Ontario’s Liberal government introduced its budget on Thursday. Here are some of the winners and losers that emerged from the province’s fiscal plan.
Commuters: The government is spending $11.9 billion on infrastructure in 2015-16, which is part of a $130 billion planned investment over 10 years. It is planning expansions to transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, expansions to municipal public transit in communities across the province and upgrades to various highways in Ontario.
Cash-strapped students: Those eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program will no longer see the value of their car deducted from their loan, which could mean thousands more dollars each year for some. The government will also no longer limit how much students can earn during the school year without seeing their loans reduced.
Young professionals: The province is spending $250 million more over two years for its youth jobs strategy, brining it to a total of $565 million.
Social Assistance recipients: The province is increasing social assistance rates in 2015 by one per cent for adult Ontario Works clients and people with disabilities receiving Ontario Disability Support Program Benefits.
Fertility treatment seekers: The province is pledging to help cover the cost of one round of in vitro fertilization for residents who struggle with an eligible form of infertility.
Apprentices: The government is making changes to the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, decreasing the general rate from 35 per cent to 25 per cent. The annual maximum per apprentice is also being decreased from $10,000 to $50,000.
Drug program recipients: The government will make changes to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program that include adjusting some dispensing payments and practices, modernizing coverage and reimbursement of certain products through evidence-based reviews.
Foreign film producers: The government is reducing the rate of a tax credit for foreign film producers, saying Ontario is becoming increasingly attractive due to a lower Canadian dollar.
Second Career program: The government will remove client targets for service providers. The change is expected to generate up to $40 million per year in savings.
Insurance companies: They will be required to give drivers a discount for using winter tires on their vehicles. The government is also lowering the maximum interest rate charged on monthly auto insurance premium payments.