: 2010 Ontario Budget: News

2010 Ontario Budget Opens Ontario To Job Creation and Growth

McGuinty Government’s Balanced Plan Protects Public Services
And Outlines Measures To Eliminate Deficit

News

March 25, 2010

With the 2010 Ontario Budget, the McGuinty government is moving forward with its five-year plan to Open Ontario to new jobs and growth while outlining measures to help eliminate the deficit caused by the global recession.

Expanding on initiatives announced recently in Ontario’s Speech from the Throne, the Budget is proposing investments that will help 20,000 more students go to college or university this September, and create jobs and boost economic growth in northern Ontario.

Open Ontario builds on progress made over the past six years to support job creation and enhance the programs and services, including education, health care and skills training, that Ontarians value.

The 2010 Budget includes measures to manage expenditures, including compensation restraint and making government programs more efficient.  It lays out a realistic and responsible plan to cut the deficit in half in five years, and eliminate it in eight years.

Quotes

“Our government took action to lessen the global recession’s impact on Ontario businesses and families.  Working together, we will continue to create jobs in the short term and lay the foundation for long-term growth.”
- Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance

“Those of us who are paid with tax dollars have a role to play to help maintain the progress Ontarians have made in our schools, hospitals and other public services.”
- Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance

QUICK FACTS

Postsecondary Education

  • Investing $310 million to add 20,000 new spaces to colleges and universities this September.  This is in addition to providing $155 million in 2009-10 to fully support enrolment growth at colleges and universities, including $65 million announced through the Fall 2009 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review
  • Aggressively promoting Ontario postsecondary institutions abroad to encourage the world’s best students to study here, settle here and help Ontario build a stronger economy
  • Improving students’ ability to navigate Ontario’s postsecondary education system by providing additional resources to support the implementation of a credit transfer system.

Jobs and Growth in the North

  • A three-year Northern Industrial Electricity Rate Program of about $150 million annually, for qualifying large industrial facilities to reduce their electricity prices by an average of about 25 per cent
  • $45 million over the next three years for a new project-based skills training program to help Aboriginal Peoples and northern Ontarians participate in and benefit from emerging economic development opportunities, such as the Ring of Fire
  • A new Ring of Fire Coordinator to lead the collective effort in advancing the economic promise in the area of the Ring of Fire
  • A proposed permanent Northern Ontario Energy Credit to help eligible low- to middle-income northern residents with the higher energy costs they face.

Full-Day Learning

  • Implementing full-day learning for four- and five-year-olds, beginning in September 2010, which will benefit up to 35,000 children in nearly 600 schools
    • This program will be phased in over time, with a goal of having full-day learning fully implemented by 2015-16
    • At full implementation, full-day learning will employ up to an additional 3,800 teachers and 20,000 early childhood educators and benefit about 247,000 children.

Child Care Investments

  • Stepping in to permanently fill the gap left by the federal government with an investment of $63.5 million a year to preserve 8,500 child care spaces
    • This initiative will help to ensure that working parents continue to have access to quality child care and play an active role in the labour force.

Completing Stimulus Infrastructure Investments

  • Record infrastructure investments in 2009-10 and 2010-11 are helping to create and preserve more than 300,000 jobs
  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, the extra boost to infrastructure spending, partly due to new stimulus measures to counter the global recession, helped lift Ontario real GDP growth by almost one percentage point in 2009 and is expected to add a further 0.4 percentage point in 2010.

Managing Responsibly

  • Presenting a realistic and responsible plan to cut the deficit in half in five years and eliminate it in eight years
  • Forecasting a deficit of $21.3 billion for 2009-10 in the 2010 Budget – an improvement of $3.4 billion from the $24.7 billion deficit forecast published in the Fall 2009 Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review
  • Protecting public services and directing scarce resources to help sustain service delivery by introducing legislation that would:
    • Extend the current salary freeze for Members of Provincial Parliament from one year to three years
    • Freeze the compensation structures of non-bargained political and Legislative Assembly staff for two years
    • Freeze compensation structures in the Broader Public Sector and Ontario Public Service for all non-bargained employees for two years
    • These measures would help redirect up to $750 million towards sustaining schools, hospitals and other public services
  • Freezing internal administration costs at or below 2010-11 levels over the medium term
  • Continuing a comprehensive review of Ontario government programs and services
  • Managing the growth of health care spending at a responsible rate, including proposing reforms to Ontario’s drug system that would facilitate lower generic drug prices
  • Slowing the pace of planning and construction of some of the government’s capital projects, once stimulus funding has ended
  • Transforming the delivery of government programs to improve client service and enhance efficiency
  • Holding the annual growth in program expense to an average of 1.9 per cent beyond 2012-13.

Learn More

Read background information on the 2010 Ontario Budget:

Learn more about the McGuinty government’s investments in education, health and other sectors.

Read highlights of the Budget.

Learn more about the government’s Open Ontario plan.

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FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY:
Alicia Johnston, Minister’s Office, 416-325-3645
Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, 416-325-0324

For public inquiries call 1-800-337-7222
(Toll-free in Ontario only)

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