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Scuttlebutt Surrounding Ontario Budget 2023/2024 - Ontario is Set to Introduce its Budget on March 23, 2023.

Executive Summary:

  1. Spending Austerity will be introduced into the Ontario Budget 2023/2024
  2. Spending items will be Infrastructure Investments: E.g.
    • Schools, Hospitals, Subway and Supply chain Development,
  3. Skills and Trades with a focus on Advanced Manufacturing
    • EV’s and Critical Mineral Strategy are wrapped up in this strategy
  4. Attracting Investments

Unknown.jpegFinance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy stated “the budget will outline a strong future for Ontario during uncertain economic times.” This will be Minister Bethlenfalvy’s third budget since he took over the portfolio New Year’s Eve 2022.

Honourable Minister Bethlenfalvy highlighted that the high-spending, large-deficit budgets that Ontario has tabled during the pandemic have served their purpose but it is now time for "restraint."

In the recently released third-quarter fiscal update, Ontario reported a $6.5 billion deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year, an improvement of $6.4 billion from its fall economic statement. Meanwhile, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) is projecting a deficit of $2.5 billion in this fiscal year but says that will improve to billion-dollar surpluses through the remaining years of its projection to 2026-27.

The FAO has also highlighted a large contingency of funds the province has included in their finances.  Opposition critics say, and argue, that this allows the government to hide its true spending plans.

At a March 6th Toronto Region Board Summit, Min. Bethlenfalvyn explained in broad strokes what to expect in the upcoming Budget.  The Budget will signal that Ontario "wants to be the economic engine of Canada and, frankly, North America,"  The Finance Minister told attendees at the Toronto Region Board of Trade's Gateway to Growth Summit.

The budget is also meant to prepare Ontario for "all the people that come to Ontario," the Finance Minister said.

Unknown.jpegThe federal government plans to admit more permanent residents into Canada from 2023 to 2025, with half of new residents landing in Ontario.  That equates to approximately 250,000 to 300,000 new Ontarians. 

By the end of March, the Ontario government will learn from the federal government how many immigrants it can bring in this year by way of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Last year, Ontario admitted 9,750 nominees through the OINP, which is the main immigration program it uses for directly filling gaps in the labour force with new migrants.

Minister Bethlenfalvyn explained this means infrastructure:

"We've got to think ahead about the types of infrastructure, not just for an existing population.  Talk about population pressures now — gridlock, number of schools, health care. How many hospitals, subways, how are we going to move people, how are we going to get goods to market?

We must have a vision, so in the budget we'll talk more about what we're doing to get it done, because that's our top priority," he said.

Minister Bethlenfalvyn Vision for Ontario’s Economic Future - Priority Sectors:


Bethlenfalvyn said "the thing that keeps me up (at night) more than anything is Ontario's growing labour gap and the challenge of filling it." Specifically, he talked about "the skilled trades, health-care educators, early educators, (and) health-care professionals" as jobs that Ontario needs to fill.




The Finance Minister also focused specifically on the government's ongoing efforts to attract advanced manufacturing to Ontario, including building electric vehicles, advancing its critical minerals strategy and working on advanced technology in life sciences.

Budget has Three Core Pillars

The finance minister concluded his remarks stating the budget will be focused on three core pillars to building Ontario’s economy for the future:

  • Infrastructure,
  • Labour, and
  • Attracting investment


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