The Ontario Liberal government announcing the date for the new budget with today’s re-opening of the legislature.
The 2016-17 provincial budget will be introduced on Feb. 25, two months earlier than last year’s fiscal plan was announced.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced the plans during a lunch speech Tuesday at the Empire Club of Canada.
The Liberals plan is to focus on eliminating the $7.5 billion deficit in just two years, increase jobs and bump up the economy in addition to reveal details on wine sales in grocery stores.
Sousa also announced a one-year delay in the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, pushing the date for payroll deductions back to Jan. 1, 2018.
The opposition claim further consultation from the public is needed and that the introduction of the budget is too soon.
Earlier, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown used the potential budget announcement and the re-opening of the Ontario legislature as means to discredit the Liberals.
“This government can’t get anything right” said Brown outside of the legislature before heading back to work.
Brown referenced an Ontario Chamber of Commerce report that showed 70% of businesses lack confidence in the handling of the economy, as well as an auditor general report saying the energy sector overcharged Ontarians by $37 billion. About $12,000 per year per family.
Ontario’s PC leader also took on the subject of health care pointing out the 800,000 without a family physician and continuing patient care cuts in hospitals across the province.
During question period Premier Kathleen Wynne responded to Brown’s attack on the Liberal’s health care plan saying the increases they’ve made across the board in 2015 amount to about 53% increase from the previous budget including investments like the $138 million directed toward mental health.
Meanwhile NDP Leader Andrea Horvath is concerned about another budget full of cuts, that will take money out of healthcare and education.