2005 Budget invests in people - Strengthens Ontario's economy

Archived Release

2005 Budget invests in people - Strengthens Ontario's economy

Ministry of Finance

$6.2 Billion Investment in Postsecondary Education - 2004-05 Deficit Reduced to $3 Billion QUEEN'S PARK, May 11 - The McGuinty government today unveiled its second Budget, which makes key investments in Ontario's priorities - education, health and a strong economy - while making significant progress towards eliminating the deficit. "I'm proud to announce today that this Budget includes the largest multi-year investment in postsecondary education and training in 40 years - a historic investment in better universities, colleges and training that will result in new jobs and economic growth," said Ontario Minister of Finance Greg Sorbara. "Our plan is to deliver better schools for better learning, better health care for healthier Ontarians, smart investment in infrastructure for a strong economy, and strong financial management." The Budget, which contains no new taxes, projects a balanced budget by 2008-09 at the latest. The deficit will be eliminated a year earlier if the reserve is not required. The 2004-05 deficit has been reduced by almost half of what the government inherited, to $3 billion. Under Reaching Higher: The McGuinty Government Plan for Postsecondary Education, $6.2 billion more will be spent on postsecondary education and training between now and 2009-10. By 2009-10, spending on postsecondary education will be $1.6 billion higher than planned in 2004-05. Highlights of Reaching Higher include: - Increased financial aid for 135,000 low- and middle-income students this year; - Significantly increasing the number of college and university students enrolled in postsecondary education; - Expanding new first-year medical education spaces by 15 per cent; and - Increasing the number of new apprentices to 26,000 annually by 2007-08. "We are making an essential strategic investment in our people - one that will translate into a competitive advantage and economic growth for Ontario," Sorbara said. "In return for this massive investment, we will demand more access, quality and accountability." The McGuinty government is providing more doctors and nurses, reducing wait times and keeping people healthy by: - Increasing the number of Family Health Teams to 150 by 2007-08 to provide comprehensive primary health care on a 24/7 basis to 2.5 million Ontarians; - This year providing almost 2,900 more cancer surgeries, 14,000 or 13 per cent more cataract surgeries, almost 7,000 or eight per cent more cardiac procedures, over 4,300 or 16 per cent more hip and knee joint replacements and 53,200 or 19 per cent more MRI exams; and - Improving access to community support services for more than 232,000 seniors, frail elderly and people with disabilities by 2007-08. "The government's plan is to do more to help people stay healthy, to better care for them if they do become sick, and to do what is necessary to ensure medicare is sustained for generations to come," said Sorbara. The government will continue to invest in children's education, from preschool to high school graduation through: - Best Start, which will substantially increase licensed child care spaces and make child care fee subsidies available to more families; - Class sizes are already smaller in 1,300 schools and steps are being taken to achieve the cap of 20 students per JK to Grade 3 class; - Training 8,000 more teachers to improve student achievement and help more students meet Provincial standards in reading and math; and - Good Places to Learn fund will allow school boards to undertake $4 billion in school construction, facility repair and renewal projects over three years. "We are delivering on our promise of smaller class sizes and higher student achievement," Sorbara added. "Ontario parents expect, and their children deserve, no less." The Budget outlines plans to strengthen Ontario's economy through critical investments in infrastructure and innovation, including: - A five-year, $30 billion infrastructure plan for roads, transit, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities; - 15,000 units of affordable housing; and - A proposed Research Council of Ontario to make the province a leader in research and innovation. "Our plan is working because of the discipline we have brought to the management of our finances," Sorbara said, adding that the government is holding the line on costs in most ministries in order to be able to invest in priority areas. "This Budget is a balanced, responsible approach that we believe is the right one for Ontario's future," Sorbara said. "It is a plan to invest in our people - in their health, education and prosperity - to strengthen our economy and to ensure that Ontario is the place to be for years to come." ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ce budget est également disponible en français. You can access the 2005 Budget and all related budgets at www.ontariobudget.fin.gov.on.ca or by calling 1-800-337-7222. