2018 Ontario Provincial Budget Highlights
This was a spending budget that will see significant budget increases to major provincial programs like the Jobs & Prosperity Fund, Eastern Ontario Development Fund and South Western Ontario Development Fund. We suspect that this budget will have time to be passed prior to the June 7th election. Should the Conservative party win, it is possible that a number of these increased expenditures could be reversed.
Jobs and Prosperity Fund – Increase of $900 Million over the next 10 years
- New Economy Fund – Priority sectors – advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology (ICT), Life Sciences and cleantech. Additional $500 Million over 10 years
- Forestry Growth Fund – Continue to invest $30 Million over the next 3 years
- Food and Beverage Growth Fund – Continue to invest $120 Million over the next 3 years
Regional Funding Programs
- Eastern Ontario Development Fund & South Western Ontario Development Fund – Invest an additional $100M over 10 years
- Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Fund – $100M over the next 10 years for small and medium sized businesses
- Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation – $85M over the next 3 years. Increasing funding to $150M in 2020-21
Canada Ontario Job Grant
- Program name will change to Employer Partnership Training Fund. The program will be refreshed to encourage employees to implement training programs to meet their hiring and skills needs, and also make it easier for small and medium-sized employers to access the fund. The new program, effective April 1, 2018, will: Incentivize employers to team up so that higher value training can be delivered across a number of employers to support hiring and skills needs. Simplify contribution requirements to reduce administrative burden for employers as well as service providers. Large employers who have greater capacity to invest in training will have higher cost-sharing contributions, thereby also freeing up resources to support more small and medium-sized employers.
An investment of $170 million over three years in the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy which will include:
- A new grant to promote pooled group sponsorship models for apprentices;
- A Local Apprenticeship Innovation Fund to increase opportunities for apprentices and encourage engagement within the apprenticeship system across Ontario, as well as support regional, local or sector-specific pilots where there is demonstrated market need