CORNWALL — In an ironic bit of political turnabout, Ontario’s new governing party made a splash today by unveiling the bigger-than-expected deficit racked up by the predecessor regime in the current fiscal year.
“Today, the Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, exposed the previous Liberal government’s fiscal cover-up has actually saddled Ontario with a crippling hidden deficit of $15 billion for the current fiscal year,” says local MPP Jim McDonell, member of the Progressive Conservative Ford government.
“The Independent Commission of Financial Inquiry’s report reveals there was a culture of waste and mismanagement embedded at the highest levels of the previous Liberal government,” asserts the Stormont-Dundas-South-Glengarry MPP. “The Liberals never balanced the budget in 2017-2018. They ran a deficit of $3.7 billion,” McDonell adds.
In the glee of today’s PC’s, there are echoes of 2003, when the Tories themselves were accused by the newly elected McGuinty Liberals of leaving a hidden $5.6-deficit.
Fast forward through the ensuing 15 years of Liberal rule — who ran deficits in 12 of those years — and Ontario’s combined debt now stands at $338-billion. — or $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the province. The Ford government repeatedly highlights the figure as the largest subnational debt of any province or state in the world.
The release of the new report “takes the first step of many on the path to restoring accountability and trust in government, respecting taxpayers, and putting Ontario’s fiscal house in order,” says McDonell.