Transcript: Ontario's $189 Billion Fiscal Update | Nov 04, 2021

Steve Paikin wears a navy blue suit jacket over a pale blue shirt and striped red tie. He wears a poppy pinned to his suit and his brown curly hair is short. A red lower case letter ‘a’ appears on a canvas hanging behind Steve. Text beneath Steve reads “@spaikin @theagenda” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update.”

Steve says, BILLIONS IN
SPENDING, BILLIONS IN DEFICIT
AND DEBT.

ONTARIO'S FALL ECONOMIC UPDATE
PROMISED A LOT IN HEALTH, IN
INFRASTRUCTURE AND EDUCATION,
BUT DIDN'T INCLUDE A PATH TO
BALANCED BOOKS. LET'S FIND OUT
MORE ABOUT THIS
GOVERNMENT'S PRIORITIES.

FROM THE FROST BLOCK ACROSS FROM
QUEEN'S PARK, THERE'S THE
MINISTER OF FINANCE, PETER
BETHENFALVY, WHO IS THE
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE MPP FOR
PICKERING-UXBRIDGE.

MINISTER, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU
WITH US TONIGHT. HOW ARE YOU DOING?

The Hon. Peter Bethlenfavly wears a black suit jacket over a white shirt and paisley tie. He wears a poppy pinned on his jacket. He smiles as Steve introduces him.

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says,
I'M DOING GREAT, STEVE.
IT'S GREAT TO BE WITH YOU AGAIN.
AND BEFORE WE KICK OFF, YOU DID
A GREAT JOB HOSTING THE CELEBRATION
OF LIFE FOR PREMIER BILL DAVIS.

I WAS HONOURED TO BE THERE FOR
PART OF IT, AND IT WAS SUCH AN
UPLIFTING TIME IN CELEBRATION OF
A GREAT MAN.

Steve says, IT WAS THAT.
THANK YOU FOR SAYING SO.

LET'S JUST SHARE WITH OUR
VIEWERS STUFF YOU INTRODUCED
THIS AFTERNOON ALREADY, AND THAT
IS ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT-NINE
POINT ONE BILLION IN NEW
EXPENDITURES, AND HERE IS HOW
SOME OF IT IS DIVVIED UP.

A graphic shows a stack of one hundred dollar bills. Beside the money, text reads “Ontario’s Spending and revenues twenty twenty-one/twenty twenty-two. One hundred and eight-nine point one billion in expenses. Healthcare: sixty-nine point nine billion {thirty-six point nine percent). Education: thirty point eight billion (sixteen point three percent). Covid-nineteen: ten point seven billion (five point six percent). Interest on the Debt: thirteen billion (six point nine percent). One hundred and sixty-eight point six billion in revenue.”

Steve explains, YOU'VE GOT FOR HEALTH CARE,
ALMOST THIRTY-SEVEN PERCENT
OF THAT DIRECTED THERE, THAT'S
ALMOST SEVENTY BILLION.

EDUCATION AT SIXTEEN POINT THREE
AT MORE THAN THIRTY BILLION.

LIMITED COVID-NINETEEN FUNDING AT
FIVE POINT SIX PERCENT, THAT'S
MORE THAN TEN BILLION.

INTEREST ON THE DEBT IS GOING TO
RUN US SIX POINT NINE PERCENT OF SPENDING NOW,
THAT'S MORE THAN THIRTEEN BILLION,
WITH ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT
POINT SIX BILLION IN REVENUE.

YOU GOT ELECTED, AND I MEAN YOU
PERSONALLY NOW, IN LARGE MEASURE
I KNOW BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO PUT
ONTARIO'S, I GUESS AS YOU DESCRIBE IT,
FINANCIAL HOUSE BACK IN ORDER ON A
STRONGER FINANCIAL FOOTING.

HOW DO THE ITEMS THAT YOU
OUTLINED THIS AFTERNOON HELP DO
THAT, IN YOUR VIEW?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Yes, Yes, and More Yes!”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WELL,
FIRST OFF, I THINK OUR NUMBER ONE
JOB IN GOVERNMENT IS TO SUPPORT
PEOPLE AND HELP WHEN THINGS ARE TOUGH.

I CAN IMAGINE WHAT IT WAS LIKE
TO SIT IN THE LEGISLATURE IN THE
FORTIES WHEN WE WERE IN WORLD
WAR II AND YOU WOULD HAVE DONE
THE SAME THING, PUT EVERY
RESOURCE POSSIBLE TO SUPPORT THE
TROOPS AND SUPPORT CANADIANS TO
DEFEAT THE ENEMY. THIS TIME IT'S AN
INVISIBLE ENEMY, COVID.

