WATCH: Hydro in the spotlight as Ontario legislature resumes

The legislature resumed today at Queen's Park with the government talking about the economy, and the opposition parties focusing on hydro.

Before Question Period, finance minister Charles Sousa announced that the deficit for 2016-17 is now projected at $1.9-billion, which is $2.4-billion less than the government predicted when it presented the current budget last spring.

He says they still plan to balance the next budget when they reveal it in the weeks to come.

Sousa says the economic growth that lowered the deficit was led by business exports, consumer spending and real estate investments.

The NDP and PC parties, meanwhile, spent much of Question Period talking about "struggling" Ontarians who can't pay their hydro bills.

Both parties are calling for a reduction in electricity prices, and an end to winter disconnections. Last week, energy minister Glenn Thibeault asked local distribution companies to stop disconnecting customers who don't pay their bills in the cold months.

If not all companies do so voluntarily by midnight, Thibeault says the Liberal government will introduce legislation to force them to do so.

Premier Kathleen Wynne reiterated her government's plan to reduce hydro bills before the next budget is presented.

"We know that there's more that needs to be done to across-the-board help people with their electricity bills," she said.

The Liberals have yet to announce a budget date, although the finance ministry has said it will come after Ottawa tables its budget.

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