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Ontario unveils 2022 budget

Tax relief for low-income workers, cutting the gas tax and the province’s deficit rising to $19.9 billion this year.

Those are all part of the Conservative’s provincial budget delivered Thursday afternoon.

However, the Ford’s government’s “Ontario’s Plan to Build” $198 billion budget contained little surprises that haven’t already been announced in the past few months.

In effect, it will serve as the Conservative’s campaign platform as the Legislature has been adjourned until September to make way for the June 2nd provincial election.  There will be no further debate on the budget and it remains unclear if it will still be in place should the Ford government be re-elected.

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Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy says the deficit will fall to only $700 million in 2026-2027.

Infrastructure is a key point of the document with over $10 billion in additional funding geared towards hospital construction and redevelopment over the next decade.

While the budget contains nearly $200 billion in spending, Bethlenfalvy says it still eliminates the deficit two years earlier than originally planned.

A new tax credit offers people 70-years-old and up a credit of 25 per cent of medical costs up to $6,000, for a maximum credit of $1,500.

Seniors who make $65,000 a year or more aren’t eligible to apply.

In July, the provincial gas tax will be cut by 11 per cent which will expire at the end of the year.

Also coming in July is an 11 cent per litre cut to provincial taxes on gasoline, expiring at the end of 2022.

The province is also still budgeting $1.1 billion for COVID-19 testing in 2022-23.

Nearly $4 billion is committed to highway construction over the next ten years

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