Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives inherited a balance sheet from the Liberals, in power for 15 years, in which Queen’s Park was spending $40 million more per day than it was collecting in revenue, and paying $34 million per day to service the interest on the province’s $350 billion debt.
That $34 million per day payment — about $13 billion per year — doesn’t reduce the principal amount owed, and every annual deficit the Liberals recorded and the PCs inherited, adds to the total amount of the debt.
Despite this runaway spending — turning the Ontario government into one of the world’s most indebted non-national borrowers — municipalities, school boards and other recipients of provincial funding now complaining about spending restraints under Ford, weren’t happy under the Liberals, either.
To the contrary, they complained the Liberals were underfunding them.
This was the unsustainable reality Ford and the PCs faced when they came to power last year, and continue to face today as they move to get spending under control.