Sousa Sees Ontario 2012-13 Budget Gap at C$9.8 Billion

Ontario’s deficit in the fiscal year that ended on March 31 will be C$9.8 billion ($9.6 billion), Finance Minister Charles Sousa said.

That’s narrower than an October forecast of C$14.4 billion. Sousa, speaking in Toronto, lowered the province’s 2013 growth forecast to 1.5 percent, from 2.2 percent, and said he’s ‘fully committed’ to balancing the budget by the 2017-18 fiscal period.

Sousa said he will deliver the 2013-14 budget on May 2 at 4 p.m.

Asked about the impact of the lower deficit on Ontario’s debt-issuance plans, Sousa told reporters at a press conference, “Our borrowing is what it was in the last year,” adding “the market has been viewing Ontario very positively.”

Sousa’s Liberal Party government holds a minority of seats in the Ontario legislature and must win support from opposition lawmakers to pass budgets or face a fresh election.

“Our party will not be supporting this budget no matter what it says,” said Peter Shurman, a lawmaker from the opposition Progressive Conservative party.

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