SO IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO
AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO FIGHT THE
PANDEMIC AND PROTECT THE
INVESTMENTS AND THE PROGRESS
WE'RE MAKING AT FIGHTING THAT PANDEMIC.

BUT STILL, WE DID SIGNAL TODAY
THAT WE'RE GOING TO START
FOCUSING ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY
MORE THAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST
BECAUSE WE ARE MAKING GOOD
PROGRESS AND WE'VE GOT TO LOOK
TO THE FUTURE SOMEWHAT.

NOW, THESE DEFICITS AND THESE
DEBTS, THEY'RE NOT DESIRABLE AND
THEY'RE NOT SUSTAINABLE IN THE
LONG TERM.

AND AS I OUTLINED IN THE MARCH
BUDGET, WE HAVE A PLAN TO
BALANCE THEM OVER TIME IN
VARIOUS SCENARIOS BECAUSE IT'S
VOLATILE AND STILL UNCERTAIN
AND WE'LL UPDATE THAT IN THE
SPRING BUDGET.

BUT TODAY WAS VERY MUCH ABOUT
PROTECTING OUR PROGRESS,
COMBATING COVID-NINETEEN, AND
THEN BUILDING ONTARIO AND
WORKING FOR WORKERS.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. PC MPP, Pickering-Uxbridge.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Yes, Yes, and More Yes!”

Steve says, LET ME JUST ASK YOU
A BIT OF A PHILOSOPHICAL
QUESTION FOR A FOLLOW-UP HERE
AND THAT IS, YOU KNOW, THE
PREMIER IS SORT OF FAMOUSLY
THESE DAYS TRYING TO PORTRAY
HIMSELF AS THE MAN OF YES
WHEREAS THE OPPOSITION ARE
SAYING NO, NO, NO TO EVERYTHING.

HE IS SAYING YES TO NEW SPENDING,
YES TO NEW HIGHWAYS, YES TO NEW
SPENDING AND THIS AND THAT.

ARE YOU TRYING TO SEND A MESSAGE
HERE THAT IN SOME WAYS ATTEMPTS
TO REBRAND OR RE-THINK WHAT IT
MEANS TO BE A CONSERVATIVE NOWADAYS?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Yes, Yes, and More Yes!”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, I
THINK WHAT THIS IS ABOUT IS
SUPPORTING ALL ONTARIANS,
SUPPORTING HARD-WORKING
ONTARIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

YOU KNOW, WE SLIPPED BACKWARDS
OVER THE LAST DECADE OR SO IN
TERMS OF ONTARIO BEING THE
ECONOMIC ENGINE OF CANADA.
AND WE SLIPPED BACKWARDS IN
TERMS OF INVESTING IN HEALTH CARE.

AND I THINK WHAT THIS PREMIER IS
VERY FOCUSED ON, AND HE'S BEEN
FOCUSED ON THIS HIS WHOLE LIFE,
IS BEING THERE FOR THE LITTLE
GUY, LITTLE GAL, THE LITTLE
PERSON TO FIGHT FOR THE VOICES
THAT SOMETIMES DON'T HAVE VOICES
AT QUEEN'S PARK AND LIFT ALL
ONTARIANS AND LIFT THE ECONOMIC
ENGINE FOR ALL PEOPLE IN ONTARIO.

SO THAT'S THE DRIVING FORCE.
HE BELIEVES STRONGLY, AS DO I,
THAT THE PATH FORWARD IS
ECONOMIC RECOVERY, ECONOMIC
GROWTH, AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY,
AND THAT'S A BIG PART OF WHO HE
IS AND IT'S A BIG PART OF WHO I
AM AND IT'S A BIG PART OF OUR
PLAN THAT WE TABLED TODAY.

Steve says, I WANT TO HIT ON
THAT AGAIN. ARE YOU TELLING US TODAY
THAT CONSERVATISM AS DEFINED IN THE
YEAR TWENTY TWENTY-ONE CAN INCLUDE
SIGNIFICANT GOVERNMENT SPENDING
AND LESS CONCERN ABOUT DEFICITS
AND DEBT?

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, NO, NO,
I'M NOT SAYING THAT AT ALL.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WHAT
I'M SAYING IS THAT, YOU KNOW,
WE NEEDED TO INVEST, AND
I'LL BE FRANK, I THINK WE AS A
SOCIETY UNDER-INVESTED IN THE
LAST DECADE OR TWO IN OUR HEALTH
CARE SYSTEM.

WE'VE GOT AN AGING POPULATION.
AND YOU CAN'T HAVE A HEALTHY
ECONOMY WITHOUT HEALTHY PEOPLE.

