Oliver hopes for fiscal prudence in Ontario budget

Joe Oliver leaves after being sworn in as Canada's new Finance Minister at Rideau Hall in Ottawa...

Joe Oliver leaves after being sworn in as Canada's new Finance Minister at Rideau Hall in Ottawa March 19, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Daniel Proussalidis, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:59 PM ET

OTTAWA — Finance Minister Joe Oliver appears to be pulling his punches with Ontario's minority Liberal government amid reports that it is about to pile on a host of new taxes in Thursday's provincial budget.

Reports indicate the Ontario Liberals will hike taxes on tobacco, aviation fuel taxes and "higher-income earners" while also restricting tax credits for construction companies and other corporations.

Oliver said he'd wait to see Ontario's budget before passing judgement, but he offered a general comment on the province's financial situation.

"The country cannot prosper unless all the regions are doing reasonably well," he said Wednesday. "So we encourage our provincial counterparts to follow our example and have a plan to reduce their deficits."

The muted response is a marked contrast from his predecessor in the finance portfolio, Jim Flaherty.

Flaherty, who had a career in the Ontario legislature before jumping into federal politics, often criticized the Ontario Liberals' financial management practices.

 


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