Ontario finance minister to deliver budget on March 24

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy announced Thursday morning that he will deliver the province’s 2021 budget on March 24.

Bethlenfalvy, who is also the president of the Treasury Board, promised no cuts to public services or tax hikes down the road.

He also said the province’s third-quarter finances show that Ontario is projected to spend $25 billion more in 2020-21 than it did in the previous year.

“Our government knows that this level of spending is not sustainable in the long term, but I’m convinced it’s absolutely essential right now,” Bethlenfalvy said.

The finance minister, who replaced Rod Phillips after Phillips resigned in the wake of a Caribbean vacation, struck a positive tone at his announcement, saying there is a light at the end of the tunnel coming for Ontario.

“As more and more people are vaccinated, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter and brighter,” he said.

Ontario delivered its last spending package in November after delaying its normal March release. That budget had record spending of $187 billion, and a record deficit of $38.5 billion.

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