Ontario Budget 2022

The Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario Minister of Finance, has presented the 2022 Budget called “Ontario’s Plan to Build.” It includes an aggressive commitment to expanding the province’s Infrastructure recourses, focusing on highways, transit, jobs training, manufacturing, and health care investments.

The 2022 budget is both a policy document and the focal point of Premier Doug Ford’s re-election campaign. Presented for first reading, the legislation will not be passed through the Legislature as it will not meet again until after the June 2nd election.

The Budget’s Capital Plan proposes Ontario expand spending on Infrastructure to $20.035 billion in the 2022/23 budget year. This compares to $16.864 billion in last year’s spending and represents a record increase of more than 18% in the infrastructure budget. The Budget includes a long list of commitments to expanding hospitals and medical facilities and other ICI commitments.

The OGCA Budget submission recommended that the government review its project-specific spending commitments to account for inflation’s impact on construction costs. The Budget contains changes to several Acts, including the Workplace Safety Insurance Act, removing the restriction that the head office must be in Toronto.

Click here to view the full budget.

Ontario’s Plan to Build has five Pillars:

  1. Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy
  2. Working for Workers
  3. Building Highways and Key Infrastructure
  4. Keeping Costs Down
  5. A Plan to Stay Open

Key elements of interest to Ontario’s construction industry include:

Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy

  • Ontario has committed close to $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure such as all‐season roads to the Ring of Fire.
  • Re-announcement of the government’s commitment to Phase 2 of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector to build the next generation of vehicles in Ontario.
  • Re-announcement of $1.5 million to support an $18.5 million investment by auto parts manufacturer Ventra Group to create the Flex‐Ion Battery Innovation Centre in Windsor.

Working for Workers

Building on the success of the program, Ontario is providing an additional $15.8 million in 2022–23 to support The Skills Development Fund to help more workers get the skills they need to find good, well‐paying jobs and ensure employers can find the talent they need to build and grow their businesses.

The government is relaunching the Second Career program as Better Jobs Ontario, which will now support a larger, more diverse range of Ontario workers, with $5 million in new funding in 2022–23.

Ontario is investing an additional $114.4 million over three years in its Skilled Trades Strategy to break the stigma associated with the skilled trades, simplify the system, and encourage employer participation. Investments include:

  • $73.8 million over three years for inclass training for apprentices to accommodate an increase in enrolment, assist students with accessibility and accommodation needs and support additional in‐demand classes.
  • $10 million in 2022–23 to maintain the Infrastructure Talent Accelerator grant, which helps apprentices participating in the in‐demand trades train to help build historic infrastructure projects, such as the Ontario Line Subway Project and Scarborough Subway Extension.
  • $15 million over three years for the Tools Grant, which provides increased financial support for apprentices completing their apprenticeship program and receiving certification by helping apprentices pay for their tools and equipment.
  • $6.3 million over three years for the Achievement Incentive program encourages and supports skilled trades employers, including those in group sponsor arrangements, when apprentices meet training and certification milestones.
  • $6 million over three years for the Group Sponsorship Grant, which improves apprentice progression and completion by supporting small‐ to medium‐sized employers to come together to train apprentices in the full scope of their trade.
  • $3.3 million over three years for the Apprenticeship Capital Grant to provide support for Training Delivery Agents to meet the evolving needs of the workplace with innovative technology.

The Ontario government is investing $1 billion annually in employment and training programs to help people retrain and upgrade their skills.

The Ontario government is also investing $15.1 million over three years in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), which nominates applicants for permanent residence who have the skills and experience to match Ontario’s labour market needs.

Building Highways and Key Infrastructure

Over the next 10 years, the government plans to invest $158.8 billion, including $20.0 billion in 2022–23. Investments include:

  • The government is investing $61.6 billion over 10 years for public transit, including Ontario’s new subway transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and transforming the GO Transit network into a modern, reliable, and fully integrated rapid transit network.
  • Ontario is supporting municipal transit and shelters, including matching, dollar‐for‐dollar, the recent federal commitment of $316.2 million for total provincial and federal funding of $632 million.
  • The government is investing about $14 billion in capital grants over 10 years to support school infrastructure. This includes $1.4 billion to renew and maintain schools for the 2022–23 school year.
  • $2 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years, to help colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes modernize classrooms by upgrading technology, carrying out critical repairs and improving environmental sustainability.

A Plan to Stay Open

The government also plans to strengthen Ontario’s healthcare system by investing over $40 billion in capital, over 10 years, for hospitals and other health infrastructure.

If you have questions regarding the 2022 Ontario Budget, please contact Erich Schmidt, Manager of Public Affairs and Innovation at erich@ogca.wpengine.com.