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Finance Minister Peter Bethenfalvy presents the 2023 Fall Economic Outlook at Queen's Park on November 3rd 2023 (ONT PARL Screen Capture)

Province announces Fall Economic Outlook

By Adam Riley Nov 3, 2023 | 10:02 AM

Ontario’s finance minister says the province will have a balanced budget within the next three years.

Peter Bethenfalvy made the announcement as he delivered the fall economic outlook, he notes the reasons are behind a slowing economy.

“Our government is now projecting a $5.6 billion deficit in 23/24, and in 24/25 we are forecasting a deficit of $5.3 billion, followed by a balanced budget in 25/26.”

Part of the government’s plan includes enhancing tax credit eligibility to stimulate exploration for critical minerals in the north by adding $12 million per year in support to the sector.

Bethenfalvy also took the opportunity to announce a breakthrough on an initiative put forward last fall, in regards to the construction of rental homes.

“I’m glad to inform the House, that the federal government has answered Ontario’s call, and as we committed, our Government is removing the provincial portion on the HST on these projects.”

This will mirror a rebate offered on the federal five percent portion of the HST, and would remove the full 13 percent, on a two bedroom unit valued at half a million dollars the province says this would equate to a rebate of $65,000 total.

The province is also launching the Ontario Infrastructure Bank, which will serve as an arms-length, board-governed agency to enable public-sector pension plans and other trusted institutional investors to participate in large-scale infrastructure projects in Ontario.

Which will put an initial focus on long-term care homes, affordable housing, and other infrastructure in the municipal, community, energy and transportation sectors.

Other highlights from the update include an extension of gas and fuel tax rate cuts until the end of next June and expanding access to breast cancer screening for women aged 40 and up, which were announced at media events earlier this week.