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

VIDEO: Neighbours fought to extinguish Langley house fire

Firefighters arrived to find citizens dousing a blaze climbing through the walls of a Langley home.

Dear Santa: the Langley Advance presents local children’s letters to the jolly old elf

During the holidays, the Langley Advance will present letters to Santa. Here is the first selection.

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

VIDEO: Hankering for a piece of Star Wars?

A massive Star Wars memorabilia collection is going on the auction block in Langley.

Car fire destroys vehicle in Langley

Firefighters doused a car fire that sent a lot of smoke into the air in Langley.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read