Program spending this year is projected to be $17.7 billion higher than two years ago.
The Ford government tables its budget next week.
In 2018/19, the Ontario government expects to spend approximately $12.6 billion more than it collects.
Neither the McGuinty or Wynne governments balanced the budget.
A nominal total spending freeze would mean annual reductions in inflation-adjusted per-person spending of about three per cent.
Despite Premier Ford’s rhetoric, government spending in Ontario will still be up markedly this year.
If Queen’s Park reduces spending by $5 billion, it could eliminate two-thirds of the provincial deficit.
If the government exercises spending restraint, it can eliminate Ontario’s $15 billion deficit in roughly three years.
Ontario has a debt burden of more than $300 billion.