Ontario releases the 2021 Fall Economic Statement
Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario.
“As we continue to protect the hard-won progress against the pandemic, our government is looking forward with our plan to build a better and brighter future for families, workers and businesses in Ontario,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy. “By unlocking critical minerals in the North, harnessing our manufacturing capacity and building critical infrastructure, our plan will drive our economic recovery and prosperity for every region of our province.”
Investments in health and long‑term care system include:
- Ontario is investing $342 million, beginning in 2021–22, to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario is investing $57.6 million, beginning in 2022–23, to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.
- The province is investing an additional $548.5 million over three years to expand home and community care. This funding would support up to 28,000 post-acute surgical patients and 21,000 patients with complex health conditions every year.
- The government is investing $12.4 million over two years starting in 2021–22 to continue rapid access to existing and expanded mental health and addictions supports.
- The government is providing an additional $72.3 million over three years to increase enforcement capacity including doubling the number of inspectors across the province by 2022–23.
Investments in highways, hospitals, housing and high-speed internet include:
- The government has invested approximately $2.6 billion in funding for 2021–22 in support of the Ontario Highways Program, which features more than 580 construction, expansion and rehabilitation projects. As part of the Highways Program, the government has committed funding to build and advance the Bradford Bypass and Highway 413.
- Working in partnership with Northern and First Nation communities to create jobs, unlock critical minerals and bring economic prosperity to Ontario’s North, the Province has committed close to $1 billion to support the planning and construction of an all-season road network, as well as other projects that will provide a corridor to prosperity for the remote First Nations in the Far North.
- Ontario is responding to the need expressed by municipalities through the doubling of its annual investment in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund program. This additional multi-year investment of $1 billion will bring the total investment to nearly $2 billion over the next five years beginning in 2021–22, to provide certainty and predictability to 424 small, rural and Northern communities so that they can build and repair roads, bridges, and water and wastewater infrastructure.
- To provide all regions of Ontario with access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet by the end of 2025, the Province made a commitment of nearly $4 billion over six years.
- Ontario plans to invest an additional $3.7 billion, beginning in 2024–25, to build an additional 10,000 net new long‑term care beds and upgrade 12,000 existing beds to modern design standards. This would bring total investment to $6.4 billion since spring 2019 — a historic investment that will lead to more than 30,000 net new beds by 2028 and about 28,000 upgraded long-term care beds across the province.
- Ontario is investing $30.2 billion over the next 10 years to build, expand and enhance hospitals, a historic commitment to ensure people can get the care they need in their communities.
Investments in minimum wage, critical minerals, automotive manufacturing and other industries include:
- The government is proposing to increase the general minimum wage to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2022, and to eliminate the special minimum wage rate for liquor servers by raising it to the general minimum wage.
- The province has announced plans to develop its first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy. An abundance of critical minerals in the province will help secure investments such as new electric vehicle technology and create new opportunities for Ontario workers.
- The province has secured investment commitments of $5.6 billion from major auto manufacturers for electric vehicle supply chain capacity.
- Ontario is creating a new provincewide two-year $40 million Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream, which is part of the Regional Development Program.
- Ontario is investing an additional $90.3 million over three years starting in 2021–22 in the Skilled Trades Strategy. Key new initiatives include creating a skilled trades career fair as well as enhancing the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and the Pre‑Apprenticeship Training Program.
- The government is proposing to extend the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to 2022. The 2022 credit extension would provide an estimated $275 million in support to about 240,000 people, or $1,150, on average.