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2022 Budget: Ontario’s Plan to Build

What Ontario’s Plan to Build Means for Newmarket-Aurora and York Region

The 2022 Budget: Ontario’s Plan to Build has five pillars:

  1. Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy
  2. Working for Workers
  3. Building Highways and Key Infrastructure
  4. Keeping Costs Down
  5. A Plan to Stay Open

The government’s plan will seize the opportunities in critical minerals, batteries and electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturing, help deliver better jobs and bigger paycheques for workers, help keep costs down for families, and get shovels in the ground for highways, transit, hospitals and other key infrastructure. Supported by a plan to stay open, the government is building Ontario.

Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy

  • Attracting Game-Changing Automotive Sector Investments: With the sector seeing more than $12 billion in investments over the past 18 months for new electric and hybrid vehicle production mandates and battery manufacturing. The automotive industry has responded to Ontario’s plan to help transform and grow the automotive sector, lower taxes, reduce electricity costs and cut red tape.

Working for Workers

  • Investing an additional $114.4 million over three years in Ontario’s Skilled Trades Strategy to break the stigma associated with the skilled trades, simplify the system and encourage employer participation.
  • Investing $1 billion annually in employment and training programs to help people retrain and upgrade their skills.
  • Relaunching the Second Career program as Better Jobs Ontario, which will now support a larger, more diverse range of Ontario workers, with $5 million in new funding in 2022–23 in addition to the nearly $200 million invested over the last three years.
  • Improving Emergency Health Services: Investing $7 million in 2022–23 to improve emergency health services in communities that will fund additional health care providers across the province to assist with transferring ambulance patients to the emergency department, allowing paramedics to respond to other emergency calls. This new funding will support the recruitment of up to 60 frontline health care providers across the province to improve ambulance patient offload in emergency departments. In 2021, this program increased ambulance availability by approximately 500,000 hours.

Building Highways and Key Infrastructure

  • Investing in Highways: Investing $25. 1 billion over the next 10 years to support the planning and/or construction of highway expansion and rehabilitation projects to connect communities, fight gridlock and keep goods and people moving across the province, including:
    • A new 400-series highway and transit corridor across Halton, Peel and York Regions. Drivers travelling the full length of the highway will save up to 30 minutes, getting back up to five hours more per week to spend with friends and family. The preferred route would extend from Highway 400, between King Road and Kirby Road, to the 401/407 interchange near Mississauga, Milton and Halton Hills. The 59-kilometre four-to-six-lane 400-series highway will have connections to Highways 400, 427, 410, 401, and the 407. During construction, Highway 413 is expected to support up to 3,500 jobs each year and generate up to $350 million in annual real gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Simcoe County and York Region are expected to experience rapid growth over the next 20 years, and that explosive growth needs infrastructure to support it. This is why, in November 2021, the government took another step towards getting shovels in the ground to build the Bradford Bypass, a new four-lane freeway connecting Highway 400 in Simcoe County and Highway 404 in York Region by advancing procurement to design and build bridge crossings. This critical transportation infrastructure will ease gridlock in the Greater Golden Horseshoe by taking pressure off an increasingly congested Highway 400 and existing east-west local roads. This project is expected to support an estimated 2,640 jobs per year, on average, during construction and generate an estimated $274 million in annual GDP.
  • Expanding Transit: Investing $61.6 billion over the next 10 years to improve public transit, including Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and transforming the GO Transit network into a modern, reliable and fully integrated rapid transit network.
  • Building Subways: In the 2019 Budget, Ontario announced its historic new vision to build Ontario with the largest subway expansion in Canadian history. Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is supporting more than 16,000 jobs annually during construction. Recent milestones to advance Ontario’s subway expansion include:
    • The Yonge North Subway Extension: In February 2022, Ontario released the draft Environmental Project Report Addendum for the Yonge North Subway Extension. The report builds off previous environmental studies and reveals new details about the footprints of all four confirmed stations — Steeles, Clark, Bridge and High Tech — plus the two potential stations, Cummer and Royal Orchard, that may be added to the project. 
  • The government is leading the Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) program in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) to build vibrant, complete communities within walking distance to GO Transit, light rail transit (LRT) and priority transit lines. This approach will bring more housing, jobs, commercial and retail space, community amenities and parklands around key transit hubs.
  • Protecting Ontario’s lakes is a key commitment in the government’s plan to help ensure a safe, healthy and clean environment now and for future generations. The government is investing $24 million for the planning and construction of the Holland Marsh Phosphorus Recycling Facility in York Region. The facility will help treat phosphorus runoff from a 7,000-acre area, with the aim of reducing phosphorus levels from the marsh entering Lake Simcoe by up to 40 per cent. Wastewater and stormwater from urban areas can add pollutants, such as phosphorus, to lakes and rivers, resulting in negative impacts on water quality and causing harmful algal blooms.
  • :Investing about $14 billion in capital grants over 10 years to support school infrastructure, including $1.4 billion to renew and maintain schools for the 2022–23 school year. Expanding and renovating Ontario’s schools will help future generations learn and develop, leaving a legacy that will benefit families for years to come.

Keeping Costs Down

  • Eliminating Licence Plate Renewal Fees and Stickers: Eliminating licence plate renewal fees and stickers and refunding eligible individual owners of vehicles for any fees paid since March 2020. Eligible vehicle owners began receiving cheques in the mail at the end of March and throughout the month of April. Eliminating renewal fees will save vehicle owners $120 a year in Southern Ontario.
  • To address rising costs for Ontario families and businesses, the government introduced the Tax Relief at the Pumps Act, 2022 that will cut the gas tax by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax by 5.3 cents per litre for six months beginning July 1, 2022.
  • An enhancement to the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit would provide an estimated $320 million in additional Personal Income Tax relief per year to about 1.1 million taxpayers.
  • The government is making it more affordable for families and workers to travel across the Greater Golden Horseshoe by eliminating double fares for most local transit when using GO Transit services and increasing PRESTO discounts for postsecondary students. These measures build on the government’s plan to make transit more affordable, including introducing free travel to children aged 12 and under on all GO Transit trains and buses. In March 2022, local transit was made free for riders connecting to and from GO Transit on municipal transit systems with existing GO Transit co-fare agreements.
  • Investing in Optimizing Transit Networks: The government is making regional transit more integrated by proposing legislation that, if passed, would help to create seamless transit services across the Toronto municipal boundaries. This long-time request of municipalities is an important step towards achieving a fully integrated and optimized transit network.

A Plan to Stay Open

  • Investing in Critical Hospital Infrastructure: The government is making record investments in hospital renewal and expansion that will address the increasing need for health care services in growing communities and provide essential care to patients and their families across the province, including:
    • Building a new acute care hospital and expanding the existing Newmarket Southlake location to accommodate ambulatory care services, as well as expanding surgical capacity and inpatient mental health care.
  • Investing a historic $6.4 billion since spring 2019 to make swift progress in fixing the long-term care sector and helping Ontario’s seniors get the quality of care and quality of life they deserve. Ontario now has more than 31,000 new beds and more than 28,000 upgraded beds in the development pipeline and is on track to build more than 30,000 net new beds across the province by 2028. Long-term care projects include:
    • Opened in October 2021 with 320 new beds in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

The 2022 Budget continues the government’s track record of strong fiscal management. The plan includes increases to base program spending at an average annual rate of about five per cent over the next three years. The Budget also presents a recovery plan that will eliminate Ontario’s deficit two years earlier than projected in the 2021 Budget. Read More at: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1002123/ontarios-plan-to-build