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Canada Ontario NDP admits to $1.4-billion costing error

09:01  21 may  2018
09:01  21 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Ontario ’s governing Liberals claimed Monday to have found a costing error in the NDP election platform, marking Ontario ’s Green party released its platform today, with the centrepiece promise a .2- billion program to give grants and loans to businesses and homeowners for energy conservation.

TORONTO – Ontario ’s governing Liberals claimed to have found a costing error Monday in the NDP election platform, marking yet another attack on the third party that’s been gaining momentum, while the New Democratic leader ruled out the possibility of a coalition.

Andrea Horwath has promised to buy back the privately held shares of Hydro One if her New Democratic Party forms Ontario’s next government.© Chris Young

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. - Ontario's New Democrats, often accused of fiscal incompetence, made a $1.4-billion annual costing mistake in their election platform, the party's leader was forced to admit on Sunday.

The miscounting of a $700-million annual reserve fund as revenue rather than as an expense will affect deficit projections for several years, Leader Andrea Horwath conceded.

At the same time, Horwath downplayed the problem, saying it would have little affect on the party's campaign platform — or what could be achieved if the NDP were to form the government after the June 7 vote.

"It doesn't prevent us from doing any of the things that we believe we can do to help get rid of hallway medicine for example, and fix seniors' care in our province," Horwath said on her campaign bus in eastern Ontario. "The deficit will be a little bigger than expected, but we still will be on the trajectory to balance."

Ontario Liberals slam NDP platform costing

  Ontario Liberals slam NDP platform costing TORONTO - Ontario's governing Liberals claimed Monday to have found a costing error in the NDP election platform, marking yet another attack on the third party that has been gaining momentum, as the New Democratic leader stood by her plan and ruled out any possibility of a coalition to keep the Tories from seizing power. The province's election campaign has increasingly seen the Liberals take aim at the NDP after months of focusing their attacks on the Progressive Conservatives led by Doug Ford.Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne said just because her party and the NDP have similar values, doesn't mean she won't ask questions about their platform.

An NDP government in Ontario would spend $ 1 .2 billion to provide dental coverage to an additional 4.5 million people, with the money coming from higher taxes for the Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath makes a campaign announcement in Toronto on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Report Error .

TORONTO – Ontario ’s governing Liberals claimed to have found a costing error Monday in the NDP election platform, marking yet another attack on the third party that’s been gaining momentum, while the New Democratic leader ruled out the possibility of a coalition.

With two weeks to go before the provincial election, the gaffe became immediate fodder for the Liberals, who gleefully jumped on the error.

"The NDP insist they're ready to form a government but for the last week they've had a tough time explaining how their plans will actually help people in Ontario," The Liberals said in a statement.

"Now the NDP is admitting they've made a $7-billion dollar mistake in their platform — an error that will lead straight to higher taxes and lower job growth," the Liberals said. "It's clear the NDP are not ready to take on (Progressive Conservative Leader) Doug Ford, keep our economy strong and deliver for families."

The NDP had been buoyed by recent polls showing the party has attracted the attention of voters as a potential alternative to the long-governing Liberals under Premier Kathleen Wynne. Just how much the impact of the mistake might have remained to be seen.

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Choice is clear for Ontario voters: Change for the better or change for the worse. At the #CityVote debate on Monday night, NDP Leader Andrea Imagine a place where hydro is public, hydro bills are affordable, your prescriptions and dentist bills are covered, and your child care costs just per day.

April 30: The NDP announced a plan to fund prescription cancer drugs for those without coverage at a cost of million per year. Other highlights: billions to increase Ontario Works and Ontario disability payments; a 30 per cent reduction in hydro bills, the addition of 2,200 new mental health

Horwath, however, said people expected her to own up to it, and that was what she was doing. She insisted the error amounted to only a fraction of the province's overall budget.

"People want to have the kind of leadership that isn't afraid to be honest about making a mistake like this," Horwath said.

Not surprisingly, however, the Liberals saw it differently. Added up over the five years laid out in the NDP's budget calculations, it would make for a projected deficit $7 billion greater than initially calculated.

Horwath said the deficit would be a "little bit bigger" than expected and balancing the budget would take longer. However, she said, the party's plans were "solid."

The New Democrats had previously insisted the costing of their platform had been verified by former Parliamentary budget officer and economist Kevin Page. He confirmed the error on Saturday.

"Looks like a spreadsheet type of error," Page told the Ottawa Citizen, which first reported on the mistake.

Horwath said Page appeared to have initially missed the error, which is why she had at first dismissed questions about the problem.

The Liberals said the amount involved was equal to the combined annual operating budgets of two of Toronto's main hospitals.

The Maclean’s-Pollara Ontario election poll: The NDP lead keeps growing .
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