Category: Ontario Government Budgets

ODSP and Ontario Welfare budget impacts explained

From the Income Security Advoacy Centre

Ontario Budget 2019 Announces $1 Billion in OW and ODSP Cuts

– Massive Cuts to Legal Aid Funding Also Announced –

The 2019/2020 Ontario Budget was announced today, and creates even more uncertainty for people who receive benefits from the Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) system.

While the Budget is short on details about changes to social assistance, it confirms many of the reforms that government has already announced. What is new is the government’s forecast of $1 billion in savings from these reforms:

“Reforming the social assistance system by simplifying the rate structure, reducing administration, cutting unnecessary rules, and providing greater opportunities to achieve better employment outcomes for social assistance recipients, resulting in estimated annual savings of over $1 billion at maturity” (p.9).  …

Please go to their site:


” …governments that are afraid of taxes have two choices: sell off public assets or take on a deficit. …”

Analysis of Ontario Budget in the context of the election by: Trish Hennessy, Ricardo Tranjan and Sheila Block, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Ontario Office

Legislative Assembly of Ontario at Queens Park on a clear Summer day, Toronto.

…  Meanwhile, the decision to put off raising any significant new taxes in order to ensure fiscal health in light of long-term slow economic growth projections means the government heads into this election with a deficit-funded platform. The technical adjustment in the personal income tax system from surtaxes to adjusted brackets and rates will increase taxes paid by higher income Ontarians by $275 million. At most, higher income earners will pay $200 more per person. Otherwise, when it comes to taxes nothing much to see here.

The wise Alex Himelfarb, CCPA-Ontario advisory board chair and former clerk to the Privy Council, has said governments that are afraid of taxes have two choices: sell off public assets or take on a deficit. This government has already sold off public assets, including the majority share of Hydro One, which is one of the most unpopular things it has done. Keeping public assets in public hands makes more sense since it gives government greater control.

Going into deficit is the better trade-off between the two options, but we do pay the price for tax avoidance. Had the government turned to key revenue tools to raise taxes during these past few years of reasonable post-recession economic growth, it would have been better positioned to make these needed investments in hospitals, pharmacare, dental care, child care, and more. There would have been less catching up required.

See the analysis here


Analysis of Ontario’s per capita spending reductions on programs like… health

Impressive — program level analysis of Ontario provincial budget from Doug Allen to the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions. It incorporates a longer view of where we have been and are going.

The Ontario government spent 1.6 per cent less of provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to the other provinces in 2010-11. With sharp cutbacks in Ontario, that gap had increased to 2.1 per cent by 2014/15. On this basis, Ontario spent about $15-billion less on programs than the other provinces and territories. On a per capita basis, Ontario is the lowest spending (and lowest revenue) provincial government in Canada. Ontario spent $1,200 less per person in 2010/11 than the other provinces and territories and almost $2,000 less per person in 2014/15. Here the gap is even larger – Ontario spent about $27-billion less on a per capita basis than the other provinces and territories.

Total Provincial/Territorial Government Programs

Source: graph developed from Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI): Data tables – Appendix D.3: Total Provincial/Territorial Government Programs, by Province/Territory and Canada, 1974–1975 to 2014–2015.

The gap is almost certainly growing. In 2015/16 Ontario program spending increased at less than 2/3rd the rate of nominal economic growth, according to the 2016/17 budget. That budget also forecasts increased spending to go up just less than 1 per cent in 2016/17 – or about a quarter of the forecast nominal economic growth. Ontario program spending will continue to decline as a share of the economy. These real funding cuts are having a serious impact on public services

See more of the article and ensuing links.