5 promises for seniors in 2018 Ontario budget

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Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford said he is skeptical about the Liberals' plans, saying you can't take care of the most vulnerable people in society when you have billions of dollars in debt.

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Progressive Conservative MPP Bill Walker said the 2018-19 financial blueprint includes "binge-spending" created to keep Premier Kathleen Wynne in power, while plunging Ontario back into deficit.

Ontario's Liberal government has rolled out a spending package that targets almost every demographic while plunging the province back into deficit - but said the books will be balanced in six years.

"The scary thing here is they promised to have balanced budgets", he said Thursday.

Interest on debt is forecast to rise to C$12.5 billion in 2018-19 from an estimate of almost C$12 billion in 2017-18, while the Canadian dollar borrowing target will be maintained at about two-thirds of total borrowing, the province said.

"Big business executives and their shareholders are actually doing fine right now, and Doug Ford should know", she said.

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"That doesn't cover people who are in need of true dental care and that ends up putting more stress on the hospital system".

Ontario will increase its already large debt burden in 2018-19 as it returns to running a deficit and adds to its investment in infrastructure, the province's budget showed on Wednesday. The effort would cost the treasury $500 million a year and require people to pay up front and submit receipts to the government for reimbursement. "It's time to decide if we'll keep going & make it more affordable to raise a child in Ontario- or go backwards & cut programs that make a real difference at a time when families need that support".

Walker said the province is spending $1 billion every month on debt interest payments.

The fiscal plan further includes a new program that helps seniors aged 75 or older offset the costs of maintaining their homes and will cost $1 billion over three years. He has repeatedly said he wants to wrest power back from the "elites" and has lambasted the Liberals for their spending.

"I think Quebec's yields will continue to be below Ontario for quite some time", said Sebastien Lavoie, chief economist at Laurentian Bank.

"Making child care free for preschool children will be transformative for Ontario's families".

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