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Ontario governments will take more than 74 years to balance the budget

Author: Jay Goldberg 2021/07/26

Toronto, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Ontario’s provincial and municipal governments to get their fiscal houses in order in the wake of a report that shows the two levels of government collectively won’t balance their budgets for at least the next 74 years.

In a new report, the Parliamentary Budget Officer forecasts that the provincial and municipal governments will be in deficit territory indefinitely. Collectively, Ontario governments will not balance the books for a single year of the Budget Officer’s 74-year forecast.

“Whether it’s provincial government debt or local government debt, these bills all fall on one taxpayer,” said Jay Goldberg, Interim Ontario Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “The data shows that unless Ontario politicians change course, the province is heading toward a financial disaster. It’s time for provincial and municipal governments to show leadership and tackle deficit-spending.” 

Collectively, Ontario governments are set to pile up another $4.89 trillion in debt between now and the year 2095. That will be added to the nearly half a trillion-dollar debt that Ontario governments have already accumulated.

“If Ontario governments don’t act, Ontarians will soon be forced to pay tens of billions of dollars per year in debt interest payments,” said Goldberg. “That money could otherwise help pay for health care, education, or lower taxes. Failing to make tough decisions today will mean fewer policy choices tomorrow.”

Documents with annual PBO projections for Ontario can be seen here.

An op-ed on this issue published by Loonie Politics can be found here.