The Ontario government plans to balance its books in five years by taking a tough stand in upcoming labour talks with public-sector workers and through sweeping changes to government pension plans, according to details unveiled in Tuesday’s budget.

The government promised little in the way of new spending and forecasts a deficit of $15.3 billion, about $1 billion less than was forecast a year ago.

Total program spending is pegged at $115.8 billion, an increase of one per cent over last year as the province struggles to eliminate its deficit by 2017-18, while avoiding major cuts to health care and education. 

More to come

With files from The Canadian Press