Ontario Passes Budget That Protects What Matters Most
Restores accountability, protects frontline services and reduces burdens on families and businesses
TORONTO — Ontario's Government for the People has taken important steps in providing relief for families and businesses while charting a path to a balanced budget and protecting critical public services such as health care and education — without introducing any new taxes.
With the passage of Bill 100, the Protecting What Matters Most Act (Budget Measures), 2019, the government is implementing signature initiatives outlined in the 2019 Ontario Budget including:
- Creating the new Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit — one of the most flexible child care initiatives ever introduced in Ontario. It is a plan that puts parents, not the government, at the centre of the child care decision-making process.
- Empowering municipalities to make rules about where alcohol can be consumed in public spaces, such as parks, and retroactively pausing a wine tax increase that was scheduled for April 1, 2019, leaving more money in the pockets of consumers.
- Introducing the Premier and Minister's Accountability Guarantee, which would require both the Premier and the Minister of Finance to give up 10 per cent of their premier and ministerial salaries for failing to make public financial and economic reports by the legislated deadline.
- Providing tax relief for families when they need it the most, as the death of a loved one is a difficult time. Effective January 1, 2020, the Estate Administration Tax would be eliminated for taxable estates with assets of $50,000 or less and would be reduced by $250 for larger taxable estates.
- Making the auto insurance experience simpler for consumers by facilitating the use of electronic communications and electronic commerce by insurance companies in doing business with their customers.
- Requiring Ontario to prepare an annual debt burden reduction strategy to responsibly manage its debt, which is the largest of any sub-national jurisdiction in the world, while maintaining the high-quality services that people expect and deserve - both now and for future generations.
- Advancing a Digital First strategy that will deliver simpler, faster and better services across Ontario by eliminating outdated processes and lowering administrative burdens and costs.
- Implementing a transparency measure at the gas pump that will make clear the true cost of the job-killing federal carbon tax on Ontario drivers, families and businesses.
- Protecting titles for financial planners and financial advisors in Ontario by introducing a new framework for the financial services industry to require that individuals using the financial planner and financial advisor titles have an appropriate credential.
- The CARE tax credit will provide about 300,000 families with up to 75 per cent of their eligible child care expenses and allow families to access a broad range of child care options, including care in centres, homes and camps. It builds on Ontario’s commitment to help low-income workers through the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit, which provides low-income workers, including those making minimum wage, with up to $850 ($1,700 for couples) in tax relief.
- In addition to these legislative measures, the government is creating 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and upgrading 15,000 older long-term care beds, introducing a new dental program for low-income seniors who lack benefits, and investing an additional $384 million in hospitals and an additional $267 million in home and community care.
- The government is also lowering tuition rates by 10 per cent for students at every publicly funded college and university starting in 2019–20 and creating more opportunities for Indigenous people and addressing the North’s skilled labour shortage with a new Northern Ontario Internship Program.
- The Province is making the single largest capital contribution to new subway builds and extensions in Ontario’s history by committing $11.2 billion of the total estimated $28.5 billion cost to support four rapid transit projects in the Greater Toronto Area. The government is also improving service through the largest increase in GO Transit rail service in five years, including more trips per day, introducing route expansion and looking at the feasibility of providing flexible food and beverage services across the GO Transit rail network.