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2005 Ontario Budget Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 11, 2005 REACHING HIGHER: THE MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT PLAN FOR POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION Largest Multi-Year Investment In 40 Years The McGuinty government understands that, in today's knowledge economy, education is the prerequisite for prosperity. The brains and know-how of a skilled workforce are the competitive edge of the 21st century. This Budget announces the McGuinty government's action plan for colleges, universities and training, highlighted by a $6.2 billion cumulative investment by 2009-10. This investment includes an additional $683 million in 2005-06, rising to $1.6 billion by 2009-10. This historic, multi-year investment in postsecondary education - the largest in 40 years - would represent a 39 per cent increase compared to the 2004-05 funding base. With the Reaching Higher investments, the people of Ontario will see improved access and quality in postsecondary education, better facilities, and postsecondary institutions will be held accountable for accomplishing these objectives. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reaching Higher: New Ongoing Operating Investments* ($ Millions) Cumulative 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Total -------------------------------------------------------- Student Financial Assistance 150 192 241 282 314 358 1,537 Operating Grants to Colleges and Universities 50 447 732 932 958 1,156 4,275 Training and Apprenticeship and Other Initiatives - 44 62 86 87 87 366 -------------------------------------------------------- Total New Investment 200 683 1,035 1,300 1,359 1,601 6,178 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Increase over 2004-05 base funding, which is the 2004-05 Interim excluding $200 million in expenditures provided for the Ontario Student Opportunities Trust Fund, endowments for graduate fellowships and faculty research chairs, and college stabilization. Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance. Access - Student Financial Assistance - Provide $358 million in new investment in student financial assistance by 2009-10, more than double the base funding provided in 2004-05; - Improve student financial assistance for 135,000 low- and middle- income students in 2005-06; - Continue the tuition freeze for 2005-06 and begin work immediately with students, colleges and universities on a new tuition framework to be in place by September 2006; - Offer - in co-operation with the federal government and the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation - new low-income tuition grants of up to $6,000 for 16,000 first-year dependent students; - Further enhance student support with an Ontario-only grant of up to $3,000 for 16,000 second-year dependent students; - Join with the federal government to expand eligibility for student loans and increase weekly loan amounts from $110 to $140 for single students; - Reduce how much money middle-income parents are expected to contribute to their children's education, expand interest relief and recognize computer costs in student loan needs assessments; - Provide $50 million annually to match funds raised by colleges and universities to establish endowments for student financial assistance. A new Ontario Trust for Student Support will be based on an allocation method that takes into consideration the limited fundraising capacity of smaller institutions; and - Continue to work with the federal government to broaden and expand student assistance in 2006-07 and beyond. Access - Enrolment and Outreach - Significantly increase enrolment in colleges and universities; - Substantially expand graduate education by 12,000 students in 2007-08 and 14,000 by 2009-10 through new investments of $220 million annually by 2009-10; - Invest $95 million in new funding to increase the number of new, first-year medical education spaces by 15 per cent, and improve the quality of medical education; - Increase the number of new annual entrants into apprenticeship by 7,000, reaching 26,000 total by 2007-08; - Invest $10 million in 2005-06, rising to $55 million by 2009-10, to undertake new programs and outreach for under-represented groups such as francophones, aboriginals, people with disabilities and those who would be the first in their family to attend college or university; - Provide $20 million in new funding for northern and rural colleges by 2007-08 to increase access to high-quality programs in their communities; - Pilot a new, community-based nursing education program in northern Ontario; and - Implement a new strategy to attract more international students and encourage study abroad for Ontario students. Quality - Increase faculty at colleges and universities to accommodate higher enrolment and improve student success; - Provide capital support to ensure that medical schools and graduate departments can accommodate the increased number of students; - Propose to establish a Research Council of Ontario to advise on and co-ordinate research priorities and to raise Ontario's profile as an international research centre; - Work with postsecondary institutions to ensure that the student experience is enhanced; and - Improve pathways for students and increase collaboration between Ontario colleges and universities. Accountability - Create multi-year agreements between the government and institutions that would set out enrolment and quality improvement targets; - Propose to establish a new, arm's-length, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario to take a lead role in supporting quality improvement in postsecondary education; and - Propose to make Ontario's universities subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and ensure that Ontario publicly funded postsecondary institutions are transparent and accountable to the people of Ontario, while respecting academic freedom and competitiveness. A Responsive Training and Apprenticeship System The Budget builds on current programs