Ontario maintains deficit target, sees balanced budget 2017-18

Thu Nov 7, 2013 2:21pm EST
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TORONTO Nov 7 (Reuters) - Ontario's Liberal government reaffirmed its budget deficit target for this year on Thursday and said it is still on track to balance the budget of Canada's most populous province by 2017-18.

The deficit for the 2013-14 fiscal year is projected to be C$11.7 billion ($11.20 billion), in line with the government's forecast earlier this year, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said in a statement.

However, he said that if global economic conditions falter, the provincial government will maintain its spending program with the aim of supporting jobs and economic growth, rather than making cuts to ensure it hits its deficit targets.

"Stronger growth and new jobs are the surest and fairest path to a balanced budget," he said.

Sousa was named finance minister in February after Kathleen Wynne replaced Dalton McGuinty as Ontario premier.