Wellington Dupont's 2023 Ontario Budget Summary

March 23, 2023

This afternoon, the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, delivered the 2023 Budget in the Ontario Legislature. The highly anticipated budget, named Building a Strong Ontario, is a forward-looking document with a responsible and targeted approach to address uncertain economic times in the province.

The budget totalling $204 billion is the largest in Ontario's history.

The government is committing to investing in highways, supportive housing, helping local manufacturers lower their costs, electric vehicles, training opportunities for workers, attracting more skilled workers to Ontario and health care.

The deficit is projected to be $2.2 billion by the end of the current fiscal year. This is $17.7 billion lower than the amount in the 2022 Budget and $4.4 billion lower than the most recent fiscal update.

It is projecting a deficit of $1.3 billion in 2023–24 and is expected to achieve a balanced budget by the next fiscal year, three years earlier than forecasted in last year’s budget.

Ontario’s real GDP grew by an estimated 3.7% in 2022 and is projected to increase by 0.2% in 2023, 1.3% in 2024, 2.5% in 2025, and 2.4% in 2026. The net debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 37.8% in the 2022-23 fiscal year.


Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

The government is proposing a new 10% refundable Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit that would help Ontario manufacturers lower their costs and help Ontario become more competitive.

  • Up to $2 million a year would be available to Canadian-controlled private corporations that make qualifying investments and that have a permanent establishment in Ontario
  • An estimated $780 million over the next three years would be provided to qualifying Canadian-controlled private corporations
  • This would apply for investments in buildings, machinery and equipment used in manufacturing or processing

Northern Ontario’s Economy

  • Committing close to $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure such as all-season roads, broadband connectivity and community supports to the Ring of Fire region
  • Investing an additional $3 million per year for the next two years into the successful Ontario Junior Exploration Program, bringing total investment in this program to $13 million in 2023-24 and $13 million in 2024-25

Clean Steel Investments

  • Attracting $2.5 billion in investments to support the steel sector to produce green steel

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Ontario

  • Attracting more than $16 billion in investments by global automakers and suppliers of electric vehicle batteries and battery materials
  • Exploring the introduction of an Urban Mobility Vehicle Program, which would allow urban mobility vehicles to operate on roads of participating municipalities

Corporate Income Tax

The government is proposing to lower costs for more small businesses by expanding access to the small business Corporate Income Tax rate.

  • The small business limit phase-out range would be increased from between $10 million and $15 million of taxable capital to between $10 million and $50 million
  • About 5,500 of Ontario's small businesses would be provided with additional Ontario income tax relief of $265 million for the next three years

Clean Energy Investments

  • Launching a voluntary Clean Energy Credit Registry to boost competitiveness and attract jobs
  • Providing a grant to McMaster University for the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, which will help increase research and production of critical nuclear isotopes
  • Continuing to provide more than $6.5 billion in electricity price relief for both people and businesses under the Comprehensive Electricity Plan, Ontario Electricity Rebate and the Northern Energy Advantage program

Investments for Entrepreneurs

  • The government will be providing an additional $2 million in 2023-24 to Futurpreneur Canada to help entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39 achieve their business goals
  • The province will also be investing an additional $15 million over three years for the Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) Grant Program
  • $1 million per year for three years will be going towards Invest Ottawa to expand into a Regional Innovation Centre hub for Eastern Ontario
  • Launching the Life Sciences Innovation Fund to help life sciences entrepreneurs and innovators
  • $107 million will be going towards new critical technology initiatives, including 5G/Next Generation Networks, artificial intelligence, quantum, robotics, blockchain and cybersecurity

Alleviating Gridlock

  • Investing in key highway projects such as Highway 413, Bradford Bypass, Highway 401, QEW Garden City Skyway Bridge project, Highway 7 and the Ontario Highways Program in order to alleviate gridlock in the province

Transportation for Northern Communities

  • ​​Investing $139.5 million for three new trainsets to reinstate the Northlander passenger rail service between Timmins and Toronto
  • Providing an additional $5 million in annual funding for Winter Roads Program enhancements

Building Transit

  • Investing in GO Transit to improve access and convenience across the Greater Golden Horseshoe and into Southwestern Ontario
  • Building Transit-Oriented Communities to build on more communities at or around transit stations
  • Building subways to provide travel options, alleviating gridlock on the roads and creating jobs

