Province Delivers its Fall Economic Statement
November 15, 2018
Ontario's Finance Minister Vic Fedeli delivered the 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review today, projecting the current deficit at $14.5 billion. Key highlights and implications for Ontario's human services sector include:
Fiscal responsibility measures
- A commitment to driving greater efficiencies and value for money with respect to provincial transfer payments to local governments.
- A commitment to making existing government programs more effective (citing the example of providing families more choice in child care programming).
- Freezing discretionary public-sector spending, including travel and meal expenses.
- Implementing a public-sector hiring freeze, with the exception of essential front-line services.
- The decision not to move forward with the previous Liberal government's plan to provide free preschool for children ages 2.5 and above.
Wages and Taxation
- Introducing a Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) tax bracket, to ensure that those working on minimum wage (less than $30,000 in annual income) will not pay provincial taxes.
- Repealing Bill 148 and cancelling the associated increase in Ontario's minimum wage planned for January 2019
- Exempting new rental units from rental control regulations with the aim of increasing rental supply. Rent controls will remain in place for existing units and tenants.
- Cancelling the Development Charges Rebate Program, with the aim of creating savings of approximately $100 million over four years.
Mental Health and Addictions
- Investing $1.9 billion in mental health and addictions services over the next decade, matching the federal government’s commitment.
- Creating new or expanded Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics, with the aim of increaing access to specialized addictions treatment.