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Revenues off by $509M but Ontario to balance books in 3 years

Revenues are off by $509 million but Ontario’s Liberal government remains confident it can eliminate a $12.5-billion deficit in three years as promised, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said during his fall economic update.

Sousa presented the 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review on Monday at Queen’s Park. He said the deficit is projected to be $12.5 billion in 2014-15, $8.9 billion in 2015-16 and $5.3 billion in 2016-17. The deficit should be gone by 2017-18.

Sousa said, “Even though the current revenue outlook is lower than projected in the 2014 budget, the government is working to meet its fiscal targets.”

The government will go after illegal cigarettes, which accounts for up to 40 per cent of the cigarettes sold in the province. It will also target corporate tax avoiders and the underground economy.

Ontario has already taken concrete steps to strengthen “revenue integrity” and in 2013-14, generated over $380 million in extra revenue, he said.

See below for the full economic report. Mobile viewers click here.

Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review

With files from The Canadian Press