Five things to expect in Thursday’s Ontario budget

TORONTO – Finance Minister Charles Sousa will introduce the Ontario budget Thursday. Here are five things to expect in the Liberal government’s fiscal plan:

— The ninth consecutive deficit budget is expected to clearly outline how the Liberal government will eliminate $7.5 billion in red ink by 2017-18.

— Ontario’s net debt is expected to surpass $300 billion, with bond rating agencies watching closely to see if the debt-to-GDP ratio will be heading down from nearly 40 per cent.

— There will be more details on the government’s cap-and-trade plan to fight climate change, which will drive up the price of most consumer goods, adding 4.3 cents a litre to the price of gasoline.

— It will outline already announced plans to let some grocery stores sell wine, which will get a new minimum price and could also be hit with a new tax.

— There will also be more details on the government’s strategy to combat violence against indigenous women, which Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Monday would get $100 million in funding over three years.