Ontario Releases Economic and Fiscal Update in Place of Full Budget

March 25, 2020

In light of the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 outbreak, the Province has delayed the release of its full 2020 Budget, and will instead release a multi-year provincial Budget by November 15, 2020.

In place of the full budget release, the Province delivered an Economic and Fiscal update with details on new funding and initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Key details include:
  • $3.3 billion in additional health care resources

  • $3.7 billion to support  individuals and protect jobs, including:

    • a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools

    • proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months

    • approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21

    • setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at off-peak rates for 45 days 

    • cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption

    • providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

    • expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works

    • $148 million in additional funding for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19

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