Provincial budget in the hands of the New Democrats

Ontario's minority liberals will be hinging on a vote of confidence by the New Democrats to stay in power.

The Progressive Conservatives are sticking to their plans to defeat Thursday's budget.

The PC's have lashed out at Premier Kathleen Wynne over reports the budget will increase spending and add to the deficit.

Nepean-Carleton MPP and PC Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod said that is one big red flag.

"I think it's the absolute disregard by the liberals by on the financial status on the province," she told CFRA. "It's very clear that the deficit numbers are going to go up and let's put this into perspective. Every single dollar that is spent on servicing the deficit, which by the way will get higher as our credit rating lowers, is a dollar that is going to be spent servicing the deficit as opposed to health care and education in the province of Ontario."

"That scarce amount of money that is available right now about our public programs is going to dwindle and unless this government actually starts to take a proactive [stance] and understanding of the financial situation of the province, it's only going to get worse," she said.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she wants to see what's in the budget and consult the public before deciding whether her party can support it.

The party has not made specific demands like in the past two years, but have said they will not support any new taxes or fees on the middle class.

Should the NDP defeat the budget, the province would see an election as early as next month.

Canadian Press Reporter Keith Leslie, however, told CFRA's Madely in the Morning, the party needs to be strategic when it comes to deciding whether to force an election.

"I think the NDP, one of their biggest, biggest concerns right now are the polls showing that A) they could lose some seats and B) that one of the scenarios absolutely is a Tory minority or a Tory even majority government," said Leslie.

"A Tory minority is a very real possibility after an election, when right now you have a left-leaning government that actually unique to the previous two budgets has gone out of its way to put NDP programs in them - including that tax on people who make more than $500,000," he added. "This budget seems again designed with some very NDP principles in mind. You get a Tim Hudak Conservative government in there, they're not going to be leaning towards the NDP in any way, shape or form and not looking to make any deals."

Under Ontario's law, Queen's Park must sit a minimum of 12 days before there is a vote on the budget, however, Leslie said the minority Liberals could always call a vote sooner.

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