This afternoon, Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, delivered the 2022 Budget in the Ontario Legislature. The highly anticipated budget, named Ontario’s Plan to Build is a forward-looking document with an increased focus on rebuilding the economy and a decreased focus on pandemic response. Prioritized investments include an investment of $1B annually in employment and training programs, an additional $300 per eligible Ontarian in Personal Income Tax relief, and an additional $3.3B in hospital investments.
This government has provided an overall $8.9B in support of Ontario’s businesses, including lowering payroll costs, providing electricity relief and income tax relief.
It is expected that the campaign period will begin shortly after the tabling of this budget, which will undoubtedly serve as the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s campaign platform for the June 2 provincial election. The government has confirmed that this budget will be re-introduced in the Legislature after the election, should the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party be re-elected.
This year’s budget’s priority themes are:
Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy
Working for Workers
Building Highways and Key Infrastructure
Keeping Costs Down
A Plan to Stay Open
Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.3% in 2021, with a projected growth of 3.7% in 2022.
Employment rose by 344,800 net jobs in 2021 or 4.9%, with a projected growth of 3.9% in 2022, and 600,000 net new jobs by 2025.
The net debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 40.7% in 2021–22 and forecast to be 41.4% in 2022–23 and 2023–24 and declining to 41.3% in 2024–25.
The 2021 budget projected the deficit to be $33.1B but resulted in $13.5B. This year’s budget projects the deficit to be $19.9B in 2022-23.
The government forecasts a balanced budget or projected surplus in 2027-28.
This budget’s total expense for 2022-2023 amounts to $198.6B.
Debt interest $13.5B
Total Programs $185.2B
Total spending (including debt) $198.6B
Total expense for 2023-2024 is projected to be $199.1B and 2024-2025 to be $203B.
Accelerating development timelines
$19.2M over three years to increase capacity at the Ontario Land Tribunal and Landlord and Tenant Board to reduce backlogs
Increasing the Non-Resident Speculation Tax rate to 20%, expanding the tax’s application provincewide and eliminating two rebates specific to international students and foreign nationals working in Ontario, effective March 30, 2022
Keeping Costs Down:
Enhancing the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit, starting with the 2022 tax year, increasing support by $300 per eligible Ontarian, on average, for 1.1M workers and adding 700,000 more LIFT beneficiaries starting in 2022
$10M in 2022-23 to establish a Food Security and Supply Chain Fund
Additional $5.5M to the Ontario Community Support Program to deliver essential items to low-income seniors and people with disabilities
Maintaining the current tuition freeze for Ontario’s publicly assisted colleges and universities for an additional academic year in 2022-23
$15M over three years to expand the Home and Vehicle Modification Program
Cutting the gasoline tax by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax by 5.3 cents per litre for six months beginning July 1, 2022
Removing tolls on Highways 412 to 418
Reducing the cost of taking transit by eliminating double fares for most local transit when using GO Transit services and increasing PRESTO discounts for postsecondary students
Reducing the cost of auto insurance by proceeding with additional measures to create choice, reduce fraud and enhance fairness
Ontario is investing:
$142M to recruit and retain health care professionals in underserved communities
$2.8B over three years toward a permanent wage enhancement for personal support workers
$230M to enhance health care capacity
$49M over three years to develop new programs to recruit, train and retain critical care workers
$42.5M over two years to support the expansion of medical education
$15M over three years in a new Life Sciences Innovation Program
$1B over three years to expand home care
$124M over three years to modernize clinical education for nurses
Introducing a new refundable Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit
Additional $5M a year for three years for dementia services
Over $40B over ten years in hospital and health care infrastructure to support more than 50 hospital projects, adding 30,000 new beds
$300M investment toward the Surgical Recovery Strategy
$56.8M to support first responders and increase capacity in emergency health services
$45.2M over three years for programs focussing on early intervention that provide access to specialized mental health services for public safety personnel
Additional $204M toward mental health and addictions services in Ontario
Releasing Ontario’s first Critical Minerals Strategy, a five-year plan to position Ontario as a global leader in supplying critical minerals and strengthen Ontario’s supply chain for electric and hybrid vehicle production
$12M to extend the Ontario Junior Exploration Program for two years and $4M per year for the next three years to create a new Critical Minerals Stream
Releasing a Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy to bolster Ontario’s clean technology and hydrogen sectors
Launching a consultation in Fall 2022 to support Phase 3 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program
Attracting more than $12B in auto sector investments, including $5B for LG Energy Solution and Stellantis to build the province’s first battery manufacturing plant
As of early April, Ontario has attracted nearly $11B in new investments in hybrid and EV production and battery manufacturing
Providing $91M to help make electric vehicle chargers more accessible to the public across the province
Supporting Businesses and Entrepreneurship
Creating an Entrepreneurship Council to focus on a range of themes that will support the development of a dedicated Entrepreneurship Strategy
Investing nearly $107M over three years in new critical technology initiatives to support access and commercialization of these technologies
Launching the Community Jobs Initiative to bring jobs at provincial agencies to communities across Ontario
Extending the temporary enhancement to the Regional opportunities Investment Tax Credit to the end of 2023
$25M over three years to the Indigenous Economic Development Fund to provide working capital to Indigenous-owned businesses and entrepreneurs
Increasing Venture Ontario’s venture capital funding from $100M to $300M
Modernizing Ontario’s vehicle registration process by investing $23.9M in the Digital Dealership Registration program
Additional $5M in 2022-23 to support the expansion of the Better Jobs Ontario Program (in addition to the $200M over the last three years)
Additional $15.8M to the Skills Development Fund
Additional $114.4M over three years in the Skilled Trades Strategy
Expanding college degree-granting
Additional $268.5M through Employment Ontario to strengthen skills training and employment programs
Raising the general minimum wage to $15.50 per hour, starting October 1, 2022
$6.9M to enhance the Investing in Women’s Futures program
$15.1M over three years in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
Calling on the federal government to renew and enhance the Canada-Ontario Labour Market Transfer Agreements
Contributing up to $500M in support for ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s $1.8B investment to move its Hamilton facility to an electric arc furnace
$25.1B over the next ten years to support the planning and/or construction of highway expansion and rehabilitation projects across Ontario
$492.7M investment in targeted infrastructure highway projects in Northern Ontario
Undertaking early works and property acquisitions along Highway 401
Funding the reconstruction of Highway 101 through Timmins, supporting commuters and local mining and forest industries
Funding advance work to expand GO Transit rail services from Oshawa into Bowmanville
Proceeding with planning work for the London Go Rail Extension
Breaking ground on the Ontario Line and making progress on Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area
Investing $75M to support corridor fleet and station upgrades for passenger rail service in Northeastern Ontario
$4 billion in high-speed internet access to every community by the end of 2025
Watch Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy deliver the 2022 Ontario Budget
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