TORONTO – Moody’s credit rating agency changed Ontario’s debt rating Wednesday to negative from stable, citing concerns about the province’s ability to eliminate a $12.5 billion deficit by 2017-18 as scheduled.
“After several years of weak to moderate economic growth, and higher than previously anticipated deficits projected for the next two years, the province is facing a greater challenge to return to balanced outcomes than previously anticipated,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement.
The change in outlook affects approximately $250 billion in debt securities, Moody’s said as it reaffirmed Ontario’s Aa2 ratings.
The ratings agency didn’t wait for the Liberals to introduce their budget July 14 before lowering the outlook to negative, but Premier Kathleen Wynne has said it will be identical to the May 1 fiscal plan that was rejected by the opposition parties, triggering the June 12 election.
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