Ontario Election: Where Does Each Party Stand On Government Spending?

An in-depth look at where each party in Ontario stands on government spending. This is a part of our 2018 Election Hub.

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Government Spending
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Click on any of the party names to view our platform breakdown for that party.

Government spending is one of the key issues in yet another Ontario general election. If any of the top 5 parties in the last election fulfilled their deficit promises, the budget would have been balanced by now. Now, there is no party promising a balanced budget within the next two years.

Neither the Liberals nor the NDP will dare to promise a balanced budget within the next 4 years, and the PCs have yet to make any firm promises with respect to a timeline for getting the province out of the red.

Despite record tax increases, irresponsible Liberal spending has gotten us to a place where we pay more than $12.3 billion annually in interest payments alone. That is more than $1000 for every resident including children and the homeless.

Furthermore, the FAO has reported that the province must make 11-digit cuts to the current budget to even have a hope of balancing the budget within the next decade.

No matter which party or parties form the next Ontario government, they have one hell of a dumpster fire to put out, and it will not be a one-term job.

Last year’s Ontario provincial debt projection. This year, the government will pay over $12.3 billion in interest payments on the debt.

Click on any of the party names to view our platform breakdown for that party.

Liberal Party

The Liberals have started a pilot project on a guaranteed minimum income, which already has thousands of participants. It involves the government giving all participants some base amount ($16,989 for single individuals) with a tax-back rate of 50%, meaning that they would only take home 50 cents for each of the first 33,978 dollars they earn.

While that research is underway, the government would go forward with “simplifying the structure of social assistance rates”, spending $2.3 billion over 3 years and increasing the maximum income individuals can earn while still receiving full social assistance.

The Liberals say they will balance the budget by 2025, more than a full term into the future. This plan prompted Moody’s Investor Services, a major ratings agency, to downgrade its outlook on Ontario’s finances from “stable” to “negative”. It also realistically requires finding $15 billion in cuts, according to this spring’s report from the Financial Accountability Office.

Progressive Conservative Party

The PCs have said that they would balance the budget, but not within the first year. They have not given a specific timeline or plan to do so other than that there would be “a responsible timeframe”. They say they will also audit the current government’s spending and give more funding to the auditor general.

New Democratic Party

The NDP platform is unquestionably more spending heavy than in the last election. The NDP says that they would implement the Auditor’s suggestions for avoiding waste and saving money, while accusing the Liberals and PCs of “deliver[ing] excuses for not implementing them”.

The NDP promises to balance the budget by 2023, more than a full term into the future.

Green Party

The Greens have made no promise to balance the provincial budget. They say they will implement a guaranteed minimum income ($16,989 for single individuals) to be taxed back at 50%. This means that single individuals would face a marginal tax rate of 50% for the first $33,978 of their income.

Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party promises to balance the budget, and repay the provincial debt in 30 years. They want to do this by cutting grants and subsidies, including the dissolution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Previously, their platform stated they would sell all crown corporations, which would have included Hydro One. This year, their platform is markedly moderate, at least in tone and emphasis.

None of the Above Party

No specific platform points on this topic.

Trillium Party

The Trillium Party would increase funding for the Auditor General’s office,

wants to create what they call a “wastebuster program” which would encourage individuals to submit complains where they know government funds are being misspent. It would be aimed at encouraging front-line public sector workers from expressing their frustration where they see mismanagement and waste.


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Mika Ryu

Law student at Western University, and UofT graduate in economics and linguistics. Remember that your version of the world is always too simple.

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