Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover
Highlights from the 2020 Provincial Budget
Greetings from Queen's Park.
2020 hasn't been an easy journey for anyone, but our community has continued to pull together to flatten the curve, to keep our neighbours safe, and to support our main-street businesses.
On Friday, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, and hundreds of health experts across the province, our government made the difficult but necessary decision to move Toronto and Peel into a Lockdown.
As a result, several new restrictions have been introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity and protect our most vulnerable. Please click here to read the public health measures.
We recognize that these necessary public health measures come at an incredible cost to families, businesses, and our community.
That's why we're continuing to protect our world-class public health system with unprecedented investments to hospitals and long-term care homes; and support families and communities through this difficult time including programs to address mental health, assistance for seniors, direct financial supports to parents, and funding for community organizations.
We're also helping businesses impacted by the new public health measures. Our government announced that we are doubling our support, making $600 million available to assist businesses with costs associated with municipal and education property taxes, and energy bills. The rebates will cover the entire length of time that a business is required to temporarily close or significantly restrict services as a result of the public health measures. Businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application. A detailed list of eligible businesses can be found at Ontario.ca/covidsupport.
As a former small business owner, I know first-hand that running a business is difficult, even in the best of times. For almost a year, I've been talking directly with many of the small businesses that make our community vibrant and working with them to overcome some incredible challenges in the face of the pandemic. Many recognize the importance of making these sacrifices to protect their customers but they also need your support more than ever. If you can, order take-out from a local restaurant this week or do some early holiday shopping by curb-side pick-up.
Federal supports are also available for business owners and workers who are unable to work during this lockdown. To learn more, please click here.
Since March, our government has worked to help those struggling the most. On November 5th, the Minister of Finance tabled the 2020 Ontario Budget and reiterated our promise to protect the health and safety of Ontarians at all costs.
Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, is the next step in our government's response to COVID-19 and provides as much certainty as possible in this uncertain time.
- First, we are taking steps to protect people from this deadly virus by increasing our health investments to $15.2 billion.
- Second, we will build on our earlier relief to provide a total of $13.5 billion in direct support for families, workers and employers, in addition to the $11.3 billion in cash flow support.
- And third, we are removing barriers to recovery and providing $4.8 billion to protect and create jobs now and in the future.
Your resiliency in these times is the bedrock of our community. We all have a role to play in keeping our families and neighbours safe. Please continue to follow public health guidelines, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and stay home whenever possible.
We'll get through this together.