Ont. debt under control: Finance minister

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa in Toronto on February 3, 2014, for pre-budget...

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa in Toronto on February 3, 2014, for pre-budget consultations. (Antonella Artuso/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

TORONTO -- The provincial debt is under control and dramatic cuts to spending would hurt Ontario's economic recovery, Finance Minister Charles Sousa insisted Monday.

The net debt to GDP ratio, expected to hit 39%, is still well below that of other countries that experienced a financial crisis, he said.

"Ontario's not at that point and we won't be because we are taking the proper steps," Sousa said, dismissing calls for significant changes to government policy to corral debt.

"That mentality hindered Ontario's progress during good times. We didn't invest in those capital improvements."

Spending money on electricity transmission, roads and transit help build an economy, he said.

Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli said Ontario is in the same position that Greece was prior to its economic implosion, having doubled its debt to almost $273 billion under the Liberal leadership of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.


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