Unlike the 2023-2024 Quebec budget that Premier François Legault and his Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government just tabled. Premier Doug Ford’s new Ontario budget offers little relief for the average Ontarian during times of high inflation.
Overview Of The Ontario 2023 Budget
The Ontario government is looking to increase revenue and get back into the black within the next two years. The government plans to invest in infrastructure, healthcare workers, and businesses. Let’s take a closer look at how the latest Ford government budget may impact you.
Where Your Money Is Going Under The 2023 Ontario Budget
Under the Ontario Budget 2023 report, Ontario expects to budget the following amounts in the following sectors:
|Health Care Sector||$74.9||$81||1.38%|
|Education (Education + Postsecondary Education sector)||$43.7||$46.8||7.09%|
|Children, Community and Social Services Sector||$18.4||$19.4||5.43%|
Cost-Cutting Initiatives For Individuals
While the 2023 Ontario budget has very few cost-cutting initiatives for the average person, there are a few worth noting.
The provincial government will continue to provide both gas and fuel tax cuts until December 31, 2023.
They will propose changes to the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) program. Aiming to add 100,000 more seniors to the program and adjust the benefit to match inflation annually.
The government plans to eliminate double fares for certain local transit systems in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which has a population of roughly 10 million. This is meant to help offset the cost of commuting for those who also use the GO Transit system.
The government of Ontario has also invested in a number of other issues in Ontario, including
schools, seniors, mental health, and indigenous issues.
- School – The budget has also earmarked $22 billion to invest in schools and childcare spaces. This includes new English and new French schools. The modernization of post-secondary education institutions. Plus investments in early reading enhancements targeted math support, and support for students with disabilities.
- Seniors – Ontario has invested quite a bit into the care of seniors. They’ve budgeted $6.9 billion since 2019 to build long-term care homes for seniors and residents.
- Mental Health and Homelessness – The budget includes $425 million to be invested in mental health services over three years. As well as an additional $202 million each year to be invested in homeless prevention and supportive housing programs.
- Indigenous Issues – The government of Ontario has also budgeted $25.1 million to support searches of residential school burial sites in Canada. The funds will also be used to identify and commemorate the burial sites.
Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Infrastructure
More highways, better roads and a more convenient transit system are important components to developing a strong economy in Ontario. Ontario has dedicated more than $184 billion over 10 years to help build various parts of Ontario’s infrastructure. This includes:
- $27.9 billion to help fund the construction and expansion of new and old highways.
- $70.5 billion to help develop the transit system in Ontario, which includes transforming the Go Transit into a faster and more efficient network.
- $48 billion to improve hospital infrastructure.
- $18 billion to create new childcare spaces and expand/renew schools.
Tax Support For Businesses
To support their infrastructure goals, the government is investing heavily in tax breaks for businesses.
- Small Business Corporate Income Tax Rate – Increasing phase-out range to provide $265 million in income tax relief to small businesses.
- Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit – A new 10 percent refundable Corporate Income Tax credit to help local manufacturers.
- Investing in the Ontario Junior Exploration Program – An additional $6 million is being invested over the next three years to help search for potential mineral deposits.
- Critical Minerals Strategy – An expansion of the program to help Ontario become a leading producer of critical minerals
Investing In More Skilled Workers
To build a skilled workforce and reduce the labour shortage in Ontario, the government has budgeted $224 million towards the Skills Development Fund. The goal is to expand training centres and provide better training opportunities. They’ve also invested in:
- The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program to get more skilled workers in the province.
- The Ontario Bridge Training Program to help skilled immigrants get certified and get jobs in their fields of expertise.
- Expanding dual credit opportunities for those taking healthcare-related courses.
Supporting The Health Care System
The government of Ontario plans to improve the healthcare system in Ontario by investing $81 billion into the healthcare sector. Some of the areas they plan on investing in to help improve the healthcare system are:
- Faster Access To Health Care – Investing in $318 million to reduce wait times by covering more surgeries.
- Hiring More Health Care Workers – Investing $41.3 million to provide training and mentorship, get more international nurses certified, and keep nurses who are in their mid-to-late careers.
- Paramedicine – Investing $174 million over two years to help Ontarians, particularly seniors, access health care services from the comfort of their homes.
Ontario’s Financial Deficit
For the fiscal year 2022 – 2023, Ontario has reported a deficit of $6.5 billion. The goal is to reduce the deficit to $700 million by the next fiscal year.
Is This Budget Good For Ontario?
While the 2023 – 2024 Ontario Budget had the biggest budget to date, it did little to help ease Ontarians’ everyday affordability problems. With inflation increasing expenses and minimum wages not meeting expectations, many Ontario citizens may need to rely on personal loans. While debt is not always the popular solution, it might be a necessity if Ontario’s budget doesn’t put more money into the pockets of Ontarians.
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