TORONTO, Ont. - The midst of a second-wave of COVID-19, the provincial government will be tabling its 2020 budget next week, with priorities being given to health care, supporting people, and economic recovery.
The multi-year budget will be tabled on Nov. 5 and according to Minister of Finance Rod Phillips it will continue to build on the province’s action plan to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It will be a three year budget that will build on our governments $30 billion response to COVID 19,” Phillips said. “We will get back on the budget calendar at the end of March with a multiyear budget.”
Last March during the early stages of the pandemic, the provincial government determined there was too much uncertainty to release a full multi-year budget, but committed to putting one forward by November.
“A great deal of uncertainty remains today,” Phillips said. “The range of private sector economic forecasts is twice as wide today as during the 2008 financial crisis and three times as wide during normal times.”
The provincial government’s action plan for COVID-19 was updated in the summer and made available $30 billion in response to the pandemic.
“It will make available every necessary resources to continue to protect people’s health going forward and it will expand the support our government has provided to those still facing finicial hardship due to the pandemic,” Phillips said.
Phillips added that medical experts know much more about COVID-19 than they did in the spring. But with the province seeing surges in cases, including more than 1,000 new positive cases on Sunday, the pandemic is far from over.
“We know that surges in cases and even future waves are to be anticipated until we have a vaccine and that employers and people will continue to need support on the road to recovery,” he said.
"To start us down the road to recovery, we need a healthy workforce,” added Premier Doug Ford.
“That's why we have put the health and safety of every Ontarian first during this pandemic. Getting people back to work, creating more jobs and attracting investment are also important priorities for our government. The upcoming budget will strike a balance that will focus on continuing to protect everyone's health and safety, while creating the right conditions for our economic recovery."