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Bad math: The Ontario election fiscal platforms, crunched

May 20, 2014

You have to give Tim Hudak credit. He’s presenting Ontario voters with a very clear policy choice this time.

On one hand there’s the Progressive Conservative party (PC), which would commit to eliminating the deficit in three years through deep spending cuts. On the other, there’s the Liberal party, which is expanding the budget in the short term but “targeting” for deficit elimination within four years.

Ontario has a fiscal problem — not a fiscal crisis. Currently, the deficit sits at 1.4 per cent of provincial GDP — not a large number. Ontario is often criticized for being over-taxed and for electing over-spending governments. In fact, in 2012-13, revenues as a share of provincial GDP were lower in Ontario than in every province other than Alberta. The same was true for program expenses.

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