Ontario government beating fiscal targets while investing in priority programs, fall statement reveals



Bay of Quinte – Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte, welcomed the2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together, tabled Wednesday at Queen’s Park. It maintains the government’s commitment to balance the budget by 2023-2024 through prudent fiscal management while making strategic investments in critical public services and strengthens the conditions for job creation.

“The fall economic statement shows our government is not only making progress on the path to fiscal sustainability, it continues to invest in health care, education, and programs Ontario residents depend upon,” said Smith, who noted the Province has seen the creation of 272,400 net new jobs and those are supporting the positive trajectory.

“We’ve seen the results of the kinds of moves we’ve made in the past, including reducing red tape and making it easier to do business in Ontario,” he said.

The report, released by Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, indicates the government projects to beat its deficit target for 2019-2020 by $1.3 billion, reducing the projected deficit to $9 billion from the $10.3 billon outlook presented in the 2019 Budget.  The news comes despite the previous administration leaving Ontario with the largest subnational debt in the world and daunting challenges like hallway healthcare, congested roads, an infrastructure deficit, and government services that are inefficient or outdated.

“Since taking office 16 months ago, our government has taken steps to strengthen our finances, our economy and critical public services,” said Phillips. “Solving these challenges has not been about grand gestures, but rather the practical and meaningful actions that help make life easier and more affordable for people, like reducing taxes, investing in health care and education and building modern transit and roads.”

The government’s balanced, prudent plan is making steady progress to reduce the deficit, while investing an additional $1.3 billion in critical services. This includes more funding for hospitals, public health units, child care spaces, and programs to help vulnerable people.

Support for Bay of Quinte residents includes…

·     An additional $5 million in operational funding for Quinte Health Care hospitals, part of a $68-million investment to increase support for small- and medium-sized hospitals. That is on top of the $384 million increase for hospitals in the 2019 Budget.

·     A commitment to redevelop the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home long-term-care facility in Picton with funding for 160 new and refurbished beds. These beds are among 15,000 additional beds planned within the next five years.

·     Provincial commitments of $5,884,815 for four Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program projects in Quinte West and Belleville.  This includes Quinte West’s King Street corridor resurfacing and West-East transit expansion and Belleville’s Bell Boulevard widening and Northeast Industrial Park transit expansion.

·     An extension of $15 million in transitional funding for the province’s wineries, cideries and distilleries as the government reviews taxation programs for the sector.

·     A new Regional Development Program, including the redesigned Eastern Ontario Development Fund to provide performance-based loans to eligible small- and medium-sized businesses.

·     A $71-million investment to address cellular communications gaps in the region.

In Wednesday’s release, the government introduced a proposal to reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent from 3.5 per cent, beginning Jan. 1, 2020. This would provide tax relief of up to $1,500 annually to over 275,000 businesses, from family-owned shops to innovative start-ups.

As a result of government actions to date, Ontario’s small businesses would save $2.3 billion in 2020.

In his role as Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Smith was also pleased to see the government’s historic $600 million investment in autism services in the fall statement. “We are committed to getting this right, and introducing a needs-based and sustainable program the helps as many children and youth with autism as possible.” said Smith.

Smith concluded the statement is positive news for Bay of Quinte residents.

“We believe the role of government is to enable the opportunity for a better quality of life and a higher standard of living for all of our citizens,” said Smith. “By implementing our plan, we are stimulating job creation, putting more money in people’s pockets, making our streets safer, our commutes shorter and our government smarter.”



·     The government is forecasting a $1.3 billion improvement to its 2019 Budget deficit projection for 2019–2020, to $9 billion from $10.3 billion.

·     Ontario is proposing to reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent from 3.5 per cent starting January 1, 2020.

·     The government is taking steps to end hallway health care with a $68 million investment in small- and medium-sized and multi-site hospitals to help maintain critical capacity and respond to increased demand in communities across the province. This is in addition to the $384 million announced in the 2019 Budget.

