Ontario budget coming May 1

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announces at Queen's Park on Tuesday that he will introduce...

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announces at Queen's Park on Tuesday that he will introduce the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Insurance Rates Act. (ANTONELLA ARTUSO/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 7:03 PM ET

TORONTO — Ontario’s next budget will be delivered May 1.

The minority Kathleen Wynne government is likely to face a confidence motion by the end of May, possibly triggering a general provincial election in June.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa said there will be items in the budget that both opposition parties could support.

“It’ll be up to the opposition to determine if they wish to work with us,” Sousa said Tuesday. “This document will touch upon a number of substantive issues that they themselves recognize as important for the people of Ontario.”

Sousa said he would be surprised if the NDP couldn’t support budget initiatives for retirement security, reductions in auto insurance costs and more spending on social programs.

The Tories should be able to back budget plans that would grow the economy and create jobs, he said.

A confidence vote on the budget must occur within 12 sessional days of the introduction of the budget.

Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod said she found it hard to believe that the Liberals were serious about gaining her party’s support when Premier Kathleen Wynne served her and PC Leader Tim Hudak with a $2-million lawsuit minutes before Sousa announced the budget date.

The PCs have refused to vote for the past two Liberal budgets.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who has helped pass two minority Liberal government budgets, has yet to indicate if her caucus will do the same this time around.

Ontarians are being squeezed in a tough economy, and the NDP wants to see a budget that makes life easier for them, Bisson said.

When asked if he was prepared to run an election campaign on this budget, Sousa said his party is proud of the document,

“And if the opposition decide that they want to go against the very initiatives that the people of Ontario have asked for, that’s their call,” Sousa said.

He said his budget plan is on track to balance the books by 2017-18.

PC MPP Vic Fedeli said he believes Sousa timed his announcement to coincide with the scheduled appearance of secretary of cabinet Peter Wallace at the government committee investigating the alleged destruction of documents relating to cancelled gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga.

“We can only presume that this is to distract people from the gas plant hearings which could be a fairly explosive day today,” Fedeli said.

Sousa described the timing as “coincidental.”


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