The McGuinty government is taking strong action for a stronger Ontario. The 2012 Ontario Budget outlines a plan to eliminate the deficit and grow the economy while protecting education and health care in Ottawa.
Knowledge and Skills
The government will continue to build on its plan to have the world’s best-educated workforce to ensure prosperity in the knowledge-based economy by:
- Fully implementing Full-Day Kindergarten by September 2014
- Keeping a cap on class sizes in the early grades
- Remaining committed to the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant for eligible full-time undergraduate university and college students
- And moving forward with building new libraries at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa
Transforming Health Care
The government remains committed to health care in Ottawa and will move forward with the planned redevelopment of the Ottawa Heart Institute, expanding Queensway Carleton Hospital and the Hawkesbury Hospital and building the Orleans Health Hub.
The government will build on Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care to create a sustainable and high-quality health care system by:
- Transforming health care to reduce the rate of growth of spending to an average of 2.1 per cent annually over the next three years
- Enhancing community-based care by increasing spending on home care and community services by $526 million a year to treat patients in alternative settings such as Community Health Centres and at home
- Moving to patient-centred funding models to improve the value and quality of care.
Jobs and Prosperity
To help create jobs and spur economic growth in Ottawa, the government is moving forward with planned infrastructure projects including fixing “the Split” on the Queensway and completing the Hunt Club interchange. Our $600 million commitment to Ottawa light rail transit is firm.
To help build a strong and diversified Ontario that enables business to invest in innovation, improve productivity and become more globally competitive, the government will:
- Consolidate many business support programs into a Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will focus on productivity growth and job creation, while generating overall savings of $250 million in 2014–15
- Establish a multi-stakeholder Jobs and Prosperity Council to advise the government on a plan to boost Ontario’s productivity, and lead a research agenda on Ontario’s productivity and innovation
- And diversify Ontario’s exports to emerging economies by streamlining and coordinating the trade promotion activities of relevant ministries
The McGuinty government has also made the Eastern Ontario Development Fund permanent to continue providing essential support to entrepreneurs in our region, spurring economic development.
Balancing the Budget
The 2012 Ontario Budget is serious action for a serious time and puts Ontario on track to eliminate the deficit by 2017–18 by:
- Implementing savings of $4.9 billion over three years
- Freezing the general Corporate Income Tax rate and Business Education Tax rate reductions until the budget is balanced
- Extending the pay freeze for MPPs for another two years — for a total of five years
- Extending the pay freeze for executives at hospitals, universities, colleges, school boards and agencies for another two years.
The deficit for 2011–12 is projected to be $15.3 billion — $1 billion lower than forecast a year ago and an improvement of over 38 per cent from the 2009–10 deficit forecast in the fall of 2009. Without the measures announced in the 2012 Budget, Ontario’s deficit would approach $25 billion in 2014–15. Instead, it is projected to be $10.7 billion that fiscal year.
The McGuinty government will continue to focus on its priorities to further strengthen the economy and spur job creation while protecting Ottawa family priorities like a strong education system for their kids and strong health care for loved ones.
“The best decision we can make for the future prosperity of Ottawa is to continue our investments in the education of our children. We are protecting the gains we have made in education by keeping class sizes small, implementing full-day kindergarten, and providing students with 30 per cent off post-secondary tuition.”
- Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa Centre
“Our government is maintaining record investments in Ottawa’s hospitals, schools, public transit and highways. We’re making the right choices to ensure Ottawa families are receiving the best possible services and the best value for tax dollars.”
- Bob Chiarelli, MPP Ottawa West-Nepean
“Our government is presenting the right plan at a very important time. We are ensuring that Ottawa’s health care, education, infrastructure and social services remain strong as we work to deliver the effective, efficient government the people of Ottawa expect.”
- Madeleine Meilleur, MPP Ottawa Vanier
“As MPP of a rural riding, I have seen firsthand how the Eastern Ontario Development Fund has created jobs in our community. I am pleased our government is maintaining this important program, in partnership with the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, to support businesses in Eastern Ontario.”
-Grant Crack, MPP Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
“Ontario needs to take strong action to balance the budget and build a better future. We have taken several steps to ensure the economic, social and physical health of our province and its people. I am proud of the measures we have taken to ensure these goals, while protecting projects of key importance to the residents of Ottawa-Orléans. I am especially proud of the commitment to continue the Orléans Health Hub project. This project will support the government’s goal of enhancing community-based care.”
-Phil McNeely, MPP Ottawa-Orléans
- As a result of measures proposed in the 2012 Budget, Ontario’s accumulated deficit would be $22.1 billion lower in 2014–15 than if no action was taken.
- For every dollar in new revenues outlined in the 2012 Budget, there are four dollars of savings and cost-containment measures.
- Measures to reduce program spending by a cumulative $17.7 billion over the next three years, compared to what it would have otherwise been, include:
- $4.9 billion in planned savings from removing overlap and duplication, implementing more efficient delivery models and focusing on core business
- $6 billion in government actions to restrain compensation for school boards, payments to physicians and public servants
- $6.8 billion to contain costs across the broader public sector.
- Ontario’s economy is projected to grow at 1.7 per cent in 2012, 2.2 per cent in
2013 and 2.4 per cent in 2014.
- In 2011, more than 121,000 jobs were created in Ontario — with full-time employment increasing by 123,400.
- The cost of servicing Ontario’s debt is approximately $10 billion, the third-largest annual expense behind health care and education. To put this in perspective, Ontario spends more on interest each year than on colleges and universities.
- For every one per cent increase in interest rates, the cost to service the debt increases by $467 million in the first year of the increase. If no action is taken to balance the budget, Ontario would pay almost as much to service the debt in
2017–18 as it spends on education today.
- In February 2012, the Conference Board of Canada suggested that if no action was taken to control growth in spending, Ontario’s deficit could be $16 billion by 2017–18. Using similar assumptions, the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services estimated that the deficit could be as high as $30 billion.
- In 2011–12, Ontario’s per capita program spending is projected to be $8,560. This is the lowest among the provinces and 11 per cent below the average spent across the other nine provincial governments.
- Ontario delivers government services with the lowest per-capita number of provincial public servants.
Read the 2012 Ontario Budget.
Learn more about expense management measures being taken by Ontario.
Read background information on the 2012 Ontario Budget:
Read highlights of the 2012 Ontario Budget.