Ontario Fall Economic Statement: Building a Strong Ontario Together Overview

Today, the Ontario government released its 2023 Fall Economic Statement entitled, Building a Strong Ontario Together

An Overview

Today, the Ontario government released its 2023 Fall Economic Statement entitled, Building a Strong Ontario Together (News Release Building a Strong Ontario Together | Ontario Newsroom). This update continues the government’s focus on supporting the province’s economy and improving Ontario’s finances. Notable announcements include tools to build critical infrastructure, incentives to attract investments and jobs, and providing better services for Ontarians.

The government underlined that as hundreds of thousands of people move to Ontario each year, the province’s existing infrastructure across is becoming more and more strained. In Building a Strong Ontario Together government is proposing new avenues to build this critical infrastructure.

The Ontario government is projecting a $5.6 billion deficit in 2023–24 based on updated economic and revenue information and higher contingencies to mitigate near-term risks.

Over the medium term, the government is working to eliminate Ontario’s deficit by 2025–26. A deficit of $5.3 billion is forecast in 2024–25, followed by a surplus of $0.5 billion in 2025–26.

The measures in the Fall Economic Statement fall under two categories: Building Ontario and Working for You.

Building Ontario

  • Enhancing the Ontario Focused Flow-Through Share Tax Credit (Critical Minerals). Expanding eligibility to specified critical minerals that qualify for the federal Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit starting with the 2023 tax year. This would result in an additional $12 million per year in tax credit support to the critical minerals mining industry.
  • Creation of the Ontario Infrastructure Bank to attract trusted Canadian institutional investors to help build essential infrastructure that would not otherwise get built.  It would receive $3 billion in initial funding and focus on new long‑term care homes, energy infrastructure, affordable housing, municipal and community infrastructure and transportation. The mandate includes support for infrastructure projects for Indigenous communities that advance community and economic well-being. (Backgrounder 2023 Fall Statement | Backgrounder (ontario.ca)
  • New Housing–Enabling Water Systems Fund. Investing $200 million over three years to unlock new housing opportunities. Eligible municipalities will be able to apply for funding for the repair, rehabilitation and expansion of core water, wastewater and stormwater projects that promote growth and enable housing development. In addition, the government will also explore options to provide improved flexibility and borrowing terms for municipalities to access necessary capital under Infrastructure Ontario’s Loan Program.
  • Providing an additional $100 million to the Invest Ontario Fund, for a total of $500 million, to help attract more leading companies to the province, further support businesses already here and create good-paying jobs in communities across the province.

Working for You

  • Extending the current gas and fuel tax rate cuts through to June 30, 2024.

  • Expanding access to breast cancer screening for women ages 40 to 49, by allowing them to self-refer for a mammogram through the Ontario Breast Screening Program.

  • Removing HST on Purpose-Built Rentals. Encouraging the construction of more rental housing by taking steps to remove the eight percent provincial portion of the HST on qualifying new purpose-built rental housing.

  • Addressing Homelessness for Asylum Claimants. The province is investing another $42 million through the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit program to support the City of Toronto and other impacted municipalities across the province in providing urgent assistance to a rapidly growing number of asylum claimants and other at‑risk populations.

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