Queens Park – Today, the Provincial Government introduced the 2016 Budget, focusing on healthcare, education, economic growth and infrastructure investments, announced David Orazietti, MPP.

“Our government is continuing to focus on what matters most to Ontarians, by making strategic investments that will strengthen the economy and benefit our communities,” said Orazietti. “This year’s budget emphasizes the importance of investing in healthcare programs, hospitals, education, infrastructure and fostering a strong economic climate.”

The 2016 budget unveiled a number of new priorities designed to build prosperity, create jobs, transform healthcare, and make everyday life easier for Ontario families.

Highlights include:

Investing in Infrastructure:

  • $160 billion investment over 12 years – the largest public infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history – an increase of $3 billion more than the amount announced in 2015, supporting creation of 110,000 jobs per year
  • $200 million annual increase to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) by 2018/19 (totalling $300 million per year), helping small, rural, and northern communities build and repair critical infrastructure
  • $550 million investment in northern infrastructure through the Northern Highway Program
  • $20 million for the Connecting Links program in 2016/17, up $5 million from the 2015 budget, to help municipalities like Sault Ste. Marie maintain local roads and highways; and a commitment to increase funding to $30 million per year by 2018/19
  • Enhancements to winter highway maintenance, including improved road weather system stations, increased service by contractors through more frequent road patrolling and more reliable equipment

Building Ontario’s Economy:

  • $2.7 billion for the Jobs and Prosperity fund over 10 years: JPF commitments to date have created 16,000 jobs in Ontario
  • $1 billion annual investment in employment, training and labour market programs and services
  • Capital improvements to northern airports to support remote communities and promote economic development
  • Investing in upgrades for the ferry between Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula
  • Reducing electricity cost pressures for businesses and industrial users, by ending the Debt Retirement Charge (DRC) as of April 1, 2018
  • Helping Ontario businesses scale up by enhancing access to capital and establishing

Transforming and Improving Healthcare:

  • $345 million increase to hospital funding, including a 1% increase to base funding – the first base fund increase in 5 years
  • Free shingles vaccine for seniors between 65 and 70, savings of approximately $170 in out-of-pocket expenses
  • $130 million investment in Cancer Care services over 3 years to help reduce wait times and increase the reach of preventative programs
  • $85 million additional investment in interprofessional primary care teams, including community health centres, family health teams, and nurse practitioner-led clinics, over three years
  • $75 million increased investment for community based, residential hospice and palliative care over 3 years, a total investment of $155 million
  • $10 million annual increase in funding for Behavioural Supports Ontario, to help residents with dementia and other neurological conditions
  • Implementing online Heath Card renewals by 2018
  • $250 million increase to expand capacity to deliver high-quality home and community care

Enhancing Education:

  • Free tuition for students from families with incomes under $50,000
  • Over 50% of students from families with incomes of $83,000 or less will receive non-repayable grants that are greater than the cost of average tuition
  • Post-secondary financial support will be extended to mature and married students
  • Helping school boards, especially ones in northern and remote communities, gain access to high-speed connections

Helping Ontario Families:

  • $333 million over 5 years for Autism and development supports, designed to improve critical and more intensive interventions at earlier ages
  • $178 million investment in affordable housing, over 3 years, to update and enhance housing, including the creation of approximately 1,500 new units
  • $17.8 million over 5 years to support effective integration and coordination of services for children with complex and special needs
  • 1.5% rate increase for individuals and families on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Increasing the Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODP) low income threshold for singles and couples, resulting in 170,000 seniors having no annual deductible

The Ontario government has improved its deficit by $4.6 billion compared to the 2010 deficit, the largest year-over-year reduction in the last 5 years, and is on track to balance the budget by 2017/18 while continuing to make significant and strategic investments to build prosperity, help families, and strengthen the economy.


  • Ontario has created 608,300 new net jobs since the recessionary low in 2009, and is on track to create 900,000 new jobs by 2019
  • Ontario continues to have the lowest per-capita spending of any province, while still providing high-quality public services


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