TORONTO — The Ontario government is inverting the colour scheme on the provinces license plates and putting Tory blue front and centre.
The colour scheme was the only part of the plate change that wasnt leaked ahead of the $163.4 billion budget, unveiled on Thursday afternoon.
The new plates also come with a new slogan. As previously reported the province is ditching yours to discover and is replacing it with a place to grow for personal plates.
Commercial plates will carry Premier Doug Fords election slogan: open for business. While that measure has been confirmed by the government, it was not part of the budget plans. A government official said it would be formally announced at a later date.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said we want to drive a new culture throughout Ontario and this branding will signal that change.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the change shows Ford is using public money for partisan purposes.
“I think it is positive from a market perspective,” said Derek Burleton, deputy chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “The deficit implementation plan is reasonable, provided it can meet its targets. They are clearly ambitious on spending.”
Its such an obvious Conservative branded license plate, she said. Its just shameful that this is a priority of Doug Ford is to have his ego on the back of everybodys car.”
But a slowdown in the once red-hot housing market and global economic headwinds could increase the fiscal challenges for the province, which accounts for about 40 percent of Canada’s economy and is a major exporter of cars and other manufactured products.
The government is ditching the so-called three men in a hot tub look and replacing it with an outline of a trillium that is similar to the previous provincial logo.
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The 2018-19 deficit was much more than the C$6.7 billion deficit projected by the Liberals in last year’s budget, due mostly to accounting adjustments and the cancellation of a cap- and-trade carbon tax by the Conservatives.