SO I THINK WHAT THIS IS REALLY
ABOUT IS NOT A PHILOSOPHY PER SE
FROM AN IDEOLOGY POINT OF VIEW,
IT'S A PHILOSOPHY THAT SAYS,
YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE INVESTMENTS
BOTH IN PEOPLE AND IN THINGS,
INFRASTRUCTURE, TO HAVE A
SUCCESSFUL SOCIETY, BOTH
SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY.

AND, YOU KNOW, POLITICIANS -- AS
YOU MENTIONED, I GOT INTO
POLITICS IN PART TO FIX THE
BOOKS, THE FINANCIAL BOOKS, BUT
ALSO TO HELP REBUILD THE ECONOMY.

WHEN MY PARENTS CAME HERE, WE'VE
TALKED ABOUT THAT BEFORE, FROM
WAR-TORN EUROPE, YOU KNOW,
ONTARIO WAS THE ECONOMIC ENGINE
OF CANADA, AND I THINK WE CAN
RETAIN THAT SPOT AGAIN AND LEAD
CANADA AND REALLY LEAD NORTH AMERICA.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, SO
I THINK IT'S LESS ABOUT
PHILOSOPHY OR IDEOLOGY AND
THINGS LIKE WORKING FOR WORKERS

AND STANDING ON THE PODIUM AS I
DID WITH THE PREMIER ON TUESDAY
WITH JERRY DIAS, THE HEAD OF
UNIFOR, AND SMOKY THOMAS, HEAD
OF OPSEU.

YOU KNOW, WE FUNDAMENTALLY
BELIEVE THAT THERE'S MORE JOBS
THAN WORKERS. WE'VE GOT TO ALL
WORK TOGETHER AND WE'RE GOING
TO REBUILD AND MAKE THIS
PROVINCE STRONGER.

Steve says, WELL, TO THAT END,
AND I KNOW THERE IS SOME
CONTROVERSY ABOUT HOW THE
BOOKKEEPING IS DONE HERE, BUT
I'LL JUST QUOTE THE INDEPENDENT
NON-PARTISAN FINANCIAL
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER WHO SAID
THAT YOU GUYS BUDGETED X NUMBER
OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THE
PAST FOR PANDEMIC SPENDING, AND
THEN DIDN'T SPEND IT.

SO I GUESS THE FOLLOW-UP
QUESTION IS: HOW DO WE KNOW THAT
THE MONEY THAT YOU HAVE BUDGETED
FOR SPENDING TODAY IS IN FACT
GOING TO BE SPENT?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. PC MPP, Pickering-Uxbridge.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WELL,
YOU KNOW I ALWAYS APPRECIATE
THE WORK AND THE VERY
IMPORTANT WORK THAT THE
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER
DOES, BUT LET ME JUST HIGHLIGHT
THAT -- HIS ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS
AT A POINT IN TIME. IT'S NOT ALL
THE INFORMATION BECAUSE THINGS
HAPPEN AFTER THE FACT.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. @PBethlenfalvy” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, THE
BOOKS THAT THE AUDITOR
GENERAL SIGNS OFF ON, WHICH SHE
DID AGAIN, A CLEAN OPINION, MY
FOURTH CLEAN OPINION, WHICH MATTERS.

I THINK IF YOU WANT TO HAVE GOOD
BOOKS AND RELIABLE BOOKS, SIGNED
OFF ON A CLEAN AUDIT FOR LAST
YEAR WHERE WE SAW A RECORD
INCREASE IN SPENDING AND COVID
SPENDING OF NINETEEN BILLION.

YOU KNOW, IMPORTANT STRATEGIC
INVESTMENTS TO BEAT COVID.

AND SO THAT MONEY, THAT MONEY
WAS ALL SPENT, AND WE'RE
CONTINUING TO DO THAT AGAIN THIS YEAR.

NOW, I'M THE FINANCE MINISTER.
I HAVE TO BE PRUDENT AND MAKE
SURE THAT THERE'S ENOUGH
RESOURCES, FINANCIALLY, TO BE
ABLE TO FIGHT WHATEVER IS AROUND
THE CORNER, NOT JUST THE PROGRAM
SPENDING THAT WE HAVE TODAY BUT
ALSO FOR UNCERTAINTIES. THAT'S WHY
THERE'S A CONTINGENCY FUND, IF YOU WILL.

AND I LIKE TO LOOK AT IT THE WAY
OF, YOU KNOW, PUTTING OUT FIRES.
MY JOB IN PART IS TO MAKE SURE
THAT EVERY TRUCK AND EVERY
RESOURCE IS THERE TO MAKE SURE
WE CAN PUT OUT THE FIRE AND MAKE
SURE THERE'S ENOUGH WATER IN THE
FIRE TANK AND THEN AT THE END OF
THE YEAR WE DO ALL THE

ACCOUNTING AND WHAT THE PUBLIC
ACCOUNTS AND THE RECORD SHOWS IS
THAT WE INCREASED SPENDING TO DO
JUST THAT: COMBAT COVID AND
SPEND EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNTS OF
MONEY TO BEAT COVID-NINETEEN.

