The federal Liberals are attacking the Ontario Progressive Conservative government's first budget since Doug Ford was elected premier, hoping voters across the country will connect the document's cuts to social spending and the yet-to-be-announced policy leanings of Andrew Scheer's Conservatives.
The Progressive Conservatives are promising to balance the province's books in five years, which means they don't plan to eliminate the deficit within their term. Every year, his government has produced bigger deficits than it promised, and this year's is almost $20 billion.
Canada's most populous province and industrial powerhouse is projected to run a deficit of C$10.3 billion ($7.7 billion) in fiscal 2019-20, which began on April 1, including a C$1 billion reserve.
But it was smaller than the C$13.5 billion deficit projected in February in a third-quarter update, while the 2023-24 projected timeline to eliminate the deficit was one year ahead of the Liberals' target.
The government says the credit - dubbed the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses credit, or CARE - is retroactive to January 1 of this year.
Although not spelled out in the budget, government officials said increased spending of as much as $300 million a year for the province's autism program is also contemplated over the next three years and will be confirmed after public consultations this summer.
The bottom line is that, although the Ford government is going slow on cuts, its plan to get to balance involves gradually ratcheting down the relative level of spending in what is already Confederation's lowest-spending province. In the previous three years, health spending rose an average of 4.2 per cent a year. It will tie 60 per cent of a school's funding by 2024-2025 to yet-to-be finalized metrics that will include student skills and job outcomes.
The government is also planning to amend legislation to give itself the power to address the fact that some post-secondary faculty are collecting salaries and pension payments at the same time. The ministry is responsible for the government's Driving Prosperity plan to deal with the changing face of Ontario's automotive sector.
The colour scheme was the only part of the plate change that wasn't leaked ahead of the $163.4 billion budget, unveiled on Thursday afternoon.
"We are quite literally putting our money where our mouth is", he said. The government also plans to allow bars, restaurants and other licensed establishments to serve alcohol starting at 9 a.m. The government is also exploring the introduction of new options-such as pay-as-you-go insurance-and allowing drivers to provide electronic proof of insurance. Their polling suggests that people want key public services preserved far more than they want a "cut-the-deficit-above-all-else" approach. Ontarians spend $500 million annually gambling online, Fedeli said - mainly through grey-market or illegal wagering websites. That allowance is instead of cutting the corporate tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent, as the Tories had promised in the election.
Motorists may soon be able to show proof of insurance electronically.
The government is introducing new legislation to make it safer for professional and amateur athletes to compete in combative sports.
"They can't find money for the things that matter most to Ontario families", Fraser said.
It says a new directive will prohibit spending taxpayer dollars on new logos or other visual identifiers from now on. But as reported earlier, it also comes with a new definition of disability that critics say will make it more hard for people with episodic illnesses and mental health issues to qualify.
Licence plates will also bear a new slogan - "A Place to Grow" - which will replace the current "Yours to Discover".
The government is also ending the Estate Administration Tax for taxable estates with assets of $50,000 or less on January 1, and reducing it by $250 for larger estates.
The government says about 2,500 out of the roughly 30,000 taxable estates in the province will be exempt from the tax.
"The dream of home-ownership has been out-of-reach for many first-time buyers". Herewith, 13 ways the Ontario budget could affect your bank account.
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