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Ontario budget set for March 26; minister says no tax increases

TORONTO — Ontario’s finance minister says he will present the province’s next budget on March 26.

Peter Bethlenfalvy says it will outline how the government is “rebuilding Ontario’s economy without raising taxes and fees or putting more burden on businesses and municipalities.”

When Bethlenfalvy presented an update last month on the province’s finances from the third quarter of this fiscal year he projected Ontario would end the year with a $4.5 billion deficit.

That’s significantly higher than the $1.3 billion deficit for 2023-24 that he was eyeing at the time of last year’s budget.

That budget had Ontario expecting budget surpluses starting in this upcoming year, but it’s unknown if the recent higher deficit projection will now push the path to balance further down the road.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer says the courts finding a public sector wage restraint law known as Bill 124 unconstitutional has led to billions of dollars in higher-than-planned spending this year as the government funds retroactive payments for compensation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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