Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller says that the province is demonstrating results on its debt.

“Our Government continues to make progress when it comes to restoring Ontario’s fiscal health,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller. “With the release of Ontario’s third-quarter report, we now know that the deficit stands at $13.5 billion – a $1 billion improvement since our last update in November.”

The reduction in the provincial deficit was driven by increased economic activity from consumers and businesses resulting in increased Harmonized Sales Tax and Corporate Income Tax revenue.

“A billion dollars was generated through HST taxation through more economic activity going on.

Essentially the government has been looking line by line through all the various ministries to look for efficiencies but trying to position Ontario to grow more businesses and tax revenue,” he said.

Ontario’s real GDP increased by 0.6% in the third quarter, led by gains in consumer spending and investment in non-residential structures.

“This report confirms that we are on the right track and that our plan is working,” said Miller. “Our government’s efforts to increase business confidence have led to a stronger economy that is helping improve Ontario’s overall fiscal health.”

Miller said that after the election, the provincial deficit was $15 billion.  According to him, a $13.5 billion deficit still leaves Ontario vulnerable to global headwinds and economic shocks. Ontario debt still looms large as interest payments are the fourth largest line item in the budget.

“The debt is a cause for concern because every dollar that goes to paying the interest on that debt is one less dollar going to vital public services including healthcare and education,” said Miller.

In order to continue the progress noted in the third quarter report, the Ford government says it will continue to drive efficiencies in government, make life more affordable for Ontarians and grow the economy.