Battling COVID-19: Ontario is spending $1-billion on its vaccination rollout over two years and $2.3-billion this year for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, including expanding rapid testing in schools, congregate settings, workplaces and high-priority communities.
Deficits to shrink: After a posting record $38.5-billion deficit this fiscal year, the government expects the economy to rebound and its pandemic spending to wane, with $33.1-billion in red ink expected for 2021-22.
Money for children: The government is doubling the COVID-19 child benefit payment – a program that is not income tested – from $200 to $400 a child, and $500 for a child with special needs. It will also provide a one-time increase to a previously announced child-care tax credit by 20 per cent.
Help for tourism: The struggling tourism, hospitality and culture sectors will get a boost with $400-million over the next three years, including funds for training, a new small-business grant and a new program for businesses to restructure and market activities.
More care in long-term care: The budget puts numbers behind a previously announced commitment to ensure an average of four hours of direct care for residents in long-term care homes, pledging $4.9-billion over four years to hire 27,000 new personal support workers and nurses.
Grants for small businesses: A grant program for businesses affected by pandemic restrictions will be extended for a second round, offering between $10,000 and $20,000 to qualifying businesses and costing the province $1.7-billion.
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