Ontario government to table budget on Nov. 5
TORONTO -- Ontario's Progressive Conservative government will unveil the 2020-21 budget on Nov. 5, which is expected to reveal how the province will deal with the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Finance Minister Rod Phillips said the budget will lay out three scenarios for the pandemic's financial impact, taking in account economic forecasts from the private sector, while also detailing a three-year plan to address the economic challenges.
"Having a financial plan is important, especially when things are uncertain," Phillips said on Monday. "A great deal of uncertainty remains today."
Phillips also indicated the government will spend billions of dollars in the fiscal document saying "it would be arrogant to ignore lessons" learned during the pandemic.
"It will be a three year budget that will build on our government's $30 billion response to COVID-19," Phillips said.
While the government has already projected to run a $38.5 billion deficit, the premier indicated that deficit spending due the pandemic would continue.
"I just don't believe in increasing taxes as the solution to our problems," Ford said suggesting the premier was willing to burrow further into debt in an effort to pull the province out of the pandemic-induced recession.
In doing so, the premier seems to be listening to the concerns of his critics at Queen's Park who say now is not the time for austerity.
Meanwhile, Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner is calling for targeted compensation for small businesses that are being forced to close or amend their businesses to adhere to public health protocols.
"I believe deficit financing is the way to go, interest rates are low," Schreiner told reporters at Queen's Park.
"Once we get through this pandemic there certainly will be a reckoning and we'll have to look at what's the most appropriate way to get back to balance, but nobody's asking for austerity right now."
Phillips said the government will table another budget in March 2021, giving taxpayers a more fulsome look at the province's fiscal future.