- Local News
- November 16, 2016
Ontario Helping First-Time Homebuyers
Province Projected to Balance Budget Next Year
MPP Michael Chan is pleased to announce that Ontario will help more people purchase their first home through a proposal to double the maximum Land Transfer Tax (LTT) refund for eligible first-time homebuyers to $4,000.
The proposed increase is detailed in the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review and would be effective January 1, 2017 and means that eligible homebuyers in Ontario would pay no LTT on the first $368,000 of the cost of their first home.
The 2016 Review highlighted how the government is making new investments in programs, services and supports that help people in their everyday lives. These include $140 million in new funding that will help patients and their families receive better care and quicker access to services at every hospital across Ontario. As well, more families will benefit from an expansion of licensed child care with an investment of $65.5 million this school year to support the creation of about 3,400 new spaces.
Ontario is projecting balanced budgets next year and the year after. The deficit is projected to be $4.3 billion in 2016–17, in line with the 2016 Budget forecast. Ontario has a proven track record of beating its deficit targets, as demonstrated each of the past seven years. Most recently, Ontario’s Public Accounts for 2015–16 reported a $5 billion deficit, an improvement of $3.5 billion from the 2015 Budget deficit projection.
The government’s balanced plan to grow the economy and create jobs is working. The Province is expected to be among the leading economies in Canada over the next two years. For the first half of 2016, Ontario posted stronger growth in gross domestic product than Canada, the United States and almost all other G7 countries. Exports are trending higher, businesses are hiring more workers and household incomes are rising.
Ontario’s labour market continues to improve, with more than 641,000 net new jobs created since the global recession. The unemployment rate is at an eight-year low and is projected to steadily decline.
“The Fall Economic Statement confirms that Ontario’s economy is strong, prosperous, creating jobs, growing and outperforming almost all G7 countries in GDP growth. Such positive news inspires confidence as our government works hard to balance the budget and ensure that every Ontarian shares the benefits of this tremendous economic recovery.”
— Michael Chan, M.P.P., Markham-Unionville
The government continues to build Ontario up for everyone through recent investments that include:
Helping People in Their Everyday Lives
- Progressing with plans to provide two-way, all-day electrified service every 15 minutes for York Region commuters on the Barrie and Stouffville rail lines and more peak period service on the Richmond Hill line as part of the GO Regional Express Rail, one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America.
- Ontario is improving transit for commuters, making it easier and faster for them to reach their destination as Metrolinx’s Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) delivers the 1000th bus purchased through its joint procurement bus supply contracts. York Region has benefited with 234 new buses that serve commuters in our area.
- An investment of more than $200 million to support the planning and design work for transit projects included in Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan, including the Yonge North Subway Extension.
- Rebating an amount equal to the eight per cent provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax from the electricity bills of eligible residential consumers, small businesses and farms starting January 1, 2017; and enhancing the Rural or Remote Electricity Rate Protection program to provide eligible rural customers with savings of about $45 per month, or $540 a year, resulting in on-bill monthly savings of about 20 per cent on their electricity bills when combined with the eight per cent rebate.
Strengthening Health Care and Education
- The ground breaking of the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital was held on October 25, 2016. Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is the first new hospital to be built in Southwest York Region in 50 years. This project will be completed in 2020 with 350 beds and 1.2 million square feet space. Once up and running this hospital will employ about 1,800 physicians, nurses, technologist and staff.
- Hospice Vaughan Centre of Excellence in Hospice Palliative Care (anticipated to open in 2017–18) is investing about $1 million annually to support 10 new hospice care beds, counselling, programs for families, research and education.
- Expanding local access to higher education with investments in the new York University – Markham Centre Campus and in two additional university-led post-secondary sites in Brampton and Milton.
- Investing $44 million in York Region to repair and renew schools, including building two new high-quality modern schools in Stouffville and Markham and the renovation of existing schools to better support student achievement.
- Introducing the new dementia strategy that will build on current investments of $85 million province-wide to enhance services for older Ontarians and their families. The Province is also consulting this fall to help improve access to quality care for almost 230,000 people newly diagnosed or living with dementia and to support their caregivers.
Fostering a Dynamic and Innovative Business Climate
- Investing $32.4 million over four years in the Scale-Up Voucher program to help high-impact companies overcome barriers to their next stage of growth by funding activities such as developing and recruiting specialized talent, accessing new markets and protecting intellectual property.
- Passing the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016 which lays the foundation for Ontario’s cap-and-trade program. The program will help Ontario businesses seize the opportunities of the emerging low-carbon economy.
Protecting Ontario Consumers
- Introducing legislation to establish the initial parameters for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, a new independent and flexible regulator of financial services and pensions, which would be more consumer-focused and improve protections for consumers, investors and pension plan beneficiaries.
- Banning door-to-door marketing of certain household appliances, including water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and water filters, to protect consumers who feel pressured to sign contracts at the door.
- Regulating the home inspection industry through mandatory licensing and qualifications for home inspectors as well as minimum standards for contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures and the performance of home inspections.
“Our plan to build Ontario up for everyone is working. Whether through increased hospital funding or taking action on housing affordability, we continue to make strategic investments to help people in their everyday lives while staying on track to balance the budget. ”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
Read the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review
For more details on the government’s progress, read the backgrounders: