09/25/2018 11:24 EDT | Updated 09/25/2018 11:24 EDT

Ontario's Operating Expenses Grew 55% In 15 Years, Audit Finds

Peter Bethlenfalvy has released an audit of the province's finances.

Christopher Katsarov/CANADIAN PRESS
Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, speaks to media at Queen's Park in Toronto on Sept. 25, 2018.

TORONTO — A line-by-line review of the Ontario government's spending has found the province's operating expenses grew by 55 per cent over 15 years.

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy says the audit by EY Canada found the increase in government spending has outpaced population growth by 1.9 per cent.

Bethlenfalvy previously said the firm would audit all government programs and services, something Premier Doug Ford had promised during the spring election campaign.

He said the audit, combined with an independent commission of inquiry, would help the Progressive Conservative government assess the province's financial position.

Opposition responds to Ford's committee:

The province also conducted online surveys where people could weigh in on how to make government programs more efficient.

On Monday, Ford announced a select committee to dig further into the province's fiscal situation, while slamming his predecessor's handling of Ontario's books.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced last week that Ontario was dealing with a recently revised $15 billion deficit as a result of Liberal accounting practices.

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