TORONTO — Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa announced he will deliver the 2018 Ontario Budget on March 28 and in order to invest more in hospitals, mental health, long-term care and child care, the province is choosing to run a deficit.
The budget will outline the government’s plan to create more fairness and opportunity for everyone and help families manage the costs of caring for loved ones during this period of rapid economic change, states a release issued by the Ministry of Finance, adding it will also outline a path to return to balance, building on the province’s long track record of strong fiscal management
The province has exceeded its fiscal targets every year since the recession and is forecasting a surplus in 2017-18. Since 2014, Ontario’s economy has outperformed all G7 nations, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in nearly two decades.
Ontario’s plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of Medicare in a generation. In addition, the province is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, transit, roads and bridges in its history.
“Ontario has achieved a fiscal surplus this year,” said Sousa. “While the state of our economy may change, our values never will. The 2018 Budget will reaffirm our commitment to grow the economy and create jobs, while maintaining progressive policies like free tuition and free pharmacare. These investments are making a positive difference in the lives of people.”