with new training investments that reinforce the government's priorities, including: - An additional $17.5 million annually by 2007-08 to create more systematic and supported access to labour-market services for two priority client groups: new Canadians and prospective apprentices, as part of the One-Stop Training and Employment System, announced last year; - $2.5 million to expand the Bridge Training program, supporting additional projects to assess competencies and provide training and work experience for skilled new Canadians; - $4 million over the next two years for colleges to pilot improved processes and programs that will help new Canadian students gain better access to college training and jobs; and - $1 million over two years for pilot programs to help employers better recognize and use the skills of new Canadians. The first pilot will support the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council for outreach with employers in the Greater Toronto Area. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2005 Ontario Budget Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 11, 2005 BETTER LEARNING FOR STUDENT SUCCESS Significant Support for Students from the Early Years to the End of High School The McGuinty government is committed to ensuring that Ontario children get the best possible start to their education - with more child care spaces and early learning opportunities, smaller classes, and peace and stability in the school system. The government has a plan to make public education the best education - a system in which more students can read, write and do math at the Provincial standard by age 12, and stay in school so they're learning to 18 and beyond. Best Start The government's goal is to ensure that children in Ontario will be ready and eager to achieve success in school by the time they start Grade 1. The Budget proposes to increase significantly the number of licensed child care spaces at or near schools through the Best Start program by 2007-08, so that junior and senior kindergarten children can benefit from a seamless full day of child care. In its 2005 budget, the federal government announced that Ontario would receive $272 million in 2005-06, rising to $451 million by 2007-08. With these federal transfers: - Combined Provincial operating and capital spending on child care would be more than $1.1 billion by 2007-08 - more than double what it was in 2003-04; - Child care affordability would be improved, increasing the number of families with access to fee subsidies; - The learning experience of children in child care would be enhanced through the creation of a new College of Early Childhood Educators to establish high standards in the profession; and - Consultations would take place with experts and communities to develop early learning strategies to ensure strong linkages between child care and kindergarten. Without the federal transfers, Ontario will not be able to move aggressively in investing in this important area. The Province intends that, when fully implemented over 10 to 15 years, Best Start would extend the full day of learning and child care, beginning at age two and a half. Additional and sustained federal contributions are needed if Ontario is to implement the full Best Start vision. Success for Students The 2004 Budget laid out a plan for student success. It provided predictable, multi-year funding to help students succeed, while four-year collective agreements are being negotiated across the province between teachers and school boards, within an agreed-upon provincial framework, to bring peace and stability to Ontario schools. Results achieved to date include: - Close to 60 per cent of Grade 6 students meeting the Provincial standard in reading and math this year, up from last year, and bringing the overall number closer to the goal of 75 per cent by 2007-08; - 8,000 lead teachers trained in literacy and math for JK to Grade 3 - the equivalent of two teachers for each elementary school; and - A $90 million investment in the 2004-05 school year to hire 1,100 new teachers to help reduce class sizes in about 1,300 schools. By 2007-08, the Province would provide new funding of $2.4 billion to school boards compared to 2003-04 - an increase of $1,250 per student, or 16 per cent, to almost $9,200. In 2005-06, funding would increase by almost $650 million, to $16.9 billion - 8.4 per cent higher than in the 2003-04 school year. In addition, the Province will provide $250 million in 2005-06 for specific programs to increase literacy and numeracy levels and to increase high school graduation rates. This funding would: - Provide training for another 8,000 lead teachers and all other elementary teachers in literacy and numeracy instruction; - Ensure that school boards have enough resources to lower class sizes, hire more teachers, meet operating costs, maintain school facilities, provide up-to-date textbooks and reach out to more students at risk; and - Allow the Province to cap class sizes at 20 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 3 by the 2007-08 school year. