July 13, 2024
A grownup fiscal update from the Ford government — and not a single mention of beer
Moderate is not the first word one would have used to describe the Ford government up to now, but maybe it is possible to teach a new government old tricks.
Moderate is not the first word one would have used to describe the Ford government up to now, but maybe it is possible to teach a new government old tricks.

So the Ontario PCs can do grownup government after all.

Just seven months ago, the Progressive Conservatives produced a budget that raised public expectations with record spending, and then crushed them with poorly explained cuts. It quickly sent the government into a tailspin. On Wednesday, new Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips made his first attempt to explain the province’s finances, and he nailed it.

Phillips’s fall fiscal update does a better job of balancing the government’s need to eliminate the deficit with the public’s distaste for most measures that would reduce spending. The government will spend $1.3 billion more than the spring budget planned, mostly to undo unpopular changes to health care, municipally run child care, education and the autism program. Politically, that’s the right thing to do and the new spending plan is a politically-astute document. So much so that Phillips didn’t even mention beer once.

The Doug Ford government certainly isn’t giving up on deficit reduction. Phillips announced that the deficit for this year will be $9 billion, which is $1.3 billion less than the budget forecast. It is, however, still more than last year’s $7.4 billion. The government still says the deficit will be gone by 2023-24, but bet on it being earlier.

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See Also:

(1) Deficit down, spending up for Ford government

(2) Team Ford boosts spending, turns practical

(3) Ford says Hamilton ‘destroyed’ by NDP ‘socialists’ and Liberals

(4) Toronto city councillor removed over campaign spending

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