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Ontario's unspent pandemic reserves grew to $12B by end of September, says fiscal watchdog

The government has been criticized by opposition politicians for sitting on billions in reserve funds, which they say it has been slow to spend during the pandemic.

Government has been criticized for sitting on billions in reserve funds

Ontario Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman says the province had $12 billion in unspent reserve funds by the end of September. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Ontario's fiscal watchdog says the province had $12 billion in unspent reserve funds by the end of September.

The Financial Accountability Officer says in a report today that the money was earmarked for three contingency funds, including two related to pandemic spending.

The FAO says the $12 billion is $2.7 billion more than his office said the government had unspent in reserves by Aug. 26.

The Ontario budget says that if the money remains unspent in the reserves by the end of the fiscal year it will be used to reduce the deficit and provincial debt.

The government has been criticized by opposition politicians for sitting on billions in reserve funds, which they say it has been slow to spend during the pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford's office says the provincial budget delivered last month shows that 80 per cent of the reserve funds have been allocated.

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