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2005 Ontario Budget Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 11, 2005 BETTER HEALTH Improving Access, Shortening Wait Times and Keeping People Healthy The McGuinty government's plan is to do a better job of helping people stay healthy, to better care for them if they do become sick, and to do what is necessary to ensure medicare is sustained for generations to come. The 2004 Budget made substantial investments in health care. The government has made significant progress. It has: - Approved 52 Family Health Teams (FHTs) and three networks of FHTs to improve access to primary care for over one million Ontarians in 47 communities; - Begun expansion of primary care services to 350,000 Ontarians through Ontario's 54 Community Health Centres by investing an additional $30 million over two years from 2003-04 to 2005-06; - Funded more than 3,000 new nursing positions in hospitals, long-term care homes, home care and community care agencies in 2004-05, and provided $60 million to purchase 11,000 bed lifts; - Signed a new four-year agreement with the Ontario Medical Association that will help bring more doctors to underserviced communities; - Increased the funded hours of operation on existing MRI machines and upgraded seven MRI machines and 27 CT scanners to yield an additional 33,000 or 14 per cent more MRI exams and capacity for a further 81,300 or eight per cent increase in CT scans in 2004-05; - Carried out an additional 5,380 surgical procedures in 2004-05, including 1,700 cancer surgeries, 1,680 or seven per cent more hip and knee joint replacement surgeries, and 2,000 or two per cent more cataract surgeries; - Provided 800,000 new vaccinations for children, free of charge; - Introduced legislation that, if passed, will prohibit smoking in all enclosed workplaces and public places in the province as of May 31, 2006, and launched an ad campaign to motivate smokers to quit; - Encouraged healthier practices in our schools by banning junk food and launching Pause to Play, a physical activity program; and - Increased the provincial government's share of public health unit funding from 50 per cent to 75 per cent by January 2007. The 2005 Budget builds on this plan. By 2007-08, an additional $4.8 billion will be invested in health care programs and services than in 2004-05. Improving Access to Health Professionals The government intends to improve access to doctors, nurses and other health professionals by: - Increasing the number of Family Health Teams (FHTs) to 150 by 2007-08 to improve access to primary health care services for approximately 2.5 million Ontarians; - Providing $26 million to train up to 200 International Medical Graduates; - Expanding the number of first-year spaces at medical schools by 15 per cent and improving the quality of medical education through $95 million in funding through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. This is in addition to the 56 new medical students who will begin their training when the Northern Ontario School of Medicine opens in September 2005. At full capacity, the school will have 224 undergraduate and over 200 residency positions to accommodate graduate students each year; - Creating 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to facilitate the delivery of health care services in Ontario. When fully implemented, it is proposed that the LHINs would plan, co-ordinate and fund local health care services in their areas, putting their patients' needs at the centre of their plans and aligning resources to support local health care priorities; and - Supporting end-of-life care services, including those in residential hospices, for 4,300 adults and children in their communities by investing an additional $39 million this year. Shorter Wait Times The government intends to reduce wait times for key services by: - Increasing funding for Ontario hospitals from $11.4 billion last year to $12.0 billion in 2005-06 and to $13.0 billion by 2007-08. For the first time, individual hospitals will receive service-based funding allocations for more than one year; - Operating nine new or upgraded MRI machines by the end of 2005-06, combined with funding for additional hours on existing machines, resulting in 53,200 or 19 per cent more MRI exams being performed this year; and - Providing, in 2005-06, almost 2,900 more cancer surgeries, 14,000 or 13 per cent more cataract surgeries, almost 7,000 or eight per cent more cardiac procedures, and over 4,300 or 16 per cent more hip and knee joint replacements than in 2004-05. Keeping People Healthy The government's goal is to promote better health and prevent illness by: - Improving access to community support services for seniors, frail elderly people and people with physical disabilities. By 2007-08, over 232,000 Ontarians will receive support in their community; and - Expanding the capacity of the mental health system to provide counselling, crisis response and early intervention for almost 79,000 more individuals in need of mental health services in the community by 2007-08. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2005 Ontario Budget Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 11, 2005 STRONG ECONOMY Investing in Infrastructure, Innovation and Key Sectors The McGuinty government is committed to renewing infrastructure, promoting innovation and supporting an environment that encourages business investment and job creation to help unlock Ontario's economic potential. Infrastructure The economy depends on infrastructure that is modern, reliable, efficient and affordable. The government's five-year, $30 billion infrastructure investment plan includes both long-overdue projects and urgent new initiatives. Priority infrastructure initiatives include: - Funding new, upgraded and expanded hospitals; - A substantial expansion of graduate school spaces to accommodate the double cohort as it progresses through the system, as well as new medical school spaces to expand the supply of doctors; - A multi-year investment in