbers.”

The province also remains unchanged on its revenue and spending forecasts.

Revenues in 2023–24 are projected to be $204 billion, with program spending pegged at $190 billion.

Some money was taken from the contingency fund, $776 million, to pay for some programs.

Most went to develop industrial land for large-scale manufacturing investments.

The rest went to the Ontario Provincial Police, First Nation policing and changes to existing collective agreements with Ontario Public Service employees.

 

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