April 12, 2022 By The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Ontario’s financial watchdog says the province is on track to balance the budget by 2023-24 and run a $7.1 billion surplus three years later.
The province posted a $16.4-billion deficit in 2020-21 due to COVID-19 spending, and the Financial Accountability Office says Ontario is now seeing strong revenue growth that will exceed program spending.
A report released today by the office says under current policies, the budget will be balanced a year from now.
However, current policies could well change given the provincial election that’s set for June 2.
The FAO projects the 2021-22 deficit to be $8.7 billion, below the $13.1 billion that the government forecasted when Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy released the third-quarter finances earlier this year.
The budget watchdog also projects that program spending will grow by an average of 3.6 per cent a year from 2020-21 to 2026-27, higher than in previous years, partly due to spending commitments for long-term care and child care.