Steve says, WELL, SPEAKING OF
EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNTS OF MONEY,
I'M GOING TO ASK OUR DIRECTOR,
SHELDON OSMOND, WHO I KNOW IS --
YOU'RE A BIG FAN OF HIS, I KNOW THAT.
WE'RE GOING TO ASK HIM TO PUT UP --

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, HE'S TERRIFIC.

Steve chuckles as he says, DON'T
TELL HIM THAT. IT WILL GO RIGHT
TO HIS HEAD. I'LL NEVER HEAR THE END OF IT.

ANYWAY, HERE ARE THE DEFICIT
PROJECTION GRAPHICS WE'VE HAD
MADE UP HERE.

A red arrow points down. Text beside the arrow reads “Ontario’s Defiecit Projection.” “Twenty-one/twenty-two: twenty-one point nine billion.
Twenty-two/twenty-three: nineteen p0int six billion. Twenty-three/twenty-four: twelve point nine billion.”

Steve says, FOR THE BUDGET YEAR OF TWENTY
TWENTY-ONE/TWENTY-TWO
YOU HAVE GOT THE DEFICIT DOWN
SIGNIFICANTLY TO TWENTY-ONE
POINT NINE BILLION, DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY
FROM THE FORECAST AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR.

AND THEN FOR THE NEXT YEAR,
TWENTY-TWO/TWENTY-THREE AT
NINETEEN P0INT SIX BILLION.
AND FOR TWENTY-THREE/TWENTY-FOUR
AT TWELVE POINT NINE BILLION.

SO LET'S START WITH THAT FIRST
NUMBER. WHY IS THE DEFICIT ABOUT
A THIRD SMALLER THAN WHAT YOU
PROJECTED A YEAR AGO?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WELL,
IT'S BECAUSE THE REVENUES
ARE GREATER THAN WE ANTICIPATED.
YOU KNOW, MOST RECESSIONS, AND
PARTICULARLY IN THIS ONE, THE
FINANCIAL CONTRACTION OF THE
ECONOMY, WAS EXTRAORDINARY IN
THE FIRST PHASES OF COVID-NINETEEN.

WE HADN'T SEEN A CONTRACTION OF
THE ECONOMY LIKE THAT I THINK IN HISTORY.

BUT WITH THE SUBSTANTIVE
FINANCIAL SUPPORTS FROM BOTH THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT AND THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WE ACTUALLY
SAW TAX RECEIPTS GO UP, AND
THAT'S NEVER BEEN -- AT LEAST
THAT I CAN EVER REMEMBER, AND
YOU AND I ARE BOTH STUDENTS OF
HISTORY, THAT IN A RECESSION OR
CONTRACTION THAT YOUR TAX
REVENUES ACTUALLY GO UP.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. PC MPP, Pickering-Uxbridge.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, SO THE ECONOMY IS NOW
REBOUNDING. WE'VE PROJECTED GROWTH.

WE GET PRIVATE SECTOR FORECASTS
TO PROJECT OUT THE ECONOMIC
GROWTH AND WE TAKE THEIR
NUMBERS, AND THE ECONOMY IS
REBOUNDING. REVENUE IS UP, SO
THAT'S A GOOD NEWS STORY.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. @PBethlenfalvy” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, HOWEVER,
I WILL NOT HESITATE TO
MAKE SURE THAT PRUDENCE IS IN
THE FINANCIAL PLAN SO THAT WE'VE
SET ASIDE ENOUGH COVID
CONTINGENCY OR TIME-LIMITED
FUNDING SO THAT WE CAN COMBAT
WHAT'S AROUND THE CORNER.

I WILL QUICKLY REMIND YOUR
VIEWERS THAT THE THIRD WAVE,
WHICH DOESN'T RESPECT OUR FISCAL
YEAR END, WHICH IS MARCH THIRTY-FIRST,
PEAKED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF
OUR FISCAL YEAR WITH THE SECOND
CALENDAR QUARTER OF THIS YEAR,
AND OF COURSE WE CONTINUE TO
BATTLE THE FOURTH WAVE AND I
THINK QUITE SUCCESSFULLY
RELATIVE TO OTHER PLACES IN
CANADA AND THE WORLD. BUT
WE'RE NOT GOING TO LET OUR
GUARD DOWN.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, SO
IT'S IMPORTANT AS THE FINANCE
MINISTER THAT I CONTINUE TO HAVE
CONTINGENCY FUNDING IN PLACE AND
PRUDENCE BUILT IN SO THAT WE, IF
WE NEED TO MAKE THE
EXPENDITURES, THAT WE HAVE THE
ABILITY TO DO SO.

