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Ontario Budget Forecasts Surpluses Within A Year

The Government of Ontario’s latest budget forecasts that the province will begin posting surpluses within a year as revenue growth outpaces increased spending on healthcare.

The Ontario government introduced a budget that includes $205 billion in spending, largely on hospitals, homecare and hiring medical workers.

In the fiscal year that begins April 1, Ontario expects to run a budget deficit of $1.3 billion.

In the next fiscal year, Canada’s most populous province forecasts a budget surplus of $200 million, and then a $4.4 billion surplus the following fiscal year.

Government officials said they expect revenues this coming fiscal year of $200 billion, more than $20 billion higher than previously forecast due to an ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In terms of spending, Ontario plans to allocate $20 billion to highways and transit projects and an additional $75 million over three years to its Skills Development Fund.

Ontario’s government previously pledged $1 billion over three years in new healthcare spending, and announced in this latest budget that it is speeding up that funding, allocating $569 million in the 2023-24 fiscal year.

The budget also puts $72 million toward expanding publicly funded procedures at private clinics – a move the province has said will help reduce healthcare wait times.

Ontario is also spending an additional $425 million over three years for mental health and addictions services.

The Government of Ontario’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.