Ontario 2016 Budget Highlights
Budget Breakfast Hosted by MPP Coteau
Creating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow
Ontario is delivering on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs by:
- Making the largest public infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history – $160 billion over 12 years starting in 2014–15 – to build roads, bridges, public transit, hospitals and schools. Planned investments would support more than 110,000 jobs, on average, each year.
- Increasing the global competitiveness of Ontario’s businesses through the five-year, $400 million Business Growth Initiative.
- Taking action in an increasingly low-carbon global economy by introducing cap and trade, investing in clean tech and supporting other green initiatives.
- Helping firms expand exports and become more productive through the initial three-year, $30 million Going Global Export Strategy. About 1,850 Ontario jobs are expected to be created through the more than 100 agreements and memoranda of understanding signed on trade missions to China in November and to India earlier this year.
- Investing $2.7 billion in the Jobs and Prosperity Fund over 10 years, creating and retaining more than 16,000 jobs to date.
Creating Opportunities for Ontarians
All Ontarians deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. The government is helping people succeed by:
- Improving services for children and youth with autism through a five-year, $333 million investment.
- Giving more people access to adequate and affordable housing through a three-year investment of $178 million, as part of the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.
- Working to end chronic homelessness in 10 years.
- Ending violence against Indigenous women through a long-term strategy.
- Increasing social assistance rates by 1.5 per cent for adults receiving Ontario Works and people with disabilities relying on the Ontario Disability Support Program, with a top-up for those with the lowest social assistance rates.
Making Colleges and University More Affordable
Starting in the 2017–18 school year, Ontario is making college and university education more affordable and accessible with the government’s plan to prepare more students for the jobs of tomorrow. We are investing in tomorrow’s highly skilled workforce today by:
- Transforming student assistance to make average college and university tuition free for students with financial need from families with incomes of $50,000 or lower, and making tuition more affordable for middle-class families.
- Providing non-repayable grants — which will exceed average college and university tuition — to more than 50 per cent of students from families with incomes of $83,000 or less.
- Ensuring that students from families with incomes of less than $50,000 will have no provincial student debt.
- Increasing access to interest-free and low-cost loans for middle- and upper-income families.
- Expanding financial support for mature and married students.
- Ensuring all students will be the same or better off under the new Ontario Student Grant as under the Ontario Tuition Grant
Making Everyday Life Easier
The government is making everyday life easier for Ontarians by lowering costs and improving convenience and choice by:
- Reducing hospital parking fees for frequent hospital users at hospitals that charge more than $10 a day.
- Saving a typical residential electricity user about $70 each year with the removal of the debt retirement charge, as of January 1, 2016.
- Eliminating the $30 Drive Clean emissions test fee in 2017–18.
- Increasing consumer convenience and choice by introducing wine, beer and cider in grocery stores across the province.
- Lowering the cost of auto insurance for Ontario’s more than 9.5 million drivers.
- Helping about 37,000 families conduct energy audits and retrofits on their homes through the Green Investment Fund, reducing their energy bills.
- Making the shingles vaccine free for eligible Ontario seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 — saving them about $170.
- Reducing commute times and making travel more convenient by implementing Regional Express Rail, improving GO Transit services and continuing to roll out the PRESTO fare card system on Toronto transit.
- Increasing funding for hospitals by $345 million, in response to the growing demand for highly specialized and complex services and the need to expand access in growing communities across the province.