TORONTO, ON –Today’s 2021 Ontario Budget continues to build upon the government’s investments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting people’s health and the economy. Specifically, the spring budget is acting on three OREA recommendations to use housing as the engine to drive the provincial recovery, support families, create jobs, and spur economic growth.
The Province has committed to increasing broadband investment, expanding the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, and expanding the regional tax credit for business investment. These budget proposals were recommendations made to the Province as part of OREA’s Rebuilding Ontario: A Framework for Recovery and Small Towns, Big Opportunities: Unlocking Growth in Ontario’s Rural and Northern Communities reports.
Broadband internet quality is one of the top questions that REALTORS® get from clients about the communities they’re looking to move to. The Ontario Government has committed to increasing broadband investment to $4 billion, which will bring connectivity to all Ontarians by 2025, the 21st century version of electrification. This ground-breaking investment will ensure that more Ontarians will be able to work remotely, creating jobs, and reversing out-migration in smaller communities across the province.
The budget also supports Ontario parents with the cost of child care and help them return to the workforce by proposing a 20 per cent enhancement of the Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit for 2021. This would increase support from $1,250 to $1,500, on average, providing about $75 million in additional support for the child care expenses of over 300,000 families.
To ensure that all areas of the province share in the recovery and growth after COVID-19, the budget also looks to enhance the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit. This proposal will help encourage business investment in areas of the province where employment growth lagged the provincial average and is a step in the right direction towards OREA’s recommendation of Opportunity Zones.
This is a unique opportunity to capitalize on the momentum of trends brought on by the pandemic. A Government of Ontario focused on these ideas will help create and attract jobs, reverse the out-migration of young talent, and close the infrastructure gap in smaller communities. As the provincial recovery continues, it’s important that all Ontarians are supported and share in the prosperity that is soon to come.
- Tim Hudak, OREA CEO