This afternoon, the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance tabled the 2019 Ontario Budget: 'Protecting What Matters Most' in the Ontario Legislature.
- Deficit projected at $10.3 billion in 2019-2020, down from $15 billion last year
- No new tax increases
- A pledge to balance the budget in five years
- A new Ontario Childcare Access & Relief from Expenses Tax Credit (CARE) will provide about 300,000 families with up to 75% of their eligible child care expenses
- $1 billion over the next five years to create up to 30,000 child care spaces in schools
- Consolidation of the six existing provincial health agencies and 14 Local Health Integration Networks into a new single agency
- $1 billion in additional funding to education over the next 3 years
- $11.2 billion to support four rapid transit projects in the GTA, plus funding for Ottawa and Hamilton light rail projects
- Establishment of a central procurement system expected to save $1 billion a year
- The Housing Supply Action Plan will make it easier to develop the right mix of housing where it is needed, lower the costs of development, make it easier to develop rental housing and address other concerns and opportunities to increasing housing supply
- The Plan will be flexible so that each community can build what it needs while protecting sensitive areas like the Greenbelt, preserving cultural heritage and maintaining Ontario's vibrant agricultural sector.
- The Government is expected to make an announcement in late April/May regarding the Housing Supply Action Plan and introduce legislation
- The Community Housing Renewal Strategy will create incentives for community housing providers to continue to provide housing and improve sustainability
- Simplify rent-geared-to-income calculations to reduce the administrative burden and improve processes for tenants, service managers and housing providers
- Streamline and update waitlist and eligibility rules to better match applicants for social housing with solutions that meet their needs
- Address community safety concerns especially for the most vulnerable including seniors and children
- The National Housing Strategy bilateral agreement between the federal government and Government of Ontario will provide $4 billion in federal and provincial funding for the Ontario housing sector over the next nine years.
- Under the National Housing Strategy, the Province will negotiate and co-design the Canada-Ontario Housing benefit with CMHC to create a housing benefit that would address housing affordability.
- The government will undertake a comprehensive review to identify opportunities to streamline and improve coordination of the Province's supportive housing programs