Steve says, I TAKE YOUR POINT ON
THAT. BUT AS FINANCE MINISTER, IS IT
ALSO NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO
LAY OUT WHAT THEY CALL A PATH
TO BALANCE?

Peter Bethlenfalvy nods.

Steve says, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO TELL US AT
WHAT POINT THE BOOKS OF THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO WILL BE
BALANCED REGARDLESS IF IT'S ONE
YEAR, THREE YEARS, OR TEN YEARS
FROM NOW.

HAVE YOU DONE THAT IN TODAY'S
STATEMENT?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, NO, YOU
TYPICALLY DO THAT IN THE BUDGET,
NOT IN THE FALL ECONOMIC STATEMENT.

SO I LAID OUT THE NEXT THRE
YEARS, AS YOU HIGHLIGHTED, IN
TERMS OF SPENDING AND REVENUE
AND DEFICITS.

IN THE SPRING BUDGET OF THIS
YEAR, I OUTLINED -- IT WAS ONE
OF THE FIRST GOVERNMENTS TO LAY
OUT A PATH TO BALANCE.

AND BY THE WAY, THIS TODAY WAS
THE SEVENTH TIME THAT WE'VE GONE
OUT AND TALKED TO THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO ABOUT THE FINANCES SINCE
THE PANDEMIC. AND WE WERE THE FIRST
TO COME OUT WITH AN ECONOMIC UPDATE
IN MARCH OF TWENTY-TWENTY.

SO WHAT I DID IN MARCH OF
TWENTY TWENTY-ONE IS I LAID
OUT THREE SCENARIOS, ALL SHOWING
A PATH TO BALANCE, BASED ON
DIFFERENT ECONOMIC SCENARIOS,
AND I'LL BE UPDATING THAT AGAIN
IN THE SPRING BUDGET. AND THAT'S
THE TIME TO DO IT.

Steve says, IN WHICH CASE, LET
ME FOLLOW UP WITH THIS.

EVEN THREE YEARS DOWN THE ROAD,
YOU'VE GOT A DEFICIT APPROACHING
THIRTEEN BILLION IN TODAY'S
STATEMENT, AND IT DOES RAISE THE
QUESTION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT
YOU CAN ACTUALLY DEMONSTRATE A
PATH TO BALANCE WITHOUT EITHER
RAISING TAXES OR CUTTING PROGRAM
SPENDING. WHAT'S THE CASE?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, NO,
WE'RE NOT PLANNING TOvINCREASE
TAXES OR CUT SPENDING AS A WAY
TO BALANCE THE BOOKS.

I SAID IT IN THE SPRING BUDGET
AND AGAIN TODAY, AND WE'LL BE
SAYING IT AGAIN IN OUR SPRING
BUDGET NEXT YEAR, THAT THE PATH
TO RECOVERY, THE PATH TO BALANCE
IS THROUGH ECONOMIC GROWTH.

AND I SAID IN MARCH THAT I'M
BETTING ON THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO, AND WE'RE REBOUNDING.
A LOT OF WHAT WE TABLED TODAY,
STEVE, IS ABOUT INVESTING IN
INFRASTRUCTURE. THESE ARE REAL ASSETS.
BUILDING HIGHWAYS. BUILDING HOSPITALS.
BROADBAND. BUILDING THINGS.
GETTING THINGS DONE. REAL ASSETS.
THOSE ARE PRODUCTIVE ASSETS.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. No Path to Balance.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WE
HIGHLIGHTED THE HIGHWAY FOUR-THIRTEEN
AND THE BRADFORD BYPASS HIGHWAY
BUILT IN THE NINE-OH-FIVE.

STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT EACH
YEAR CONGESTION AND GRIDLOCK
COST PRODUCTIVITY ABOUT
ELEVEN BILLION A YEAR. THE
POPULATION IS GROWING IN THE
GREATER GOLDEN HORSESHOE, ABOUT
A MILLION EVERY FIVE YEARS.

SO THE TIME IT TAKES TO BUILD
HIGHWAYS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
EVEN MORE GRIDLOCK AND MORE LOST
PRODUCTIVITY.

Text beneath Peter reads “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Tvo.org/theagenda AgendaConnect@tvo.org”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, SO
WHAT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE DO
IS WE PUT SHOVELS IN THE GROUND
TODAY, LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR
PROSPERITY TOMORROW.