elementary and secondary school renewal that is expected to generate $4 billion in investments in the next few years; - An enhanced Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program that will help create over 15,000 new units of affordable housing, including housing in remote communities and supportive housing for victims of domestic violence and for persons suffering from mental illness; - The first round of projects under the new Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF), which will stimulate up to $900 million through federal, Ontario and municipal contributions; - Meeting the government's 2004 commitment to invest $300 million over four years in research infrastructure, so that Ontario's universities, hospitals and research institutes can continue to attract the best and brightest, and help the economy grow; and - New supply projects will develop a diverse array of power sources and have the potential to add over 5,000 megawatts of new supply projects in Ontario. Transportation To meet today's demands and tomorrow's needs, the government is working on the following transportation infrastructure projects: - Substantial improvements in border infrastructure to foster increased trade with the United States and make border travel quicker and easier. For example, moving forward with a number of initiatives in response to the recent Schwartz Report on the Windsor Gateway; - Improvements to Highway 401 and the QEW throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe and on other trade corridors, such as Highway 417 in Ottawa; - Planning options for new corridors throughout the province, including a Niagara-GTA corridor, Highway 407 East Completion and extensions to Highways 404 and 427; - Continued high levels of transit investment, in partnership with other levels of government: $1 billion over 10 years for GO Transit expansion and renewal, $1 billion over five years for the Toronto Transit Commission, and $600 million for the Ottawa O-Train; - Delivering $195 million in gas tax revenues to municipalities for public transit this year, which will total some $1.4 billion over the next five years; and - Approximately $297 million investment for northern Ontario highway rehabilitation and expansion projects. This includes moving forward with the completion of four-laning projects on Highways 11 and 69, in seven and 12 years respectively. Strong, Sustainable Communities In addition to COMRIF, the Ontario Strategic Infrastructure Financing Authority (OSIFA) loan program is helping communities renew infrastructure of local importance such as clean water, public transit, and roads and bridges. Ontario Strategic Infrastructure Financing Authority - To date, OSIFA has committed to provide 166 municipalities with $2.1 billion in low-cost and longer-term loans for more than 1,000 local infrastructure projects; - Beginning in 2005-06, the OSIFA loan program is being broadened so that loans will also be available to municipalities for investment in local culture, tourism and recreation infrastructure projects. Universities will also be able to apply for OSIFA loans for investments that support their work as world-class educators and innovators; - Energy conservation projects will be a key OSIFA priority for both the municipal and university sectors; and - Ontario residents will have an opportunity to invest in infrastructure projects by purchasing Infrastructure Renewal Bonds. These bonds will go on sale later this year and will provide Ontarians with a solid investment. Expanding the Potential of Northern Ontario The government remains committed to growing the northern economy and promoting the north as a region with untapped economic potential. With the new Northern Ontario Medical School set to open, the government is also starting a new northern Ontario nursing education program. Other initiatives to support northern communities include: - A renewed annual contribution of $60 million to support the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation's (NOHFC) new mandate, focusing on private-sector job creation, youth, community development, emerging technologies, telecommunications and energy conservation; - $55 million for commitments made under the previous NOHFC mandate that focused on community infrastructure initiatives; - The Northern Ontario Grow Bonds pilot program. Proceeds from approximately $13 million worth of bonds will be used to provide loans to new and growing businesses in northern communities; - $5 million to support the new Government of Ontario (GO) North investor program, an international marketing campaign launched in 2004 to showcase the north's competitive advantages and attract large-scale investments to northern municipalities; and - In 2005-06, the government will expand the Northern Prosperity Plan to include support for geological mapping that will open up the mining potential in the Far North. A total of $15 million will be invested over three years. Innovation The 2005 Budget includes a number of significant measures for greater co-ordination and alignment of public research and commercialization investments: - The new Ontario Research Fund (ORF) will consolidate several Ontario research programs that have been funded separately in the past, totalling $730 million to 2007-08, for new and ongoing research commitments; - Moving towards a more co-ordinated, stable cancer research system by consolidating the new Cancer Research Program with the existing Ontario Cancer Research Network, which together total a $142 million commitment for cancer research