PERTH-WELLINGTON – The Liberal government has understated the size of the provincial deficit by billions of dollars, according a report released yesterday by auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.
Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece reacted with frustration.
“Its bad enough that the Liberals said they were running a $6.7 billion deficit and raising taxes by $2 billion, and now we find out the real deficit is a whopping $11.7 billion.”
Pettapiece says it looks like they deliberately misled the public.
The auditor general described the government’s numbers as “not reasonable,” pointing to the so-called ‘Fair Hydro Plan’ debt scheme and improper recording of Ontario’s public pension expenses. According to the report, the actual deficit this year is $11.7 billion and will grow to $12.5 billion by 2021 – almost double what the government claimed in their recent budget.
Pettapiece is at a loss for this and says there is no excuse.
“This government is desperately trying to cling to power by borrowing billions,” Pettapiece noted. “And what has it gotten us? Long-term care waitlists, a family doctor shortage, and higher costs for hydro and just about everything else.”
In response to the auditor’s report, PC Leader Doug Ford has promised to launch an independent commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of the deficit numbers and propose solutions to get Ontario’s finances in order. Pettapiece welcomed the move.
“The auditor general has done a valuable service by shining a light on the Liberals’ financial tricks”, said Pettapiece. “The Premier has betrayed the trust of the people. It’s time to clean things up.”
The good news, Pettapiece added, is that the provincial election is just around the corner.