·     272,400 net new jobs have been created since June 2018 and the unemployment rate is near historic lows.

·     The Province is also proposing to reduce the aviation fuel tax rate in the North to 2.7 cents per litre from 6.7 cents per litre.




Read the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together at ontario.ca/fallstatement.




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Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund delivers $4,140,200 in funding support for Bay of Quinte municipalities



Bay of Quinte – The Ontario government listened to municipalities and maintained the structure of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) for the 2020 budget year. The result is $4,140,200 that Bay of Quinte municipalities can use for their local priorities.

Through the fund, designed to support rural and northern communities primarily, Prince Edward County will receive $2,806,200; Quinte West $1,258,000; and Hastings County, $76,000.

“Maintaining the OMPF will give these municipalities cost certainty as they deliberate their budgets for the upcoming year, allowing them to make better-informed planning decisions for taxpayers,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.

Minister of Finance Rod Phillips said building strong partnerships with municipalities is important to the Ontario government.

“Municipalities told us that they need information early to plan their budgets, and we listened. That’s why we’re announcing the allocations for the 2020 OMPF today – the earliest they have ever been announced.”

The announcements – part of a $500-million investment that will benefit 389 municipalities across Ontario – fulfill a commitment made by Premier Doug Ford during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference in August to maintain the structure of the OMPF program for 2020.




OMPF information: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ompf/2020/



Ontario provides $5 million in new funding to help Quinte Health Care hospitals address budget pressures



Trenton – Patients at Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals will benefit from the Province’s investment of an additional $5 million in new funding, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced this morning.

Smith said the Province has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, that involves working with  hospital partners, like Quinte Health Care, to fix long-standing funding issues that disadvantaged small- and mid-sized hospitals, and multi-site hospitals like the four-site corporation.

“We’ve had productive discussions about this funding and the board and staff at QHC have done their part, finding efficiencies and maintaining a high standard of care in our communities,” said Smith. “We are here today to say that we have listened. Our government is supporting hospitals like QHC by ensuring they have the resources they need to meet the growing needs of our communities.”

He indicated the funding would ensure families in Hasting and Prince Edward counties continue to have access to high-quality care, address sector challenges and funding inequities, and protect existing core services in communities across the province.

Kramp added the investment is a step toward permanently fixing the funding formula.

“We made the case that the funding formula for rural hospitals had to change. Today, however, we’re talking about a bridge between now and then,” said Kramp. “This new investment in QHC is another example of how Ontario is supporting high-quality and timely access to health care, while delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care. “

QHC President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Clare Egberts was pleased the Province recognized the budgetary pressures hospitals are facing and took action.

“We are pleased and grateful the Ministry has provided additional dollars to help QHC this year. QHC hospitals have not been funded equitably under the funding formula for a number of years as we were treated as one large hospital when, in fact, we operate two medium and two small hospitals,” said Egberts. “Today’s announcement is a significant gesture of support and we are thrilled the government has recognized the unique challenges faced by hospitals like QHC and is taking steps to remedy historical funding inequities.”

The $5-million funding increase for QHC is part of a $68-million investment Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced Thursday that will benefit 66 small-sized hospitals and 23 medium-sized and multi-site hospitals. It includes province-wide increases of one per cent for small-sized hospitals, 1.5 per cent for medium-sized and multi-site hospital as well as targeted funding to assist with unique situations and historical funding challenges.

“We have listened to patients, frontline staff and key stakeholders to determine how we can fix historical inequities to provide financial stability and relief to hospitals, regardless of their size,” said Elliott.

That $68 million is on top of $384 million in new funding Ontario hospitals received through the 2019-2020 budget. Ontario will also invest $27 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects across the province, including the addition of 3,000 new hospital beds.

Both Smith and Kramp indicated the Ontario government would continue to engage with hospitals, including QHC, and other health-care partners on solutions that ensure funding continues to meet the growing demands on the sector.