Ontario will spend additional $17 billion to fight the coronavirus

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips answers questions at Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips answers questions at Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday

"That will happen immediately".

Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath was quick to criticize what she said the budget didn't contain - help for people. Things like the interest-free period on the OSAP, it's literally interest-free.

"(Wednesday's) package includes $75 million for (personal protection equipment). The announcement also includes new money for testing but again, we must make sure this is rapidly deployed to have a real outcome. "COVID-19 is our moment".

"COVID-19 is an unprecedented and monumental challenge". "Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 will provide our health-care workers the tools they need, while also providing tangible relief to the people of Ontario and to our business community as well".

The specific measures included in today's action plan are as follows...

"We're taking responsible steps to lessen the burden for businesses and people", said Minister Phillips. "We're spending where we think we need to out of the gate, and we'll be re-evaluating everything as we go".

Canada's most populous province and economic engine forecast a deficit of C$20.5 billion in the fiscal year beginning on April 1, including a C$2.5 billion reserve, an economic update from the Progressive Conservative government showed.

Net debt is seen rising to C$379.2 billion in 2020-21 from an estimated C$355.2 billion in the current fiscal year, which would raise net-debt-to-GDP to 41.7%.

Ontario is projecting zero per cent real GDP growth in 2020, a net-debt-to-GDP ratio of 41.7 per cent in 2020-21 - up from 39.9 per cent - and a ballooning net debt from $355 billion to almost $380 billion.

"What we won't be doing tomorrow is providing any multi-year projections", he said Tuesday.

Coronavirus Symptoms May Include Loss of Taste, Smell
In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the U.S.

The new spending includes $3.3-billion for the health-care system, with $2.1-billion for "outbreak response measures" for hospitals, long-term care and public health, as well as a $1-billion COVID contingency fund.

Investing $935 million for the hospital sector, including $594 million to accelerate progress on the government's commitment to address capacity issues, as well as $341 million for an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and additional assessment centres.

There's another $243 million for long-term care homes - where there has already been outbreaks and deaths - to improve capacity and quality of care and also to fix and modernize facilities.

Measures also include a one-time payment for parents of $200 per child 12 years old and under, doubling payments for low-income seniors and suspending student loan payments for six months.

COVID-19 is expected to carve out $5.8 billion dollars from the province's revenue stream in 2020-21, largely due to drops in personal income and corporate tax revenue, and due to the closure of casinos operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation.

The Ontario government also said it would provide emergency child care options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.

$52 million to expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works.

Enhancing funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches, and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19 by providing funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administrative Boards who would allocate this funding based on local needs.

As well, there will be $26 million provided to Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need, and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations. Of that, $6 billion in relief will go towards helping support businesses with a five-month interest and penalty-free period to pay most provincial taxes.

Municipalities will be granted a deferment on the next round of education property taxes, while $1.9 billion will be made available by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

Recommended News

  • New coronavirus cases drop to lowest amid crisis

    New coronavirus cases drop to lowest amid crisis

    However, Conte denied planning to keep the lockdown in place until that date, saying he hoped to loosen curbs "well before then". On Monday the government closed all businesses not deemed to be essential to the nation's supply chain of vital requirements.
    Stocks drift up and down in tentative trading on Wall Street

    Stocks drift up and down in tentative trading on Wall Street

    Markets in Europe were also choppy: the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was nearly flat after erasing a jump earlier in the day. In Europe markets traded higher as Britain's FTSE-100 rose 1.08%, France's CAC-40 gained 0.82% and Germany's DAX fell 0.91%.
    Apple : US trade regulators approve tariff exemption for Apple Watches

    Apple : US trade regulators approve tariff exemption for Apple Watches

    The Apple Watch was on the September list of goods the Trump administration published related to the 15 percent applicable tax. There's no word on whether AirPods, Mac mini, and some other Apple products will be granted their own exemptions by the U.S.
  • Amazon warehouses affected by coronavirus cases

    Amazon warehouses affected by coronavirus cases

    According to the CDC, the coronavirus primarily spreads via "respiratory droplets" when people cough or sneeze. In response, Amazon temporarily closed down facilities in some cases in order for the centers to be sanitized.
    'The Walking Dead' season finale is being delayed due to coronavirus

    'The Walking Dead' season finale is being delayed due to coronavirus

    The chapter that is scheduled to air on AMC next Sunday, April 5, will also show the Princess being encountered by Eugene's group. Critics, including Insider, were asked to hold reviews of the upcoming series until further notice.
    National Football League  planning draft as scheduled despite GMs' recommendation

    National Football League planning draft as scheduled despite GMs' recommendation

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees by 6 p.m. According to a memo sent to all league clubs and reported on NFL .com, the shutdowns will continue to at least 8 April.
  • Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020 is Canceled

    What does this mean for new phones? However, many vendors who withdrew from the show still plan on making MWC-related product announcements.
    Spain surpasses China in coronavirus deaths

    Spain surpasses China in coronavirus deaths

    Even once the numbers crest, it would be "counterproductive" to think about relaxing restrictions soon, he added. The death toll in Italy surpassed that of China last week as the infection overwhelmed its health system.
    Australian A-league season suspended due to coronavirus

    Australian A-league season suspended due to coronavirus

    The league still plans to complete the remaining 16 rounds at some point this year, after cutting it from the usual 23, but not before June.
  • BC Government announces renter support, halts evictions

    BC Government announces renter support, halts evictions

    Horgan said he doesn't want people to fear losing their homes, which "should be a place of comfort and security". The smaller number of court-ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.
    Stimulus deal bars Trump's businesses from Treasury Department loans

    Stimulus deal bars Trump's businesses from Treasury Department loans

    It aims to prop up the economy as the coronavirus outbreak grows worse in the United States. A significant portion will be set aside in order to issue checks to American households.
    Magnitude 7.5 quake strikes off Russian far eastern coast

    Magnitude 7.5 quake strikes off Russian far eastern coast

    There was once additionally panic within the Kuril Islands - north of Japan - and at the Kamchatka volcano and glacier peninsula. A tsunami watch was issued for Hawaii but the center said it was still investigating if there was a threat to the islands.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.