Today, the Ontario Chamber Network and OCC released its most recent report, Accounting for Ontario’s Debt, offering a thoughtful and balanced analysis of the province’s debt.
Ontario’s debt currently amounts to approximately 41 percent of the provincial GDP or, when combined with the federal debt of $680 billion, represents a near 80 percent debt-to-GDP ratio for Ontarians.
With talk of looming provincial debt top of mind, this timely report examines what Ontario’s debt means for the economy of today and tomorrow.
In a recent OCC survey, nearly 80 percent of respondent businesses stated they were concerned about the impact the provincial debt could have on Ontario’s economy.
Managing the provincial debt has been a long-standing concern for the business community as Ontario’s fiscal health directly impacts the ability of business to remain competitive and capitalize on new opportunities.
As the province heads into a time of economic uncertainty, coupled with the possibility of rising interest rates, we urge the government to focus on balancing continued investments in economic development with putting the province’s finances on steady footing.
Paying down the debt should not be at the risk of long-term economic growth or needed investments in infrastructure and services that will have a high return on taxpayer dollars, helping to bolster industry and our economy for generations to come.
Our message in advance of Budget 2019 is about balance: accounting for our province’s debt in a reasonable manner while focusing on key investments and competitive taxation is critical to a stronger Ontario and competing on the global stage.