Amid a gathering fiscal storm, the Ontario government will soon table its budget for the coming fiscal year and beyond. There’s a lot riding on getting things right.
Soon, the Wynne government will present its first budget since being re-elected with a majority last June. This will be a critical test, particularly with respect to the bond market and credit rating agencies.
Ontario’s net public debt is estimated at $287.3 billion and will hit nearly $320 billion by 2017. The evolution of this daunting number is an interesting story as the spring budget approaches.
The mining industry contributes mightily to Canada’s economic prosperity, adding $54 billion to Canada’s GDP and employing roughly 383,000 Canadians at an average annual salary of more than $110,000 in 2013. But Canada has a serious problem with land-use certainty that may threaten future investment in the sector.
With the plunge in oil prices over the last six months (and already soft natural gas prices), it’s not headline news to note that provinces heavily dependent on energy-related revenues are suffering.
The Ontario government is currently neck deep in negotiations with public sector unions including those representing bureaucrats, teachers, and police officers.
Ontario’s provincial government wants a balanced budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, and Finance Minister Charles Sousa is adamant that Ontario will reach that goal.
Many Ontarians have likely heard a horror story or two about their government’s growing debt and the resulting strain on public finances. You can’t blame them. Sources of evidence abound.