The Ontario budget released Thursday contained few surprises, instead it adopted a number of the promises the Ford Government has been making this spring.
In terms of building the economy the government wants to press forward with its strategy to capture market share in the Electric Vehicle market, starting with the exploitation of minerals used in battery production from Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire miming district. That means spending up to $1 Billion to create all-weather road access to the area. The government had already announced $12 Billion in support to the automotive manufacturers to support EV production.
For workers the minimum wage will go up to $15.50 per hour on October 1. The government will spend over $400 million to support skilled trades education, skills upgrading and training. They will also help immigrant gain Ontario credentials.
On infrastructure the budget doubled down on the controversial Bradford Bypass and Highway 413 projects, and put $61.6 Billion towards public transit and improved passenger rail service to Northern Ontario and London.
The government also will go ahead with its changes to planning legislation that will force communities to streamline housing approvals or have the OLT make the decisions.
Ontario is projected to return to a surplus position by 2027–28, two years earlier than forecast in the 2021 Budget. Over the medium term, the government is projecting steadily declining deficits of $19.9 billion in 2022–23, $12.3 billion in 2023–24, and $7.6 billion in 2024–25.