Community Infrastructure

  • Redeveloping Ontario Place in Toronto by modernizing the site and preparing the land for development, making essential repairs and continuing to advance the Environmental Assessment and public realm design process
  • Investing over $48 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure including over $32 billion in hospital capital grants to support more than 50 hospital projects adding 3,000 new beds over 10 years
  • Continuing to invest to build more than 31,000 new and over 28,000 upgraded long-term beds across the province by 2028
  • Investing about $15 billion in capital grants over 10 years to expand and renew schools and child care spaces
  • Investing nearly $4 billion to ensure every community across the province has access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025
  • Providing nearly $2 billion over five years to help 425 small, rural and Northern communities to construct and repair community infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure

Supporting Conservation

  • Investing an additional $14 million to expand the Greenlands Conservation Partnership to allow conservation partners to raise matching private-sector contributions to secure new, privately owned natural areas
  • Protecting Ontario's boreal caribou population, which is classified as a threatened species
  • Committing $9.5 million over the next three years in Ontario's Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy to improve soil data mapping, soil evaluation and monitoring and to support key commitments under the strategy


Lowering Costs

  • Proposing changes to expand the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) program, starting in July 2024, to see about 100,000 additional seniors be eligible for the program and adjusting the benefit annually to inflation
  • Eliminating double fares for most local transit when using GO Transit services
  • Taking action to make auto insurance more affordable by creating more choice, cracking down on fraud, and enhancing fairness for consumers
  • Taking action to get 1.5 million homes built by 2031 by creating the Streamline Development Approval Fund and increasing the Non-Resident Speculation Tax rate to 25%
  • Investing an additional $202 million per year in the Homelessness Prevention Program as well as the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program

Health Care

  • Accelerating funding to $569 million, including nearly $300 million to support contract rate increases to stabilize the home and community care workforce
  • Investing more than $174 million over two years to continue the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care Program
  • Providing an additional $425 million over three years to support mental health and addictions services
  • Investing an additional $72 million to have more access to surgeries at community surgical and diagnostic centres
  • Committing more than $200 million to connect children and youth to care at hospitals and within in their communities
  • Providing $3.1 million for an expansion of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Ottawa House to more than double the capacity
  • Supporting children and youth with complex special needs by investing $12 million over three years to fund 14 additional beds at Safehaven
  • Investing $80 million over three years to further expand nursing education by increasing enrolment by 1,000 registered nurses, 500 registered practical nurses and 150 nurse practitioners
  • Providing $200 million to extend supports to address immediate health care staffing shortages, including investments in the Enhanced Extern Program and Supervised Practice Experience Partnership Program
  • Investing $100.8 million over the next three years to expand and accelerate the rollout of medical training seats, resulting in an additional 160 undergraduate positions and 295 postgraduate positions by 2028
  • Investing $33 million over three years for 100 additional undergraduate seats, beginning in 2023, as well as 154 additional postgraduate medical training seats to prioritize Ontario residents trained at home and abroad
  • Providing $60 million over two years to create up to 18 new primary care teams and expand existing teams
  • Investing an additional $51 million over three years to support the Dedicated Offload Nurses Program to support timely 911 response in Ontario communities
  • Providing $1.2 million to the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association to help with recruitment efforts by promoting the personal support worker profession in the long‐term care sector
  • Expanding the ability of pharmacists to prescribe medications for common ailments

Other Services

  • Further enhancing supports for students under the Plan to Catch Up, including:
  • $25 million over two years for early reading enhancements;
  • $12.6 million over two years for targeted math supports; and
  • $6.2 million in targeted supports for students with disabilities to pursue cooperative education opportunities
  • Providing $6.8 million over three years for students to further their financial literacy learning and growth
  • Implementing a 50% reduction to child care fees for children aged 0 to 5 through a $13.2 billion investment made jointly with the Government of Canada
  • Investing $170 million over three years to support the Ready, Set, Go program aimed at improving long-term outcomes for youth leaving the child welfare system
  • Providing an additional $25.1 million to support the identification, investigation, protection, and commemoration of Residential School burial sites and provide mental health supports to First Nation communities
  • Investing $13.4 million in 2023-24 to fight gun-and gang-related crime through the Guns, Gangs, and Violence Reduction Strategy
  • Investing $110 million over three years to fund, train, coordinate, and improve the province's emergency preparedness response

Watch Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy deliver the 2023 Ontario Budget

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About Wellington Dupont

Wellington Dupont is a North American public affairs firm with strong talent working closely across Canada and the United States.

Founded in 2017, with offices in Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg, Wellington Dupont’s approach ensures consistent and seamless results throughout all offices while keeping top of mind policy and regulations on both sides of the border.

Wellington Dupont’s team of trusted advisors uses their combined experience in media relations, business, politics, and government to provide sound counsel and strategic advice while helping clients achieve results.

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