The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has completed and tabled its Pre-Budget Consultation Report. The attached report accurately includes descriptions of the submissions from both OLA/FOPL and OSLA.
While the Standing Committee is comprised of PC and NDP members, the PC members have a majority on the committee and thus any recommendations will tend to reflect their direction. While by no means predictive or directive in terms of the government’s budget, in a majority legislature the recommendations tend to at least foreshadow the themes that we may anticipate in the upcoming budget.
Here are the Standing Committee’s recommendations:
The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs submits the following recommendations to the Minister of Finance to inform the 2020-2021 Budget:
- Continue on a path to put the province on sound financial footing, in order to ensure the sustainability of Ontario’s critical public services.
- Recognize life has become more expensive, and take action to make it more affordable.
- Build upon the progress to date by continuing to reduce red tape and burdensome regulations, in order to improve Ontario’s competitiveness.
- Expand apprenticeship and training opportunities to provide more people greater access to high quality jobs.
- Promote continued job creation in the province by encouraging investment in Ontario businesses.
- Focus the government’s mental health and addictions investments in services that will allow for early intervention, reduce wait times, and increase access to care, while recognizing the unique challenges in Ontario’s rural, remote, isolated, and Indigenous communities.
- Continue to take steps to address a shortage of space and long wait times by making targeted investments in the health care sector, and putting patients first by tackling the complex challenges in our health care system.
- Invest in transit and infrastructure projects that meet local needs, strengthen local economies, and provide opportunity for growth for people across the province, recognizing the unique challenges in Ontario’s rural, remote and isolated communities.
- Work with municipalities, builders, and the construction industry to address the housing supply shortage in order to make housing more affordable.
- Support Ontario’s rural communities by continuing the expansion of broadband.