The Ontario government posted a $991-million deficit last year _ and said Thursday it had beat its 2016 projections by $3.3 billion.
But the province’s auditor general says the Liberal government is “significantly understating” its deficit, which she pegs at $1.4 billion.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Treasury Board President and Guelph MPP Liz Sandals made the announcement Thursday as they released the province’s 2016-2017 public accounts.
The government attributes the results to billions of increased revenue, a cut in program spending, and smaller interest costs to service the province’s debt.
In 2016, Ontario’s auditor general Bonnie Lysyk questioned the province’s decision to include a pair of public pensions _ the Ontario Public Service Employee’s Union Pension Plan and the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan _ as assets on its balance sheet.
As a result, she has offered a “qualified” opinion on the financial statements two years in a row.
Sandals maintains the government is following established accounting practices and people don’t care about the on-going squabble.