Ontario revises 2009-10 deficit to C$21.3 billion

Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:34pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The government of Ontario said on Wednesday it would run a record high budget deficit of C$21.3 billion ($20.7 billion) for the 2009-10 fiscal year, 14 percent less than the C$24.7 billion it projected last autumn.

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan disclosed the revised figure at a news conference in Toronto a day before he unveils the province's budget 2010-11 budget for the fiscal year starting April 1.

"The improvement is largely due to better than expected economic growth as well as prudent planning of contingency and reserve funds," Duncan said in a statement.

He told reporters that Thursday's budget will be about jobs and economic growth and that revenues have risen broadly, including those from corporate and sales taxes.

Ontario is Canada's most populous province and was the hardest hit by the global economic slowdown.

(Reporting by Claire Sibonney, editing by Peter Galloway)