Province to Prioritize Higher Economic Growth and Helping Families Manage Costs of Care
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, announced today that he will deliver the 2018 Ontario Budget on March 28. The Budget will outline the government’s plan to create more fairness and opportunity for everyone and help families manage the costs of caring for their loved ones.
In order to invest more in hospitals, mental health, long-term care and child care across the province, Ontario is choosing to run a deficit.
Minister Sousa made the announcement during a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, and provided an update on Ontario’s economic outlook and fiscal plan.
The province has exceeded its fiscal targets every year since the recession, and is forecasting a surplus in 2017-18. Since 2014, Ontario’s economy has outperformed all G7 nations, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in nearly two decades.
While Ontario’s economic growth is strong relative to other jurisdictions, the government recognizes that it must take further action to bolster growth and ensure more people and families have opportunities to get ahead.
The 2018 Budget will outline a path to return to balance, building on the province’s long track record of strong fiscal management.
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.
- The province has made postsecondary education more affordable and attainable for all by offering free tuition to more than 225,000 university and college students, and reducing the cost for many more through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
- Since January 1, 2018 over 920,000 children and youth have filled over 2.1 million prescriptions at no cost through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
- The province is raising the minimum wage — and making workplaces fairer — to help people get ahead in a changing economy where many workers are struggling to support their families on part-time, contract or minimum-wage work.
- Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, visit Ontario.ca/BuildON.
- Private-sector forecasters, on average, have estimated that Ontario real GDP increased by 2.8 per cent in 2017.
“Ontario has achieved a fiscal surplus this year. While the state of our economy may change, our values never will. The 2018 Budget will reaffirm our commitment to grow the economy and create jobs, while maintaining progressive policies like free tuition and free pharmacare. These investments are making a positive difference in the lives of people.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance