: 2013 Ontario Budget: Highlights


The 2013 Budget is the new Ontario government’s plan to strengthen the province’s economy and give every person the chance to succeed.

Ontario’s economic performance is stronger when everyone has the opportunity to be gainfully employed, to participate in the life of their communities and to contribute to the prosperity of our province.

The government’s role in job creation is to encourage the right environment for businesses and entrepreneurs to take risks, make investments, create jobs and drive innovation.


Eliminating the deficit is the single most important thing the government can do to secure Ontario’s prosperity.

The Ontario government is committed to eliminating the deficit by 2017-18.

The deficit for 2012-13 is estimated to be $9.8 billion – this is $5 billion less than projected in last year’s Budget.

Action taken by the government has allowed Ontario to report deficits lower than forecast for the fourth year in a row.

Program spending growth in 2012-13 is projected to be less than one per cent for the second year in a row.


Ontario’s plan for jobs and growth builds on strong economic fundamentals supported by government policy and investments in six key areas:

  1. Competitive Business Climate — supporting a competitive tax system and effective regulation promotes new business investment for job creation and economic growth.
  2. Modern Infrastructure — investing in transit, roads, schools and hospitals is a key foundation for a productive economy.
    • The government plans to invest more than $35 billion over the next three years in critical areas such as transportation, health care and education to support more than 100,000 jobs on average each year across the province.
  3. Highly Skilled Workforce — investing in skills and education, as well as youth employment, ensures the people of this province can work and prosper.
    • The government is proposing a comprehensive Youth Jobs Strategy with investments of $295 million over two years to promote employment opportunities, entrepreneurship and innovation for youth in Ontario.
  4. Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation — strengthening Ontario’s ability to transform ideas into innovative goods and services for the global economy.
  5. Going Global — working with business to expand market access for goods and services beyond Ontario’s borders to other provinces, the United States and emerging economies.
  6. Vibrant and Strong Communities — helping all communities and regional economies benefit from job creation and economic growth.


Ontario’s economic performance and social fabric become even stronger when everyone has the opportunity to succeed to their full potential.

Continuing to Deliver High-Quality Public Services by:

  • Improving access to high-quality health care services for everyone.
  • Building on student success including fully implementing full-day kindergarten and increasing focus on the skills that young students need to succeed.
  • Providing the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant to improve access to postsecondary education.

Proposing to Increase Opportunities for People by:

  • Introducing a $200 per month earnings exemption to reduce barriers to employment for social assistance recipients.
  • Increasing social assistance rates, including a top-up for single adults without children receiving Ontario Works.
  • Increasing Ontario Works liquid asset limits to help recipients save and become more financially secure.
  • Supporting greater opportunities for Aboriginal people through direct engagement on social assistance reform, more support for housing as well as transforming services to better meet the needs of Aboriginal children and young people.


The government is building on its success in stabilizing the cost of auto insurance to the more than nine million drivers in Ontario by proposing:

  • A cost- and rate-reduction strategy that would reduce auto insurance premiums for consumers by 15 per cent on average.
  • To require insurers to offer lower rates to safe drivers.
  • A continued crackdown on auto insurance fraud to protect consumers and reduce costs.
  • New accountability and transparency measures to review industry costs and to ensure savings are passed on to consumers.


The government is proposing to give people a choice, beginning in 2014, to receive the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) in either a single payment or monthly payments.

The OTB combines three tax credits into one.

Many people welcome the monthly assistance as their bills arrive; however, some would prefer a single payment.