The province’s financial rating is being lowered to A+ from AA- by Standard & Poor’s. S&P is citing heavy debt burden and budgetary “under-performance” compared with peers in other jurisdictions.
The financial service company said on Monday, that while Ontario continues to beat its fiscal targets and expects to close its operating budget gap by fiscal 2018, the province will still have to contend with sizable yearly after-capital deficits given its large net capital spending plans.
PC Leader Patrick Brown issued the following statement in response:
The news today that S&P has downgraded Ontario’s credit rating from AA- to A+ is hardly surprising given the Wynne government’s record of economic mismanagement. Time and time again, the Liberals have revealed they have no real plan to either balance the budget or grow Ontario’s economy. The province cannot afford higher borrowing costs, which means less money for long-term care beds, improving transportation corridors, or making crucial investments to lower hydro rates. The Wynne Liberals just aren’t in it for Ontarians anymore.”
S&P says the downgrade does come with a stable outlook, reflecting the belief that Ontario will continue to make slow progress in reducing its deficit.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa says he agrees with the forecast projected by the agency, in that the deficit will be gone by 2018. He also said he believes the S&P assessment views Ontario as having a strong, diversified economy despite recent slow growth.