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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

March 24, 2023

The Province of Ontario released it's 2023-24 Budget on March 23.  The 2023-24 deficit is expected to narrow to $1.3 billion.  Thereafter, Ontario's provincial government expects surpluses of $0.2 billion and $4.4 billion.  The Province of Ontario also makes contingency provisions.

Ontario's revenues are projected to increase by 2.0% in 2023-24 while expenditures grow by 1.0%.  

As in many provinces, Ontario's 2022-23 revenues are now forecast to be higher than expected in the 2022-23 Budget plan.  Ontario's expenditures have increased somewhat, while the bottom-line projection has improved considerably.  Ontario's projected revenues are now better aligned with its new elevated expenditure levels.    

Ontario's 2022-23 fiscal plan had expected significant and ongoing deficits.  The 2023-24 Ontario fiscal plan now anticipates that small deficits in 2022-23 and 2023-24 will be followed by rising surpluses in the outer years of the forecast horizon.  

Ontario's deficits in the last two fiscal years were very small as a share of GDP: 0.2% in 2022-23 and 0.1% in 2023-24.  Likewise, rising surpluses amount to small share of GDP: 0.02% in 2024-25 and 0.4% in 2025-26.

The Ontario government's footprint in the economy is expected to be 19.0% of GDP in 2023-24, rising to 19.4% of GDP by 2025-26. 

Ontario's net debt as a share of GDP is expected to remain stable at 37.8% in 2023-24, before falling slightly to 37.7% of GDP in 2024-25 and 36.9% of GDP in 2025-26.  

Ontario's provincial Budget projects expenditures of $13,322 per capita in 2023-24, rising to $13,746 per capita by 2025-26. 

Ontario's economic growth was strong in 2022 - rising by 9.4% in nominal terms because of price increases and strong demand.  Both inflation (3.6%) and nominal GDP (2.8%) are projected to slow in 2023 as the Bank of Canada's higher interest rates slow rate-sensitive domestic demand and the global economy cools under monetary tightening abroad.   Real GDP in Ontario is projected to slow to just 0.2% growth before rebounding to 1.3% in 2024 and 2.5% in 2025.  

Key Measures and Initiatives

Ontario's Budget emphasizes its efforts for: building the economy, building transportation infrastructure, building skills, lowering household costs, improving services, protecting families.  Initiatives include

  • Building the Ontario economy
    • Launching the Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, a 10 per cent refundable Corporate Income Tax credit
    • $6 million over two years for the Ontario Junior Exploration Program to search for mineral deposits
    • Building the roads to the Ring of Fire mineral deposits
    • Increasing the phase-out range for the small business Corporate Income Tax rate 
    • Launching a voluntary clean energy credit registry 
  • Building highways, transit and infrastructure projects
    • $27.9 billion for highway construction, expansion and rehabilitation projects 
    • $70.5 billion for transit over the next 10 years
    • $48 billion in hospital infrastructure over the next 10 years, including more than 50 hospital projects that would add 3,000 new beds 
    • $15 billion in capital grants over 10 years to expand and renew schools and to create 86,000 new child care spaces 
  • Worker skills
    • $224 million for a new capital stream of the Skills Development Fund
    • $25 million over three years for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
    • Expanding dual credit opportunities in health care-related courses 
    • Expanding the Ontario Bridge Training Program to help internationally trained immigrants find employment in their fields
  • Keeping costs down
    • Continuing gas tax rate cuts until December 31, 2023
    • Eliminating double fares for most local transit services 
    • Expanding the seniors' Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) by 100,000 recipients and adjusting annually to inflation
    • $202 million for the Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program 
  • Better services
    • $33 million over three years to add 100 undergraduate seats as well as 154 postgraduate medical training seats (prioritizing Ontario residents) 
    • Allowing pharmacists to prescribe over-the-counter medication for common ailments
    • Accelerating investments to expand home care services, increase care workers' pay and improve the quality of care
    • $22 million to hire up to 200 hospital preceptors for mentorship, supervision and training of newly graduated nurses
    • $15 million to keep 100 mid‐to‐late career nurses in the workforce
    • $4.3 million to help at least 50 internationally trained physicians get licensed
    • $425 million over three years to support mental health and addictions services
    • $170 million over three years to support the Ready, Set, Go program to help youth leaving the care system achieve financial independence 
  • Protecting families
    • $13.4 million in 2023–24 for the Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy
    • Investing $110 million over three years to fund, train, coordinate and improve Ontario Corp and the province’s emergency preparedness system

Ontario Budget 2023-24

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