April 29, 2022: Ontario Releases Budget 2022
On April 28, the province released its 2022 budget. Titled, Ontario’s Plan to Build, the budget has five key priorities: Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy, Working for Workers, Building Highways and Key Infrastructure, Keeping Costs Down, and A Plan to Stay Open. The budget calls for a return to balance by 2027-28 and plans to increase the health budget by $4.2 billion.
Thus far from what can be analyzed, this budget misses the opportunity for strategic investment in and partnership with the nonprofit sector. Ontario’s communities need – and the economy relies on – advancing transformational community-led solutions. The $1 Billion funding announced earlier this week for home and community care is on top of the investments announced in the Fall Economic Statement last year. Combined this represents an investment of $1.5 billion in home and community care over the next three years. We haven’t received all the details yet, but indications are that this will be both rate adjustments and service volume expansions. We have yet to unravel what this means for independent living service providers supporting people with disabilities, The Assistive Devices Program, or Access to essential medical supplies but we are certainly having these conversations leading into the next government and we encourage all of you to do the same. Some commitments include:
- An additional $15 million over three years for service expansion as part of the province’s dementia strategy
- $5.5 million for the continuation of the Ontario Community Support Programs into 2022-23
- $15 million over three years for an expansion of the home and vehicle modification program
Other highlights and previous announcements include:
- $2.8 billion over three years to make the PSW wage enhancement permanent
- $764 million over two years to provide Ontario’s nurses with a lump sum retention incentive
- $3.3 billion for increased hospitals beds and capacity
- $40 billion for hospital infrastructure adding 3,000 beds over 10 years
- $60 million to expand Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care
- A new seniors care at home care tax credit. An income-tested refundable credit of 25% for expenses up to $6,000 for privately paid home care provided by certified attendants or registered workers. This means people who spend money on private care would be eligible to receive up to $1,500 in income tax rebates.
- Implementing a long-term plan to address the housing crisis, informed by the Housing Affordability Task Force’s recommendations. This includes supporting the creation of all types of housing by speeding up approvals to get more shovels in the ground faster, prioritizing Ontario homebuyers over foreign speculators, cracking down on unethical developers, and committing to introducing a housing supply action plan every year for the next four years.
Thus far this budget feels like a status quo budget for community services. Much needs to be determined in the details however since this is not an approved budget, we wont know the gravity of these commitments until after the election is over on June 2 and a new government is formed. This is a critical time to amplify your voice to ensure the government is meeting community needs. It’s your move Ontario. Participate in this election. Become informed. Take your position and hold candidates into account leading into the next government. Use www.yourmoveontario.ca as your vehicle for change
Any questions about the budget? Contact us at [email protected]