Ontario Liberals to table budget on May 2
Finance minister says budget will outline how to lower car insurance rates in Ontario
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Monday that he will table his budget on May 2, the first test for the minority Liberal government since Kathleen Wynne took over as premier.
Sousa made the announcement during a speech to the Economic Club of Canada where he promised to stay "the course on tax policy, holding taxes at current low levels."
The finance minister also revealed the deficit for 2012-2013 would be $9.8 billion — $5 billion lower than the number projected by his predecessor Dwight Duncan last year.
Sousa said the government, as part of the budget, would put forth a proposal for how to lower car-insurance rates in the province.
"We're going to outline the ways that are necessary to take the approach to lower those premiums," he said.
Sousa also weighed in on the debate over funding tools for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area's transit expansion.
"People in the north or other parts of the province will not pay for transit improvements in Toronto," Sousa said, adding that he'll "have something to say" in his budget on how to generate revenue to build transit.
Sousa said the government is on track to eliminating the deficit by 2017-18, and part of that is eliminating corporate tax loopholes. It's one of the demands the NDP want to see in the budget in exchange for its support.
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has already said he will not support the budget.
Today in the Ontario legislature, Hudak once again took aim at the Liberals over the auditor general's recent report that cancelling the Mississauga gas plant cost tens of millions more than the once estimated $190-million price tag.
"This was not ordinary incompetence. This wasn't standard waste that we've come to expect," said Hudak. "This was you putting the Liberal party ahead of the interest of taxpayers."
With files from The Canadian Press