AND, YOU KNOW, ONTARIO HAS ALL
THE INGREDIENTS, WITH FANTASTIC
WORKERS -- THAT'S WHY THE
WORKERS ARE SO IMPORTANT --
FANTASTIC INFRASTRUCTURE, WHICH
WE'RE GOING TO AUGMENT BY
BUILDING MORE BROADBAND, MORE
HOSPITALS, MORE HIGHWAYS, AND
WE'VE GOT THE ENTREPRENEURIAL
SPIRIT TO GROW THIS PROVINCE AND
THAT'S GOING TO BE THE WAY WE'RE
GOING TO BALANCE THE BOOKS, AND
I'M VERY CONFIDENT THAT THE
PEOPLE OF ONTARIO WILL GET US THERE.

Steve says, I THINK FOR THE RECORD
YOUR OPPONENTS WOULD WANT
ME TO SAY THAT BUILDING NEW
HIGHWAYS DOESN'T NECESSARILY
ALLEVIATE TRAFFIC CONGESTION.
IT MAY JUST IN FACT ENCOURAGE
MORE TRAFFIC CONGESTION, BUT
WE'LL LEAVE THAT DEBATE ASIDE
FOR THE MOMENT.

I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT
INFLATION BECAUSE OF COURSE
INFLATION IS HIGHER RIGHT NOW
THAN PROBABLY AT ANY TIME IN THE
LAST TWENTY-PLUS YEARS, AND THERE'S
EVERY LIKELIHOOD I SUPPOSE THAT
INTEREST RATES ARE GOING TO HAVE
TO GO UP AT SOME POINT IN THE
NEAR FUTURE IN ORDER TO DEAL
WITH THAT.

IF THAT'S THE CASE, DO YOU SEE
GATHERING STORM CLOUDS ON THE
HORIZON AS YOU TRY TO KEEP DEBT
AND DEFICIT PROJECTION NUMBERS
IN HAND AND YET A RISE IN
INTEREST RATES COULD SEND ALL
THAT RIGHT DOWN THE TOILET, RIGHT?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. A Watchful Eye on Inflation.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, SO
I GUESS AS FINANCE MINISTER,
PART OF MY JOB IS TO LOOK FOR
THOSE CLOUDS. EVEN WHEN IT'S
BLUE SKY OUTSIDE, I'M CONSTANTLY
LOOKING FOR THOSE STORMY CLOUDS.

BY THE WAY, THE HIGHWAYS WILL
REDUCE TRAFFIC BY THIRTY MINUTES
PER DAY.

SO JUST TO GO BACK TO --

Steve smiles and says, SO SAYS YOU.
SO SAYS YOU. NOT YOUR OPPONENTS.
YOUR OPPONENTS SAY QUITE
DIFFERENT. BUT ANYWAY,
LEAVE THAT ASIDE.

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WELL,
WITH TWO MILLION MORE PEOPLE
IN THE GTA, THEY'VE GOT TO DRIVE.

NOT EVERYONE CAN CYCLE OR WALK
OR TAKE A SUBWAY, AND SO I
WOULD -- I THINK WE'LL BE ON THE
RIGHT SIDE OF THAT, PARTICULARLY
WHEN YOU HAVE CONGESTION AND
GRIDLOCK TODAY. BUT WE'LL
LEAVE THAT FOR ANOTHER DAY.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. PC MPP, Pickering-Uxbridge.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. A Watchful Eye on Inflation.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, YOUR QUESTION
WITH ABOUT INTEREST RATES IS A VERY
GOOD ONE.

YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
I'M VERY PROUD OF THE MINISTRY
OF FINANCE AND PARTICULARLY THE
ONTARIO FINANCING AUTHORITY IS
ONTARIO IS ONE OF THE BEST IN
THE WORLD IN TERMS OF TERMING
OUT THE DEBT, MAKING SURE THAT
BORROWING IS DONE AT A VERY
PRUDENT INTEREST RATE.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. @PBethlenfalvy” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. A Watchful Eye on Inflation.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, AND AS
YOU SAID AT THE OUTSET, WE HAVE
SIX POINT NINE PERCENT OF OUR
REVENUES -- SORRY, OUR EXPENDITURES,
IS INTEREST EXPENSE.

WHEN CANADA WAS IN TROUBLE IN
THE NINETIES, IT WAS UP AROUND THIRTY,
THIRTY-THREE PERCENT THE INTEREST
EXPENSE, AS A PERCENTAGE OF EXPENDITURES.
SO WE'VE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF LOW
TERM RATES.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. A Watchful Eye on Inflation.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WE'VE
LOCKED IN THIRTY-YEAR,
TWENTY-YEAR, TEN-YEAR RATES, SO
WE'VE BEEN VERY PRUDENT THERE.
AND SOME WOULD CALL FOR A FISCAL
ANCHOR, IF YOU WILL, OF YOU
SHOULD SPEND NOT MORE THAN TEN PERCENT
OF YOUR EXPENDITURES ON INTEREST RATES.
SO WE'VE DONE WELL.