through 2007-08; and - The proposed creation of the Research Council of Ontario, to advise on research priorities, to help coordinate public research and to raise Ontario's profile as an international research centre. Culture Creative industries and people are an emerging engine of economic growth, contributing to dynamic and cohesive communities. Initiatives contained in the 2005 Budget that support Ontario's cultural industries include: - Strategic investments of $10 million in the Canadian Film Centre and $5 million for the Royal Conservatory of Music's Learning Through the Arts program; - $25 million towards the construction of a permanent home for the Toronto International Film Festival; and - In addition to enhanced tax incentives for film and television production announced in December 2004, proposed enhancements to the tax credits for computer animation, interactive digital media, book publishing and sound recording to promote a competitive and stable environment in which to produce innovative cultural products. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2005 Ontario Budget Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- May 11, 2005 A RESPONSIBLE AND DISCIPLINED FISCAL PLAN 2004-05 Deficit Cut By Almost Half - Budget To Be Balanced By 2008-09 At Latest The McGuinty government's plan, which includes historic and long-term investments in postsecondary education, is to eliminate the deficit no later than 2008-09. A balanced budget will be achieved one year earlier, if the reserve is not required in 2007-08. Prior to the government assuming office, there were several years during which Provincial program spending grew much faster than the rate of growth in taxation revenue. Between 2000-01 and 2003-04, Provincial program spending increased by 21 per cent, while taxation revenue actually declined by 0.7 per cent. This imbalance between the growth in Provincial program spending and taxation revenue created the conditions for a structural deficit that resulted in a deterioration of the Province's finances, culminating in a deficit of $5.5 billion in 2003-04. Eliminating the structural deficit is a key component of restoring responsible management to Ontario's finances. However, the government will not balance the budget at the expense of the need to revitalize the Province's publicly funded school, postsecondary education, training and health care systems. Fiscally sustainable social programs that people value and that promote economic growth are the hallmarks of good governments. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Medium-Term Fiscal Plan and Outlook ($ Billions) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Outlook Interim Plan ------------------------------- 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 ----------------------------------------------------- Revenue 77.1 81.7 84.8 88.5 92.2 Expense Programs 67.6 71.0 73.3 75.9 77.9 Capital 2.9 2.7 2.5 2.1 2.1 Interest on Debt 9.6 9.8 10.0 10.4 10.7 ---------------------------------------------------- Total Expense 80.1 83.5 85.7 88.5 90.7 ---------------------------------------------------- Surplus/(Deficit) Before Reserve (3.0) (1.8) (0.9) 0.0 1.5 Reserve - 1.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 ---------------------------------------------------- Surplus/(Deficit) (3.0) (2.8) (2.4) (1.5) 0.0 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding. Key Elements of the Fiscal Plan - A sustainable health care system that delivers high-quality, results-focused and patient-centred health care; - $407 million in program review savings have been identified of the $750 million target for 2007-08; - Maintaining cautious and prudent fiscal planning, including an annual reserve; - Making disciplined decisions that hold the line on spending in most areas - 15 ministries' operating budgets flatlined, declining or increasing at a rate less than inflation; and - No new taxes or tax increases. Medium-Term Fiscal Outlook In 2005-06, total revenues are forecast to increase $4.6 billion or 5.9 per cent, while total expense will rise $3.4 billion or 4.2 per cent. Between 2005-06 and 2008-09, total revenue is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.1 per cent, from $81.7 billion in 2005-06 to $92.2 billion in 2008-09, while annual growth in total expense will average 2.8 per cent over this period, from $83.5 billion in 2005-06 to $90.7 billion in 2008-09. A key part of the strategy to eliminate the structural deficit will be a disciplined approach to containing the growth in program spending to rates below that of taxation revenue. This Budget projects that between 2005-06 and 2008-09, program spending will grow by 3.1 per cent on average each year, much lower than the 4.9 per cent average annual growth in taxation revenue. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ce budget est également disponible en français. You can access the 2005 Budget and all related budgets at www.ontariobudget.fin.gov.on.ca or by calling 1-800-337-7222. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contact Info For further information: Michael Arbour, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4138; Manuel Alas-Sevillano, Ministry of Finance, (416) 212-2155; Sean Hamilton, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8679 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Michael Arbour, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4138; Manuel Alas-Sevillano, Ministry of Finance, (416) 212-2155; Sean Hamilton, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8679