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Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance of Ontario, speaks with the media during the Finance Ministers' Meeting in Toronto on Feb. 3.Nathan Denette

Ontario is set to introduce its budget on March 23.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy announced the date today, saying the budget will outline a “strong future” for Ontario during uncertain economic times.

He said last week that the high-spending, large-deficit budgets that Ontario has tabled during the pandemic have served their purpose, but it is now time for “restraint.”

In the recently released third-quarter fiscal update, Ontario reported a $6.5-billion deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year, an improvement of $6.4 billion from its fall economic statement.

Meanwhile, the Financial Accountability Office is projecting a deficit of $2.5 billion in this fiscal year, but says that will improve to billion-dollar surpluses through the remaining years of its projection to 2026-27.

The FAO has also highlighted large contingency funds the province has included in its finances, which opposition critics say allow the government to hide its true spending plans.