Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Update

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ontario Update

Article excerpt

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(Ont-Economy)

The provincial government says in its fall economic update that it will have to dip into its reserve fund in order to meet its goal of balancing the budget next year.

An accounting dispute with the auditor general over how pension assets should appear on the books means 2.2 billion dollars was added to the deficit this fiscal year.

So the government says it will have to reduce its reserve for 2017-18 from 1.1 billion dollars down to 700 million dollars.

There's about three billion dollars more in new expenses since the spring budget -- including the pension adjustment, a new electricity rebate and 140 million dollars in health spending.

But the province says those expenses are partly mitigated by higher tax revenues and lower-than-forecast interest on debt. (The Canadian Press)

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(Ont-Real-Estate)

The province is doubling the rebate on the land-transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to four-thousand dollars, while increasing the tax on homes that sell for more than two million dollars.

It says that means half of first-time buyers won't pay any land-transfer tax, while less than one per cent of the population will be affected by the half-percentage point increase on the most expensive homes.

The land-transfer tax brings in more than 2.1 billion dollars a year for the province.

The changes are outlined in the government's fall economic statement, which says that home ownership has become a key issue in many people's long-term financial security. (The Canadian Press)

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(First-Nation-Water)

A northwestern Ontario First Nation remains under a boil-water advisory after repairs were made to a water main line.

Residents of the North Caribou Lake First Nation have been without clean drinking water since last week, but the area's M-P says they may be on bottled water for a while longer until tests can confirm there is no contamination.

Bob Nault, the Liberal member for Kenora, says it's unclear what caused the main line pumps and filters to clog, but any time water stops flowing it risks becoming contaminated.

He says access to clean drinking water has been a problem for many First Nations for a long time. …

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