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Edelman Ottawa | 155 Queen St. Suite 1302 | Ottawa, ON K1P 6L1 | 1.613.569.9000
ONTARIO BUDGET 2017:
THE ROAD TO ELECTION 2018
THE EDELMAN PERSPECTIVE
Bob Richardson
Executive Vice-President & National Practice Lead
416.849.1913 | bob.richardson@edelman.com
Damien O’Brien
Senior Consultant, Public Affairs
613.690.4408 | damien.obrien@edelman.com
Not since the global economic recession of 2008
has Ontario had a balanced provincial budget.
Today Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa
introduced a balanced budget—though critics
argue otherwise—thanks to solid economic growth
leading to increased provincial tax revenue.
With this long anticipated fiscal room, Ontario’s
Treasurer made highly anticipated investments in
health care with a $7-billion “booster shot” and
$5.5-billion for education, areas of strength for the
Ontario Liberals, as well as honouring previously
announced commitments around affordability
like cutting hydro rates by 25% and cooling an
overheated housing market in the GTHA. Still
there were surprises in Budget 2017, including free
prescription medications for youth, 24 and under.
With indications of lower tax rates coming from
the Trump Administration and neighboring US
jurisdictions, Minister Sousa held steady on Ontario
tax rates, neither raising them nor lowering them.
With the summer recess just weeks away, the three
parties at Queen’s Park have begun telegraphing
their paths to victory in the next election. The Patrick
Brown Conservatives, flying high in opinion polls
but criticized for being light on policy proposals,
have undertaken a robust engagement and outreach
strategy while nominating candidates and rebuilding
a party which hasn’t formed government since
2003. The Ontario NDP, themselves pilloried for a
thin platform in 2014, have returned to their populist
roots, announcing ideas like their own Provincial
pharmacare plan. Finally the Ontario Liberals,
sagging in popularity after 14 years in government,
have given the clearest indication yet through this
budget that they intend to return to the progressive
“activist centre” which has helped propel them to
victory in previous campaigns. Against long odds,
the Ontario Liberals will attempt what hasn’t been
done since the 19th Century, seek and win a fifth
consecutive mandate.
Quotes
Stakeholder Reaction
“A balanced budget is more than just the bottom
line number….this balanced budget is dedicated
to providing young people with free prescription
medications, providing free tuition and helping
businesses grow. We are delivering on our
commitment to ensure that everyone has equal
opportunities for success.”
- The Honourable Charles Sousa,
Ontario Finance Minister “Budget 2017 demonstrates that much of
Ontario’s fiscal outlook will depend on the
prosperity of our private sector”
- Richard Koroscil, Interim President & CEO,
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
“Municipal government will be frustrated
that there is no effort to reduce the cost of
delivering municipal services”
- Lynn Dollin, AMO President
“The Wynne Liberals are cooking the books a
year before the next elections…lets be clear, this
is not a balanced budget.”
- Patrick Brown, Ontario PC Leader
“…this budget doesn’t even come close to
undoing the damage Kathleen Wynne and her
Liberals have done over the last 14 years.”
- Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP Leader

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Ontario Budget 2017: The Road to Election 2018

  • 1. Edelman Ottawa | 155 Queen St. Suite 1302 | Ottawa, ON K1P 6L1 | 1.613.569.9000 ONTARIO BUDGET 2017: THE ROAD TO ELECTION 2018 THE EDELMAN PERSPECTIVE Bob Richardson Executive Vice-President & National Practice Lead 416.849.1913 | bob.richardson@edelman.com Damien O’Brien Senior Consultant, Public Affairs 613.690.4408 | damien.obrien@edelman.com Not since the global economic recession of 2008 has Ontario had a balanced provincial budget. Today Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa introduced a balanced budget—though critics argue otherwise—thanks to solid economic growth leading to increased provincial tax revenue. With this long anticipated fiscal room, Ontario’s Treasurer made highly anticipated investments in health care with a $7-billion “booster shot” and $5.5-billion for education, areas of strength for the Ontario Liberals, as well as honouring previously announced commitments around affordability like cutting hydro rates by 25% and cooling an overheated housing market in the GTHA. Still there were surprises in Budget 2017, including free prescription medications for youth, 24 and under. With indications of lower tax rates coming from the Trump Administration and neighboring US jurisdictions, Minister Sousa held steady on Ontario tax rates, neither raising them nor lowering them. With the summer recess just weeks away, the three parties at Queen’s Park have begun telegraphing their paths to victory in the next election. The Patrick Brown Conservatives, flying high in opinion polls but criticized for being light on policy proposals, have undertaken a robust engagement and outreach strategy while nominating candidates and rebuilding a party which hasn’t formed government since 2003. The Ontario NDP, themselves pilloried for a thin platform in 2014, have returned to their populist roots, announcing ideas like their own Provincial pharmacare plan. Finally the Ontario Liberals, sagging in popularity after 14 years in government, have given the clearest indication yet through this budget that they intend to return to the progressive “activist centre” which has helped propel them to victory in previous campaigns. Against long odds, the Ontario Liberals will attempt what hasn’t been done since the 19th Century, seek and win a fifth consecutive mandate. Quotes Stakeholder Reaction “A balanced budget is more than just the bottom line number….this balanced budget is dedicated to providing young people with free prescription medications, providing free tuition and helping businesses grow. We are delivering on our commitment to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for success.” - The Honourable Charles Sousa, Ontario Finance Minister “Budget 2017 demonstrates that much of Ontario’s fiscal outlook will depend on the prosperity of our private sector” - Richard Koroscil, Interim President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce “Municipal government will be frustrated that there is no effort to reduce the cost of delivering municipal services” - Lynn Dollin, AMO President “The Wynne Liberals are cooking the books a year before the next elections…lets be clear, this is not a balanced budget.” - Patrick Brown, Ontario PC Leader “…this budget doesn’t even come close to undoing the damage Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals have done over the last 14 years.” - Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP Leader