Ontario Liberals plan spending on health, home care ahead of election

TORONTO (Reuters) - Ontario’s Liberal government said on Monday it would spend more on government services, such as health care and home care, as it outlined its priorities ahead of a provincial election on June 7.

The Liberal government, which will deliver the 2018-19 budget on March 28, said their focus includes the reduction of wait times for health care, providing more services for seniors choosing to stay at home and making investments in mental health and addictions services.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa said earlier this month that the government will run a deficit in 2018-19 of up to C$8 billion. The government has forecast a surplus in 2017-18.

The Liberals, who have been in power for more than 14 years, trail in polls ahead of the election. The Progressive Conservative party has gained against the party, despite turmoil after the abrupt resignation of its former leader. It is now led by Doug Ford, a former Toronto city councillor and brother of the late Rob Ford, a former Toronto mayor who gained global notoriety for admitting to smoking crack cocaine while in office.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alistair Bell