HOWEVER, WE'VE GOT TO HAVE AN
EYE FOR THE FUTURE AND INTEREST
RATES, PARTICULARLY AS YOU SAY,
INFLATION STAYS HIGH, ALTHOUGH
MANY ARE CALLING IT TO BE
TEMPORARY, CENTRAL BANKERS AND
ECONOMISTS, WILL PUT PRESSURE ON
INTEREST RATES.

THAT'S WHY OUR PRUDENT APPROACH
I THINK IS WORKING REALLY WELL.

Steve says, I WANT TO ASK YOU
ABOUT HEALTH CARE.

BECAUSE NO DOUBT THERE ARE
PEOPLE WATCHING US RIGHT NOW
WHO, BECAUSE OF COVID AND
BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE HEALTH
CARE SYSTEM HAS HAD TO FOCUS ON
TREATING PEOPLE WITH COVID,
THEY DIDN'T GET THEIR DIAGNOSTIC
TESTS, THEY DIDN'T GET THEIR
SCREENINGS, THEY DIDN'T GET
THEIR ELECTIVE SURGERIES THAT
THEY WERE PLANNING TO HAVE.

AGAIN, I'M GOING TO QUOTE THE
FAO, THE FINANCIAL
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER, WHO
ESTIMATES THAT IT COULD TAKE
FOUR YEARS AND ONE POINT THREE
BILLION JUST TO CLEAR THE BACKLOG
OF THOSE SURGICAL PROCEDURES THAT
HAVE NOT YET HAPPENED.
A BILLION THREE JUST FOR THAT.

YOU'RE BUDGETING TODAY A BILLION
EIGHT FOR HEALTH, FOR EVERYTHING.

HOW DO THOSE NUMBERS POSSIBLY
ADD UP?

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Covid-Nineteen: Pandemic Protection.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WELL,
SEVENTY BILLION OF HEALTH CARE
EXPENDITURES, AS YOU MENTIONED,
ALMOST FORTY PERCENT OF TOTAL SPENDING
FOR AN AGING POPULATION AND LAYER
IN COVID, THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES.

BUT THE WAY THAT WE'RE TACKLING
THAT IS WE'RE BUILDING HOSPITAL
CAPACITY IN THE SPRING BUDGET.

I MENTIONED INVESTMENTS IN
WINDSOR FOR A NEW HOSPITAL, IN
BRAMPTON AND MISSISSAUGA AND
ETOBICOKE, IN COLLINGWOOD, IN
OTTAWA FOR THE CHILDREN'S
HOSPITAL OF EASTERN ONTARIO.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO THINK DOWN
THE ROAD TO MAKE SURE THAT WE
HAVE THE CAPACITY. SO THAT'S THE
PHYSICAL CAPACITY.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT
THEY'RE STAFFED. SO HIRING
MORE NURSES, MORE REGISTERED
PRACTICAL NURSES, MORE REGISTERED
NURSES, MORE PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS,
MORE PHYSICIANS, AND NURSE
PRACTITIONERS IN THIS PROVINCE
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T, IF YOU DON'T
BUILD, YOU DO NEED HEALTH CARE
WORKERS, AND GOING A BIT FURTHER
WE PUT IN MORE MONEY FOR MENTAL
HEALTH AND ADDICTION TO SUPPORT
OUR FRONT LINE HEALTH HUMAN RESOURCES
BECAUSE THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT.

SO, YOU KNOW, INVESTMENTS WE'RE
MAKING TODAY ARE VERY IMPORTANT
FOR TOMORROW.

Text beneath Peter reads “ Peter Bethlenfalvy. Minister of Finance.” “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Covid-Nineteen: Pandemic Protection.”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says, WITH
REGARD TO SURGERIES, WE
ANNOUNCED FIVE HUNDRED AND
FORTY EIGHT MILLION TODAY TO
ALLOW FOR MORE HOME AND
COMMUNITY CARE.

THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE POST-ACUTE
SURGERIES AND COMPLEX HEALTH
NEEDS, SOME TWENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND
A YEAR OF THE POST-ACUTE SURGERIES,
TWENTY-ONE A YEAR OF COMPLEX HEALTH
SITUATIONS WILL BE DONE -- WILL
BE ABLE TO CONVALESCE AT HOME.

SO WE ARE IN A DEBT OF GRATITUDE
TO OUR HEALTH CARE WORKERS.

