• Nov 14, 2022
  • Insights

Ontario’s Plan to Build: A progress update

Ontario’s Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy

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On Monday, Ontario’s Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy delivered the province’s Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review for 2022 to the Legislative Assembly at Queen’s Park.

The Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review provides a progress update on what the Ford government said they would do, contrasted with what they’ve accomplished for the year. It’s a key opportunity for the government to share its’ priorities for the upcoming year and set the stage for the forthcoming budget.

In general, as outlined in the Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the government is focused on providing relief to Ontarians, but remains concerned about global economic uncertainty. Premier Ford and his government want to continue to build the economy and address the province’s labour issues, particularly in health care.

This year’s review highlights the advancement of critical minerals opportunities in the Ring of Fire with $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure. It also spotlights the $16 billion in investments by global automakers and suppliers of electric vehicle batteries and battery components and $2.5 billion in investments in clean steel production attracted to Ontario over the past year. 

Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj

Enhancing Ontario’s Plan to Build

As announced by Premier Ford at an Etobicoke gas station on Sunday, the province will extend the reduction of the gas and fuel tax in Ontario until December 31, 2023. It had originally been cut by 5.7 cents per litre as a way to help ease the burden of inflation for Ontario families. In July, when the cut was originally announced, it was expected to cost the government $645 million through the end of 2022. The Tax Relief at the Pumps Act is expected to save Ontario households $195 on average, by the end of 2023.

Re-announced in the Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review is a $30 million top-up of the Skills Development Fund to support priority infrastructure projects and youth employment and training as well as a fast-tracking of credential recognition for foreign-trained nurses.

The government highlights the previously announced increase to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) monthly earnings exemption from $200 to $1,000 per month for those individuals who are eligible. Beginning in July of 2023, the government will also adjust core allowances under ODSP and the maximum amount for the Assistance to Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD) allowance annually to inflation. Both measures have long been the focus of advocates and the opposition in the legislature.

As well, the Guaranteed Annual Income Supplement (or GAINS) will be doubled to $166 per month for single seniors and $332 per month for couples, to a maximum increase of almost $1,000 per person, to help Ontario’s seniors.

All told, the Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review proposes to enact two new statutes, the Supplementary Interim Appropriation for 2022-2023 Act, 2022 and Interim Appropriation for 2023-20254 Act, 2022 will both be tabled in the legislature in the coming days. In the coming years, the Ontario government expects stronger employment in 2024-25 and to reach a budget surplus by 2025-26.

Ontario’s economic outlook

Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio for 2022-23 is projected to be 38.4 per cent, before growing slightly to 38.7 per cent in 2023-23 and dropping again to 38.3 per cent in 2024-25.

Net debt-to-GDP ratio

Ontario’s projected real GDP growth for 2022 is 2.6 per cent, before a projected increase of 0.5 per cent in 2023 in the face of economic uncertainty.

Real GDP growth projections

In the first half of 2022, Ontario showed strong Real GDP growth compared to the Canada and the United States.

Real GDP growth in first half of 2022

Net employment in Ontario

Employment in Ontario is up by 324,000 net new jobs in 2022, growth that is expected to moderate considerably in the 2023-25 period.

Ontario Net employment 2022

Deficit outlook compared to 2022 budget

2022-23 fiscal performance

Key numbers

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