Province headed to a $18B deficit – Metro US

Province headed to a $18B deficit

Ontario is planning to dig itself an $18-billion fiscal hole over two years to fight off a deepening recession that’s dragging down governments across Canada and around the world, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said yesterday.

“We’ll report our best estimates in the budget, but I can tell you now that the combined Ontario deficit over this year and next … will be around that $18-billion figure,” he said in a speech to a Toronto business audience.

“A deficit is not something that we take lightly. It is however, a necessity in these challenging times.”

That figure — first floated by TD chief economist Don Drummond — includes the province’s shortfall for the current fiscal year ending March 31 and the upcoming year, but Duncan refused to break down the numbers.

The $18 billion is just a “ballpark” figure and the details will come in the March 26 budget, he said.

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