Dalton McGuinty is on a multi-billion-dollar pre-election spending spree, but the Liberal premier insists his long-term funding promises will not plunge the province back into deficit.
McGuinty said yesterday he is "very confident" the treasury will remain in the black as he dashes across Ontario doling out cash in advance of the Oct. 10 vote.
"We feel very comfortable that we can manage these new commitments," he said at Buttonville Airport, after handing more than $2 million to Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino for a new Cessna airplane to chase highway speeders.
"We are the only jurisdiction in North America that has a law in place that requires the auditor general to take a look at the books before the election, because the last government hid a $5.6 billion deficit."
Auditor General Jim McCarter says the budget is in order, meaning no surprise post-election shortfall like the one McGuinty inherited from former premier Ernie Eves' Progressive Conservatives in 2003.
Along with the $17.5 billion June transit announcement, McGuinty has promised $650 million to encourage "green" manufacturing, $309 million for school boards, and $220 million for municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Source...