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Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa talks to reporters before the start of a meeting with Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his provincial and territorial counterparts, in Ottawa, on Dec. 21, 2015.FRED CHARTRAND/The Canadian Press

Ontario's finance minister has launched a series of public consultations to develop this year's provincial budget, which he suggests will be delivered earlier than usual because of the upcoming election.

Charles Sousa did not provide an exact date for the budget, but says the provincial election – set for June 7 – creates a condensed timeline for the government to deliver the spending plan in order for legislative watchdogs and Ontario residents to properly examine it.

The annual consultations will take place across the province. The government says that last year, approximately 71,000 took part in the sessions.

Residents' ideas for the budget can also be sent in by mail, e-mail or fax by Feb. 9

Sousa confirmed last fall that Ontario's 2018 budget will be balanced – as will budgets over the next two years.

Last year, the provincial government delivered its budget on April 27.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says governments are in place to create 'fairness,' which is what she claims the Liberals are aiming for with policies like a $14-an-hour minimum wage that comes into effect Jan. 1.

The Canadian Press

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