Current Ontario government poised to outspend predecessor and increase provincial debt


TORONTO—Despite any rhetoric to the contrary, the current Ontario government plans to outspend its predecessor, finds a new study published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“When in opposition, the PCs frequently criticized the Liberal government’s spending, but now the Ford government plans to actually spend more than the Wynne government ever did,” said Ben Eisen, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Ford Government Plans to Outspend Wynne Government.

Ford government forecasts larger budget deficits than the deficit inherited from the Wynne government

During its first term in office, the Ford government spent more (on a per-person, inflation-adjusted basis) than the Wynne government.

This fiscal year (2022/23), the Ford government plans to increase per-person program spending by 2.9 per cent to $11,783, which is $282 more than the Wynne government spent during its last year in office. (All numbers are based on the latest Ford budget, adjusted for inflation, and exclude COVID-related spending.)

As a result, the Ford government forecasts larger budget deficits than the deficit inherited from the Wynne government, with the province’s per-person net debt increasing from $27,889 in 2021/22 to $28,930 in 2024/25—essentially mirroring the Wynne government’s pace of debt accumulation.

“For the Ford government to fulfill its promises to restore Ontario’s finances, it must make a sharp course correction during its second term in office,” Eisen said.

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Ben Eisen, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.

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