On Thursday, Finance Minister Charles Sousa will provide an update for Ontarians on the state of provincial government finances.
ontario government spending
The Ontario government has dug itself deep into debt and continues to spend more than the revenue it brings in each year.
According to the Globe and Mail, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has a new advisor, former TD Bank chief executive officer, Ed Clark. Mr. Clark will apparently advise the government on a host of issues including finding new sources of revenue to help balance the provincial budget.
Ontario’s chronic budget deficits have been a problem for more than a decade, as they initially surfaced during the early 2000s but came back with a vengeance once the recession struck.
How governments manage their finances matters a great deal. Spend and borrow too much and the result is a spiral of increasing deficits that create ever higher debt. Then, ever-more tax dollars end up spent on debt interest—not on education, health care, administering provincial courts, or other areas in which provincial governments are involved.
When the federal government faced a growing debt problem in the late 1980s, then Opposition finance critic Paul Martin was initially skeptical about cutting spending.
The other day former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, fumed at a column by economist Jack Mintz who noted the similarities between the current Kathleen Wynne government and Rae’s reign as premier of Ontario, specifically the “high deficits, debt and taxes.”