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Ontario deficit $800 million lower than expected

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa speaks to reporters before delivering the 2014 budget at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, July 14, 2014.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the province has not decided which community will be the test site for a basic income guarantee. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

TORONTO – The Ontario government announced Monday the province’s 2013-2014 deficit was $10.5 billion – nearly $800 million lower than forecasted in this year’s budget.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa touted the apparent success as a proof the Ontario government “continues to control spending, while at the same time making targeted investments to grow the economy and create jobs.”

The government is still predicting a $12.5 billion deficit in 2014-2015.

Sousa said in a statement he expects to eliminate the provinces $10.5 billion deficit by 2017-2018 though critics have suggested the Kathleen Wynne government will have to hike taxes or cut jobs to meet their targets.

PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli however criticized the Liberal government for using a reserve to offset expenses.

“The Liberal record of saying one thing and doing another continues – this is a government that says they don’t want to borrow from reserves to cover operating expenses – yet that’s exactly what they continue to do,” Fedeli said in a statement.

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The province’s debt increased to $295.7 billion in 2014 from $281 billion in 2013.

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