Ontario’s Government for the People is taking action to make life more affordable for individuals, families and businesses, while restoring trust, transparency and accountability in Ontario’s finances.

Investing in People – One of the Most Generous Personal Income Tax Cuts for Low-Income Workers in a Generation

Ontario’s Government for the People is proposing one of the most generous Ontario tax cuts for low-income workers in a generation — the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit.

  • The LIFT Credit would, if passed, benefit 1.1 million people across the province.
  • It would provide low-income and minimum wage workers up to $850 in Ontario Personal Income Tax relief and couples up to $1,700.
  • With this tax relief, a single person who works full time at minimum wage (earning nearly $30,000) would pay no Ontario Personal Income Tax.
Tax relief for LIFT Credt recipients
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  • Tax relief would be gradually reduced for taxpayers with individual incomes greater than $30,000, or family incomes greater than $60,000.
  • One in six Ontario taxpayers would get the LIFT Credit and, on average, would receive about $450 in tax relief.
  • The tax credit would be effective January 1, 2019.

Supporting Mental Health and Ending Hallway Health Care

Ontario is working to cut hospital wait times and end hallway health care for patients by:

  • Investing $1.9 billion in mental health and addictions services over the next decade, matching the federal government’s commitment.
  • Creating new or expanded Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics, so that people with addictions can get the specialized treatment they need.
  • Investing an additional $90 million in 2018–19 to build 1,100 beds and spaces in hospitals and the community, including over 640 new beds and spaces to prepare for the flu season.  
  • Investing more than $300 million to support the addition of 6,000 new long-term care beds –– the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years.

Saving Money, While Improving Choice and Convenience for Beer and Wine Consumers

Ontario is increasing choice and putting money back in people’s pockets by:

  • Letting The Beer Store, the LCBO and other authorized retailers such as grocery stores and agency stores sell alcohol from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Introducing legislation to stop a three-cents-per-litre beer tax hike put in place by the previous government.
  • Lowering the minimum price to $1 for any beer with an alcohol volume below 5.6 per cent. So far, more than 50,000 cases of buck-a-beer products have been sold in Ontario.
  • Developing options to let corner stores and big-box stores, as well as more grocery stores, sell beer and wine based on market demand, not government decree.

Leaving More Money in People’s Pockets

Ontario’s Government for the People trusts and respects taxpayers, homeowners and renters. That’s why the government is:

  • Ending the cap-and-trade carbon tax, saving the average household about $260 a year on gasoline, natural gas and other costs.
  • Continuing its fight against the federal government’s plan to impose a job-killing carbon tax on Ontario families and businesses, and exploring new transparency measures to ensure the public is appropriately informed about the true cost of this tax.
  • Keeping its promise to preserve rent control for existing tenants.
  • Cancelling 758 renewable energy contracts to lower electricity bills, saving ratepayers $790 million, which contributes to Ontario’s commitment to lower electricity bills by 12 per cent for families, farms and small businesses.
  • Freezing driver’s licence fees.
  • Ending the Drive Clean program for passenger vehicles as of April 1, 2019, saving taxpayers approximately $40 million annually.
  • Helping to make auto insurance rates fairer by working to eliminate discrimination against drivers based on where a driver lives.

Making Ontario Open for Business

The government is taking concrete measures to make Ontario open for business, grow the economy, and help create and protect good jobs across the province by:

  • Taking action to repeal much of the burdensome red tape imposed by the previous government through the job-killing Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148).
  • Maintaining Ontario's current minimum wage at $14 per hour until 2020, which would be followed by increases tied to inflation.
  • Replacing the previous government's burdensome Personal Emergency Leave rules, while allowing workers to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities.
  • Addressing the shortage in skilled trades by replacing the province’s outdated apprenticeship model with a one-to-one journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio for every trade to which ratios apply.
  • Winding down the Ontario College of Trades, a source of unnecessary complexity for skilled trades employment in the province.
  • Proposing to reverse a tax change announced by the previous government that would have increased taxes by up to $40,000 per year for about 7,900 of Ontario’s small businesses.
  • Cutting Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums, saving employers $1.45 billion in 2019.
  • Taking steps to cut red tape by 25 per cent by 2022 to lower costs and make it easier to start and grow a business in Ontario.
  • Not standing in the way of a pipeline project that would transport oil from Western Canada to Ontario or Canada’s East Coast.

The following chart illustrates the combined impact from reducing WSIB premiums, cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax, and keeping the minimum wage at $14 an hour for a small restaurant with $490,000 in revenue and seven employees, four of whom earn minimum wage.

Savings for a small restaurant
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Note: While this example does not represent an actual business, the financial and employment profiles are based on tax administration and Statistics Canada survey data for businesses in the restaurant industry.

Supporting the North

The province is supporting the economy of Northern Ontario by:

  • Addressing the delays blocking the Ring of Fire to ensure sustainable development in the region.
  • Encouraging the development of natural resources in Northern and Indigenous communities by sharing the benefits of resource development from mining, forestry and aggregates.
  • Reviewing land use planning in the Far North Act, 2010 to encourage economic growth, job creation and self-reliance in the region.
  • Improving the safety and reliability of the Trans-Canada Highway to promote economic development and keep people moving, and reviewing other ways to meet Northerners’ transportation needs, including passenger rail and bus services.
  • Enabling private-sector participation in the expansion of natural gas to help provide gas connections to over 70 communities and 33,000 households.
  • Investing in broadband infrastructure to expand access to reliable, fast and affordable internet connectivity, so that communities and businesses can fully participate and compete in the digital economy.
  • Establishing a special mining working group that will focus on speeding up regulatory approvals and attracting major new investments.