Ontario Liberals' deficit elimination plan off track, PCs say
Ontario's Progressive Conservatives are accusing Premier Kathleen Wynne of lying about the state of the province's finances.
The PCs say cabinet documents released to a committee show finance ministry officials warned the government it was not on track to balance the budget by 2017-18, but Wynne told the public the opposite.
Opposition Leader Tim Hudak says there's no way the Liberals can eliminate the $11.7 billion deficit on schedule.
Hudak says people must decide whether to believe the senior finance officials who crunched the numbers or the Liberals who he insists "have a habit of lying to taxpayers."
The Conservatives say the documents show the Liberals were $3.6 billion short of their deficit reduction targets for the current and next fiscal years, a figure they say has now grown to $4.5 billion.
The Liberals say Finance Minister Charles Sousa admitted in the fall economic statement that revenues were below expectations, but the province remains on pace to balance the budget by 2017-18.
The documents also show the Liberals were counting on revenue from a Toronto casino, a project that met stiff local opposition and never got off the ground, and an expected savings of $239 million from the divestment of Ontario Northland Transportation Corporation, which in fact would cost the government $790 million.
With files from The Canadian Press