The 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review was presented on November 4th and provides an overview of where the Ontario provincial government is allocating funding towards future investments and sectors within the province. This outlook was broken down into three main categories: hiring and training Ontario’s labour force with good jobs; improving Ontario infrastructure and access to essential resources; and addressing the gaps in our current healthcare and long-term care systems.
The 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review is what some describe as a pre-election condensed version of the Ontario 2021 Budget, that will help show the goals of the current Ontario Conservative Party. Please click the links below to scroll down to the appropriate section.
Hiring & Training Programs for Ontario’s Workforce
The Ontario government is heavily investing in upscaling it’s workforce by introducing new skills while developing exiting skills within high demand industries. Ontario government funding is also being allocated to sectors that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic to help them recover and adapt to the world as we emerge from COVID-19.
- Increasing Minimum Wage: The provincially set level for minimum wage will go from $14.35 per hour to $15 per hour as of January 1, 2022.
- Cost Saving Programs: $10.1 billion has been allocated towards cost savings and support programs in 2021, with more than 60% going to small businesses in the province.
- Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit: $275 million towards extending the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit to 2022. This program will support 240,000 employees by providing $1,150 for each person on average.
- Ontario Staycation Tax Credit: $270 million to support the tourism and hospitality sectors recovery by encouraging Ontario families to explore the province by proposing a new temporary Ontario Staycation Tax Credit for 2022.
- Skilled Trades Strategy: $90.3 million over the next three years has been allocated into the Skilled Trades Strategy which helps create new jobs through career fairs, enhancing the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, and the Pre‑Apprenticeship Training Program.
- New Stream Under the Regional Development Program: $40 million will be invested into creating a two-year Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream as part of the Regional Development Program.
- Digital Main Street (DMS) Program: $40 million will be invested into the DMS program that has helped Ontario businesses adapt to the digital economy by providing them with an online storefront and digital presence to sell their products and services through a new medium.
- Strengthen agri-food supply chain: $25 million has been allocated over the next three years to strengthen Ontario’s agri-food supply chain.
- Second Career Training Program: $5 million will help expand the Second Career program, which will help support workers who need training.
- Inspection of Temporary Help Agencies: $1.1 million is being invested into the creation of a team of officers that will inspect temporary help agencies and recruiters of migrant workers.
- Futurpreneur Canada: $1 million invested into Futurpreneur Canada to help expand support for young entrepreneurs in Ontario.
- Critical Minerals Strategy: Plans to develop Ontario’s first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy to strengthen Ontario’s position as one of North America’s premier jurisdictions for responsibly sourced critical minerals.
- Electric Vehicle Supply Chain: The provincial government has secured $5.6 billion from major auto manufacturers for electric vehicle supply chain capacity.
Large Scale Construction and Building Projects in Ontario
To help address the gaps in our healthcare, transportation, and internet infrastructure brought to light by the pandemic, the Ontario provincial government is making the following investments to provide long term solutions to these problems.
- Build and Enhance Hospitals: $30.2 billion has been allocated over the next 10 years to build, expand, and enhance hospitals.
- Subway Extension: $28.5 billion will be used towards an all-new Ontario Line subway extension. This includes a three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, a Yonge North Subway Extension connecting to York Region, and an Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
- Build and Enhance Schools: $14 billion in capital grants has been allocated over the course of the next 10 years to build more schools, improve existing facilities, and support education-related projects.
- Internet Infrastructure: $4 billion over the next six years to provide all regions of Ontario with access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet by the end of 2025.
- Long‑Term Care Beds: $3.7 billion will be used to build an additional 10,000 net new long‑term care beds and upgrade 12,000 existing beds to modern design standards.
- Ontario Highways Program: $2.6 billion in funding will be used to support the Ontario Highways Program.
- Northern Community Infrastructure: $2 billion over the next five years to provide certainty and predictability to 424 small, rural, and Northern communities. This involves building and repairing roads, bridges, and wastewater infrastructure.
- Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT): $1.7 billion will help the This shovel-ready Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project and creating thousands of jobs.
- First Nations Road Infrastructure: $1 billion to support the planning and construction of an all-season road network and other projects that will provide a reliable road for remote First Nations living in the far north.
- Child-Care Spaces: $1 billion to create up to 30,000 licensed child-care spaces for families and communities across the province.
Funding for Health and Long-Term Care
The Ontario provincial government is committed to the needs of our medical facilities and long-term care homes throughout the province. The investments announced in the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review show the plan to address the current challenges these sectors are facing.
- Medical Equipment: $1.8 billion will be used to support 3,100 new and additional beds, reduce surgical and diagnostic imaging backlogs, and to help hospitals keep pace with patient needs while increasing access to high‐quality care.
- Home and Community Care: $548.5 million over the course of three years to expand home and community care centres. This funding would support up to 28,000 post-acute surgical patients and 21,000 patients with complex health conditions every year.
- New Nurses and Support Workers: $342 million to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario is investing $57.6 million to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector in 2022-23.
Applying for Ontario Provincial Funding Programs
The Ontario provincial funding is spread across new programs, large scale investments, and refreshed successful initiative. We highly recommend that you take a look at our Ontario Government Funding Directory to find updates on the business funding programs mentioned in this fiscal review and evaluate ones that might be relevant to your business.
Our team of Canadian government grant, loan, and tax incentive application writers at Mentor Works can find funding programs that your business may be eligible for, then take care of the application process and submission on your behalf for an estimated 95% time-savings compared to businesses that apply for funding in-house. Book a discovery meeting with our team to get started.
To learn more about upcoming Ontario Provincial funding programs, as well as federal funding and other provinces, be sure to register for our upcoming free Canadian government funding webinars. You can ask questions, get information about upcoming programs, and learn about funding programs you may not have considered applying for.