Dealing with Deficits: Ontario’s 2024 Budget

The province is returning to a nearly double-digit deficit of $9.8 billion from a reported surplus in its Q3 finances, the largest since Kathleen Wynne’s election year budget in 2018. The Ford government is hoping to pull out all the stops to grow Ontario’s economy through targeted investments in infrastructure, housing, and skills training, all while keeping costs down for Ontarians.

To explain the red ink, the Ford government is pointing the finger at a host of factors – inflation, interest rates, and $6 billion in desperately needed payments to the broader public sector due to the court’s ruling against the PCs’ Bill 124 public sector wage constraint legislation.

Central to the government’s plan to stay on course are massive investments in infrastructure. With over $190 billion set aside over the next 10 years (an increase of roughly $6 billion since last year’s plan), the government continues to prioritize new builds and redevelopments in the health and long-term care, housing, and public transportation sectors.

As high interest rates persist and the global economy prepares to weather more headwinds, Ontario’s deficit is expected to triple in the short term. The PCs continue to stick to “third road” fiscal planning – no new taxes, no deep cuts, balancing the budget through growth – but will that be enough?

You can find our full analysis of the budget below. For more analysis, or support engaging government on any of the budget announcements, contact your Navigator team or reach out at