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Local MPP supports provincial budget and big deficit

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has tabled the most expensive budget in the history of the province.

The document is worth a total of $214.5 billion and includes a projection of 274,000 housing starts over the next three years across the province along with more than half a billion dollars to help hundreds of thousands of residents find a family doctor. The deficit is projected this year to reach $9.8 billion and the budget won’t be balanced until 2026, the year the next election is expected to be held.

Despite the staggering deficit local member of provincial parliament Steve Clark says he’s on board. The Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP says they could have made life harder for Ontarians but decided not to. “This was a budget we could have chosen to raise taxes, raise tuitions, raise tolls and fees, but we didn’t do that. We could have tightened our belts and cut investments in housing, roads, and public infrastructure, but we didn’t do that either.”

Clark added he is proud the government has delivered a budget that takes real action to address the issues that are front of mind for the residents in his riding. “We’re investing billions to ensure people have access to a primary care provider, to get more homes and supportive housing built faster, and to improve the quality of life with funding for new and improved recreational and community facilities. We’re doing this while continuing to make life affordable through measures that include a proposed extension of the gasoline tax cut of 5.7 cents per litre and the diesel tax rate of 5.3 cents per litre to the end of this year.”

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Ontario’s economy is slowing which has led to a high deficit, a staggering $10 billion swing from the $200-million surplus projected last year.

The budget included $1 billion for the new Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program and a new $200 million Community Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Fund designed to strengthen communities across Ontario by building and upgrading sport, recreation and community facilities.

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