Province Releases 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario

BAY OF QUINTE — MPP Todd announced that today, Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario. Like the rest of the world, Ontario continues to face economic uncertainty due to high interest rates and global instability.

These challenges are putting pressure on Ontario families and their finances, as well as the province’s finances. Despite these challenges, Ontario is continuing to deliver on its Plan to Build by investing in infrastructure to get more homes built faster and attracting better jobs with bigger paycheques, all while keeping costs down for families and businesses and retaining a path to balance.

“Our government continues to make investments to improve access to health care, build housing, and promote affordability,” said Smith. “This budget takes a responsible approach to delivering key services and public infrastructure while not raising taxes and fees.”

The budget highlights recent provincial projects in Bay of Quinte, including approval to tender a new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, increased funding for an addition to St. Joseph Catholic School in Belleville, cellular and broadband upgrades across the region, a rehabilitated Skyway Bridge, watermain work on Heber Street in Quinte West, and new electrified campsites at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Highlights of the Province’s significant actions include:

  • Helping to get more homes built by investing $1 billion in the new Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program and quadrupling the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund to a total of $825 million to help municipalities repair and expand the critical infrastructure needed to reach their housing targets.
  • Connecting approximately 600,000 people to primary health care by investing an additional $546 million over three years.
  • Launching a new $200 million Community Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Fund to strengthen communities across Ontario by building and upgrading sport, recreation and community facilities.
  • Investing $46 million over three years, including for the purchase of four police helicopters, to improve community safety by supporting increased patrols and faster response times to major incidents and serious crimes.
  • Keeping costs down for people and businesses by proposing to extend the temporary cuts to the gasoline tax rate by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel (diesel) tax rate by 5.3 cents per litre until December 31, 2024. This would save Ontario households $320 on average since the cuts were first introduced in July 2022. This relief is especially important as the federal carbon tax is set to increase on April 1, 2024.
  • Supporting individuals facing unstable housing conditions and dealing with mental health and addictions challenges by investing an additional $152 million over three years toward various supportive housing initiatives designed to support vulnerable people.