The Liberal government’s deficit projections can’t be trusted, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said as he vowed to shut down ineffective provincial agencies and trim departmental budgets across the province each year until the deficit is eliminated.
On the first day of the Ontario election campaign, Mr. Hudak said Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty’s numbers can’t be trusted, based on his track record while in office.
“I don’t think there has been a fiscal target that he has ever hit,” he said. “We’ll find two cents on every dollar we spend outside of education and health every year until we balance the budget. That’s not going to be easy and I don’t look forward to it, but it must be done and it must be done smart.”
The government said in late August that public account figures from the Finance Ministry showed the deficit for the fiscal year ending March 31 was $14-billion, down $2.7-billion from the projections made in the March 2011 budget.
Joking that his three-year-old daughter could scatter magnetic letters onto the family fridge “and come up with the name of some government agent you’ve never heard of but are paying millions to sustain,” Mr. Hudak said he would review each of the province’s 630 agencies to find savings.
“We will go through them all with a test,” he said. “If it works, keep it, if it’s broken, fix it but if we can no longer justify its value to the families who pay the bills then we close it down and use the savings for health care and balancing the books.”