: 2016 Ontario Budget: Jobs for Today and Tomorrow

Ontario's Economy is Growing and Creating Jobs

Our number-one priority is to grow the economy and create jobs. Proof that our plan is working:

  • Ontario’s economic growth is outpacing national growth and is expected to continue to be among the strongest in Canada for the next two years.
  • Ontario has created more than 600,000 jobs since the recession in 2009 and is projected to create more than 300,000 additional jobs by the end of 2019, bringing total job creation to more than 900,000 net new jobs over a 10-year period.

For 2015–16, the deficit is forecast to be $5.7 billion, which is $2.8 billion lower than projected in the 2015 Budget. The government is projecting a deficit of $4.3 billion in 2016–17.

Ontario will balance the budget in 2017–18, while continuing to make investments that stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

pictures of people at work

A Fair Society: Creating Opportunities for Ontarians

All Ontarians deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our plan is helping people succeed by:

  • Improving services for children and youth with autism through a five-year, $333 million investment.
  • Giving more people access to adequate and affordable housing through a three-year investment of $178 million, as part of the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.
  • Working to end chronic homelessness in 10 years.
  • Ending violence against Indigenous women through a long-term strategy.
  • Increasing social assistance rates by 1.5 per cent for adults receiving Ontario Works and people with disabilities relying on the Ontario Disability Support Program, with a top-up for those with the lowest social assistance rates.

pictures of people at work, at school and at home

Making College and University More Affordable and Accessible

Starting in the 2017–18 school year, Ontario is making college and university education more affordable and accessible with our plan to prepare more students for the jobs of tomorrow. We are investing in tomorrow’s highly skilled workforce today by:

  • Transforming student assistance to make average tuition free for students with financial need from families with incomes of $50,000 or lower, and making tuition more affordable for middle-class families.
  • Providing non-repayable grants — which will exceed average tuition — to more than 50 per cent of students from families with incomes of $83,000 or less.
  • Ensuring that students from families with incomes of less than $50,000 will have no provincial student debt.
  • Increasing access to interest-free and low-cost loans for middle- and upper-income families.
  • Expanding financial support for mature and married students.
  • Ensuring all students will be the same or better off as under the Ontario Tuition Grant.
  • Improving access to postsecondary education and training for First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners through continuing the three-year, $97 million investment.

pictures of college students

Making Everyday Life Easier

Our plan is making everyday life easier for Ontarians by lowering costs and improving convenience and choice by:

  • Reducing hospital parking fees for frequent hospital users at hospitals that charge more than $10 a day.
  • Eliminating the $30 Drive Clean emissions test fee.
  • Saving a typical residential electricity user about $70 each year with the removal of the debt retirement charge, as of January 1, 2016.
  • Increasing consumer convenience and choice by introducing wine, beer and cider in grocery stores across the province.
  • Lowering the cost of auto insurance for Ontario’s more than 9.5 million drivers.
  • Helping about 37,000 families conduct energy audits and retrofits on their homes through the Green Investment Fund, reducing their energy bills.
  • Making the shingles vaccine free for eligible Ontario seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 — saving them about $170.
  • Reducing commute times and making travel more convenient by implementing Regional Express Rail, improving GO Transit services and continuing to roll out the PRESTO fare card system on Toronto transit.

pictures of people at hospital, riding bicycles and on train

Creating Jobs for Today and Tomorrow

Ontario’s plan is delivering on our number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs by:

  • Making the biggest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history — $160 billion over 12 years — supporting over 110,000 jobs, on average, each year.
  • Investing in clean technologies to create jobs and fight climate change.
  • Investing $2.7 billion in the Jobs and Prosperity Fund over 10 years, creating and retaining more than 16,000 jobs to date.
  • Helping firms expand exports and become more productive through an initial three-year, $30 million Going Global Export Strategy.
  • Increasing the global competitiveness of Ontario’s businesses through the five-year, $400 million Business Growth Initiative.

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© Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2016