Ontario’s deficit was $7.4B last year — far lower than the Ford government claimed it was

Ontario’s deficit for 2018-19 is half what the Ford government claimed it was after taking power from the Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.

Last year’s deficit was $7.4 billion, according to the 2018-19 public accounts, released Friday by the province. Officials are attributing the drop in the deficit to better than expected revenues because of a hot economy, and lower than expected expenses.

In August 2018, the Ford government said the 2018-19 deficit was running at $15 billion. The government trimmed that projection to $14.5 billion in November when it released its fall economic statement.

The government stuck with that figure until April, when it tabled this year’s budget, and revised the 2018-19 projected deficit to $11.7 billion.

Corporate tax revenue was up $1 billion from the previous fiscal year, reflecting what the government said was a 9.6 per cent increase in corporate profits.

The government is still projecting a $10.3 billion deficit for 2019-20, but could lower that when Finance Minister Rod Phillips tables the fall economic statement, due by November 15.

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