Ontario Passes Legislation to Create Fairness and Opportunity
New Changes Will Create Conditions for Businesses, Families and Communities to Thrive
Today, Ontario passed legislation that will create fairness and opportunity for people across the province by furthering the economic plan set out in the 2017 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.
Highlights of the Budget Measures Act include:
- Creating an Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit that helps people caring for relatives while balancing work, family and community commitments
- Cutting the Corporate Income Tax rate for small businesses by 22 per cent -- from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, effective January 1, 2018
- Providing up to $2,000 to employers and small businesses that hire and retain young workers
- Establishing a trust to fund the remediation of mercury contamination in the English and Wabigoon rivers
- Creating an opportunity for Indigenous students to earn a diploma, certificate or degree that better reflects their knowledge, cultures and languages, while studying at an Indigenous Institute.
- Creating the first standalone French-language university in the province
- Improving retirement security by increasing the guaranteed monthly payment of certain pension benefits if the employer becomes insolvent or goes bankrupt to $1,500 from $1,000, and, creating a new regime for multi-employer pension plans that offer target benefits
- Strengthening inspections and enforcement of the building code, making owners and managers of certain buildings more accountable, and enhancing the regulation of engineers in response to recommendations of the Elliott Lake public inquiry.
Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Since the global recession, more than 800,000 net new jobs have been created in Ontario. The majority of these jobs are full-time, in the private sector, and in industries that pay above-average wages. By 2020, Ontario is expected to create over 200,000 more net new jobs.
- Ontario’s unemployment rate declined to 5.5 per cent in November 2017, the lowest rate since July 2000. The unemployment rate has been below the national average for 32 months in a row.
- The provincial economy is expected to continue to grow, with real GDP growth now forecasted at 2.8 per cent in 2017, up from 2.3 per cent in the 2017 Budget.
- Ontario remains the lowest per capita program spending government of any province in Canada.
“It is essential to our continued prosperity that everyone gets a chance to achieve their potential and help make Ontario stronger. Prosperity is built on fairness. Today’s measures will help create opportunities for more businesses, families and individuals to contribute to — and benefit from — our economic strength.”