THEY'RE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK
TO DO THE SURGERIES, TO TAKE
CARE OF PEOPLE IN OUR HOMES, AND
THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I KNOW
THE MINISTER, MINISTER ELLIOTT,
AND THE TOTAL TEAM IS VERY
FOCUSED ON, AND WE'VE PUT A LOT
OF MONEY IN TO MAKE SURE THAT WE
CAN TAKE CARE OF ALL ONTARIANS.

Steve says, MINISTER, I'VE GOT
ONE MORE QUESTION FOR YOU AND
THAT'S ABOUT CHILD CARE.

AS YOU WELL KNOW, NEARLY EVERY
JURISDICTION, PROVINCE,
TERRITORY IN THE COUNTRY, HAS A
CHILD CARE AGREEMENT WITH THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THE
FEDS ARE OFFERING BILLIONS UPON
BILLIONS TO HELP SUBSIDIZE TEN
DOLLAR A DAY CHILD CARE.

THE WORD "CHILD CARE" APPEARS
ONCE IN YOUR STATEMENT TODAY.
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT TO GET THIS DONE?

Text beneath Peter reads “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update. Tvo.org/theagenda AgendaConnect@tvo.org”

Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy says
WELL, IT'S A PRIORITY FOR OUR
GOVERNMENT. IT'S A PRIORITY
FOR PREMIER FORD.

IT'S A PRIORITY FOR MYSELF AND
FOR THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION,
STEPHEN LECCE, AND OUR WHOLE
GOVERNMENT. YOU KNOW, GOOD
SOCIAL POLICY, CHILD CARE POLICY,
IS ALSO GREAT ECONOMIC POLICY.

SO WHAT I WOULD SAY IS WITH
REGARD TO THAT, WE'VE HAD VERY
CONSTRUCTIVE DISCUSSIONS WITH
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
WE ARE -- HAD VERY CONSTRUCTIVE
DISCUSSIONS BEFORE THE ELECTION,
AND I WAS VERY ENCOURAGED BY THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOING A CHILD
CARE DEAL WITH QUEBEC, RECOGNIZING
THEIR UNIQUE FOOTPRINT AND THEIR
UNIQUE INVESTMENT IN CHILD CARE.

IN ONTARIO, WE HAVE A FORM OF
ZERO DOLLAR A DAY CHILD CARE
WITH ALL-DAY KINDERGARTEN, WHICH
COSTS US UPWARDS OF TWO BILLION A
YEAR. WE DOUBLED THE CHILD CARE TAX
CREDIT. AND WE'VE PUT A LOT OF MONEY,
WHICH YOU'D NOTE AGAIN IN THE
FALL ECONOMIC STATEMENT FOR
CREATING THIRTY THOUSAND NEW SPACES.

SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK BOTH SIDES
WANT TO GET A DEAL DONE.
I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE
A DEAL THAT ONTARIO GETS ITS
FAIR SHARE FOR OUR CHILDREN,
THAT IS A DEAL THAT RECOGNIZES
OUR INVESTMENTS THAT WE'VE
ALREADY MADE, AND ONE THAT IS
SUSTAINABLE OVER THE LONG HAUL.

YOU KNOW, IN FIVE YEARS, THERE'S
NO DEAL BEYOND FIVE YEARS, WE
HAVE TO RENEGOTIATE IT.

WELL, IN CANADA HEALTH
TRANSFERS, AS YOU KNOW, STEVE,
IT STARTED OUT AS A FIFTY-FIFTY SPLIT
AND FAST-FORWARD TODAY AND TODAY
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO PICKS UP
SEVENTY-EIGHT OF THE HEALTH CARE EXPENSES
AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PICKS
UP TWENTY-TWO PERCENT.

WE WANT OUR FAIR SHARE THERE TOO
AS WE HAVE AN AGING POPULATIO
AND WE'LL FIGHT FOR A FAIR SHARE
FOR ONTARIO CHILDREN AND CHILD CARE.

BUT I'M AN OPTIMIST, SO I KNOW EVERYONE
WANTS TO GET THERE AND WE'LL GET THE
BEST DEAL FOR ALL ONTARIANS.

Text beneath Peter reads “a. Ontario’s one hundred and eighty-nine billion dollar fiscal update.” “Produced by: Harrison Lowman. @harrisonlowman” “Produced by: Steve Paikin. @Spaikin”

Steve says, THAT'S ONTARIO'S
MINISTER OF FINANCE, PETER
BETHLENFALVY, WHO IS THE MEMBER
FOR PICKERING UXBRIDGE AS WELL.
MINISTER, WE'RE GRATEFUL YOU
SPENT SOME TIME WITH US ON TVO
TONIGHT. BE WELL AND THANK YOU.


Watch: Ontario's $189 Billion Fiscal Update