TORONTO — Fitch Ratings downgraded Ontario’s long-term debt rating Friday, highlighting “risks” on the path to the Liberal government’s target of balancing the budget by 2017-18.The rating agency cut its long-term issuer default rating to AA- from AA, saying “difficult actions” will be necessary for the province to achieve its target of eliminating the $12.5-billion deficit.“Budget options are likely to prove more limited given the extent of actions taken to date and use of one-time actions to achieve targets, in Fitch’s opinion,” the agency said.“The downgrade to AA- reflects Fitch’s concern that risks remain to achieving its goals and both debt burden and the accumulated deficit will remain significantly elevated.”Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the government remains committed to eliminating the deficit by 2017-18, but the Fitch announcement underscores the challenges the province’s economy faces.“Our government has been consistently clear that we must remain focused as our economy emerges from the effects of the great global recession,” Sousa said in a statement.Ontario’s finance minister on Moody’s cutting province’s outlook to negative: ‘The bankers aren’t freaking’Ontario debt rating outlook cut to negative by Moody’s“That’s why we put forward a budget that speaks to strategic investments in economic growth and job creation, while at the same time transforming government by achieving our savings targets and limiting program spending growth to 1.1%.”Fitch also improved Ontario’s ratings outlook to stable from negative.“The province has demonstrated the ability to exert considerable, ongoing expenditure restraint while instituting revenue changes as necessary to achieve its deficit reduction objectives, pointing to the strength of provincial management,” the rating agency said.However, Fitch noted that while near-term budget goals have been exceeded, full fiscal recovery following the global recession “remains several years away.”“Fitch believes that the province will also be challenged in restraining ongoing capital spending to make progress in lowering the high debt burden and accumulated deficit over time,” it said.Even if Ontario meets its goal of balance it will still be left with a large debt burden, Fitch said.Ontario’s auditor general issued a similar warning last week, cautioning that despite Ontario’s work to eliminate its deficit, the province’s rising net debt — the difference between its liabilities and its total assets — could have a number of negative implications for its finances in the future.By 2017-18 the province’s net debt will have soared to $325 billion, more than double the $156.6 billion a decade ago, the report estimated.Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s report noted that the government now spends more on debt interest than it does on post-secondary education, and those interest costs are growing.Moody’s credit rating agency changed Ontario’s debt rating in July to negative from stable, citing concerns about the province’s ability to eliminate the deficit as scheduled.Ontario’s opposition parties have long expressed skepticism that the Liberal government will be able to meet its 2017-18 target of balance.
Sean Anthony of Meralco (dark) vs Enrico Villanueva of NLEX (light).NLEX saw its season come to an end Tuesday night and so did the PBA career of its rugged big man Enrico Villanueva, who quietly called it quits after 15 seasons.Villanueva had his moments as one of the league’s stars and played his best basketball as part of the defunct Red Bull franchise, which selected him as the seventh overall pick in 2003.ADVERTISEMENT In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide NBA: Anthony sees no problem playing power forward with Thunder MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Injuries, however, prevented the one-time UAAP MVP out of Ateneo from sustaining his strong showing in the latter part of his career.“The only problem when he was near the end of his career, he couldn’t get back into game shape because his injuries kept coming back so he just really wanted to finish this season, but it would have been [great] if he was able to play and was healthy and that was really his problem during the last few months that maybe his body was giving up on him already so that is the time to call it quits and enjoy the rest of young life,” Guiao said.“But he was able to do what he wanted with the basketball career that’s really more than anyone can ask for.”Guiao believes Villanueva won’t be away from basketball entirely and it won’t take long before he returns to the sidelines.“I think he still wants to able to be involved in basketball in another capacity but we still don’t know that yet,” Guiao said.Villanueva said he has businesses to attend to and he’s not discounting the idea of coaching someday.In fact, he already has a blueprint figured out.“If I’ll be a coach, it’s pretty obvious which coaching style I’ll take.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. How to help the Taal evacuees Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson “More than competing at the highest level, I’d have to say I’ll miss the people I encounter in the league. I’ll miss the camaraderie and friendships that I’ve built through the years,” Villanueva told INQUIRER.net Wednesday.“Of course, I’ll still see some of them but not being with my team day to day will be something I’ll need to get used to. Those people have been a part of my life one way or another.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe 37-year-old Villanueva led Red Bull to a title in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference where he was named Best Player of the Conference.Villanueva played for six other teams before finishing his career with the NLEX Road Warriors. And interestingly, his first PBA coach in Yeng Guiao was also his last. LATEST STORIES DAY6 is for everybody Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments “He’s created a lot of good memories, especially when we were together in Red Bull,” said Guiao after the Road Warriors’ quarterfinals exit following a loss to the Star Hotshots.“It’s been a privilege coaching him when he started, and when he’s ending.” Guiao, who called the shots for Red Bull from 2000 to 2009,” he added.Guiao coached Villanueva for five seasons before the former national team player was traded to San Miguel Beer.“He’s a very blunt and straightforward coach. He’ll tell you what he wants and will tell you if you’re messing up; and in the most colorful way you can imagine,” Villanueva said. “There’s no superstar and you can’t be soft. You need to be tough otherwise you won’t survive. I can guarantee, though, that you’ll be a better player after.”“More than a coach, he’s also a father figure to us. He cares for his players and this is evident through his relationships with them, including former players. He’s a great family man and a person to emulate.”ADVERTISEMENT