Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Conservatives Accuse Premier Wynne of Lying about State of Ontario's Finances

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Conservatives Accuse Premier Wynne of Lying about State of Ontario's Finances

Article excerpt

Tories claim Wynne lies about deficit

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TORONTO - The Progressive Conservatives accused Premier Kathleen Wynne of lying about the state of Ontario's finances Monday and said the Liberals intentionally misled taxpayers and international bond rating agencies.

But the Liberals say they provided an update on the province's finance last September, six months after the "secret reports" now being highlighted by the opposition.

Cabinet documents released to a legislative committee show finance ministry officials warned the government in 2013 that it was not on track to balance the budget by 2017-18, but Wynne publicly said exactly the opposite and didn't rein in government spending, said Opposition Leader Tim Hudak.

"We found ministry of finance documents for cabinet that say that the premier was told flat out that her plan to balance the budget was a phoney plan," said Hudak.

"Kathleen Wynne knew she was driving Ontario in the wrong direction, knew it would cost families jobs, but instead she kept her foot on the gas and she continued to mislead the people of the province."

There's no way the Liberals can eliminate the $11.7 billion deficit on schedule, and the cabinet documents provide irrefutable proof that the Liberals can't be trusted, added Hudak.

"So I guess it's a question of who do you believe: the senior finance officials who actually crunched the numbers or the Wynne-McGuinty Liberals who have a habit of lying to taxpayers," he said.

In the legislature, Wynne said the Liberals made it clear in last fall's economic statement that revenues were $5 billion off because of a faltering global economy.

"Ontario's revenues are more than _ I think you should hear this because you haven't read it _ $5 billion lower than projected since the 2010 budget," she said. "We are constantly updating numbers."

Outside the house, Finance Minister Charles Sousa accused the Conservatives of playing games, and said their accusation was "a bit rich" coming from a party that hid a $5. …

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