Ontario Introduces $17B Spending Package, Doubles Budget Deficit

The Government of Ontario has introduced a $17-billion package to support Canada’s most populous province through the coronavirus outbreak, including money for the health sector, direct payments to families, and tax breaks for businesses.

The spending package includes a $1-billion contingency fund, nearly $1 billion for hospitals, and more personal protective equipment for frontline workers. Measures also include a one-time payment for parents of $200 per child 12 years old and under, doubling payments for low-income seniors and suspending student loan payments for six months.

The spending package will impact Ontario's budget deficit, pushing it up from $9 billion to a projected $20.5 billion for 2020-21 -- a level not seen since the Great Recession in 2008.

Ontario is now projecting 0% real Gross Domestic Product growth in 2020, a net debt-to-GDP ratio of 41.7% in 2020-21 -- up from 39.9% -- and an increase in net debt from $355 billion to nearly $380 billion.