Ontario Legislature passes Bill 269 to provide additional COVID-19 support
Ontario investing $1B to support province’s vaccination plan
TORONTO — On Apr. 26, the Ontario legislature passed Bill 269, to enact into law the next phase of Ontario’s recovery plan.
The bill announced an additional $1 billion to enable and support COVID-19 vaccinations. As soon as the province receives more vaccines from the federal government, it will be able to further accelerate its rollout to protect more people from COVID-19.
“The 2021 Budget makes good on our government’s promise to do whatever it takes to protect people’s health and support our economy,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. “Right now, vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel. We have the infrastructure to get Ontarians vaccinated with boots on the ground to get vaccines into arms as they arrive in the province. What we need now are more supply of vaccines.”
The Ontario government also announced $23.3 billion to protect the economy.
Additional highlights of Ontario’s plan include:
- Making it safer to re-engage with workplaces, businesses and communities with $2.3 billion for testing and contact tracing.
- Protecting frontline heroes and vulnerable people with $1.4 billion for personal protective equipment, including more than 315 million masks and more than 1.2 billion gloves.
- Investing an additional $5.1 billion to support hospitals since the pandemic began, creating more than 3,100 additional hospital beds. This includes $1.8 billion in 2021-22 to continue providing care for COVID-19 patients, address surgical backlogs and keep pace with patient needs.
“We will continue to invest in our health care system today and for the long term, building on record investments since the start of the pandemic to create more hospital beds, build and improve hospitals, increase testing and fix long-term care,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy.
Bill 269 includes the following three changes to the Taxation Act, 2007 that will bring direct relief to people and businesses in the midst of this crisis:
Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit
The new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit is a temporary, refundable Personal Income Tax credit for 2021, helping workers get the training they may need for a career shift, to re-train or to sharpen their skills. The credit will provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses, for a total of an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021.
Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) Tax Credit
To support parents with the cost of child care and help them get back into the workforce, the government is providing a 20 per cent enhancement of the CARE tax credit for 2021. This will increase support from $1,250 to $1,500 per family, on average, providing about $75 million in additional support for the child care expenses of over 300,000 families.
Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
To encourage business investment in certain regions of the province that have lagged in employment growth in the past, Ontario is temporarily doubling the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit rate to 20 per cent from 10 per cent, resulting in total tax credit support of about $155 million by 2022–23.