The Ontario government said it will release the 2020 Provincial Budget a week from Thursday. It will focus on health care, supporting Ontarians during the pandemic, and economic recovery.
The Nov. 5 budget, the government says, will provide a three-year outlook to build on the $30 billion made available through Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
“To start us down the road to recovery, we need a healthy workforce. That’s why we have put the health and safety of every Ontarian first during this pandemic,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “Getting people back to work, creating more jobs, and attracting investment are also important priorities for our government. The upcoming budget will strike a balance that will focus on continuing to protect everyone’s health and safety while creating the right conditions for our economic recovery.”
Finance Minister Rod Phillips said the 2020 budget “will also expand the support our government has provided to those still facing financial hardship due to the pandemic, including families, workers, vulnerable people, seniors, and employers.”
Initiatives in the action plan include:
- Providing relief to over 63,000 small business tenants through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA).
- More than 19,000 emergency supplies leads have been converted into more than $880 million in purchases of critical supplies and equipment to support staff on the front lines, including 148 million masks, 439 million gloves, and 29 million gowns through the Ontario Together portal.
- $75 million for 194,000 seniors by doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment from April to September 2020.
- Building domestic capacity to manufacture 10,000 ventilators through an innovative partnership between O-Two Medical Technologies and Linamar and producing 50 million N95 masks annually beginning in early 2021 through a joint federal-provincial investment in a new 3M facility in Brockville.
- Saving businesses over $330 million by reducing red tape and the elimination of unnecessary paperwork.
- Helping students with six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and accrual relief.
- Providing small businesses in modified Stage 2 areas with up to $300 million to cover costs associated with property taxes, electricity and natural gas bills.
“We’re going to continue to do what’s necessary to protect people’s health and jobs while laying the foundation for a strong, long-term care economic recovery,” said Ford. “We have your backs, we will pull through this together and when this is all over, we will continue to fire up our economic engine, we will bring more prosperity and more opportunity than ever before to every corner of this province.”