Ontario’s deficit will balloon to a record $38.5-billion in 2021, almost double the size predicted in March, and Finance Minister Rod Phillips declared the province is in a recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Progressive Conservative government released its first-quarter financial report on Wednesday, which revealed it will now spend $30-billion on its economic recovery plan, up from $17-billion announced in March.
The document says the province’s gross domestic product declined by 2 per cent in the first quarter, with economists predicting it will fall by 6.6 per cent by the end of the year.
“We are in a recession today in Ontario and I would argue across Canada,” the Finance Minister said. “We are in for a difficult economic time.”
The province shed nearly 1.2 million jobs between February and May, “significantly larger than the declines recorded in past recessions,” the report said. Mr. Phillips warned that some economic downturns in the province have lasted more than seven years.
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