Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Ontario Economic Support

16/10/2020


Supports for Individuals

  • Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months. (March 25)
  • Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency. (March 25)
  • The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs. (April 6)
  • The Ontario government is enabling auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to help ease the financial pressure on working people and families during this public health crisis. (April 16)
  • The Ontario government is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment. This increase will provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee's hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month for each of the next four months. The additional compensation is temporary and would begin flowing immediately and continue for 16 weeks at the most. (April 25)
  • The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers. The funding amounts will be distributed as follows $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades; $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades; and $400 for those in-service sector trades. (May 22)
  • The government is also forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for tool purchases made at the beginning of their careers. (May 22)
  • The government is also investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone. (May 22)
  • The Ontario Government is investing $43 million in expanded youth training programs to give young people exposure to more employment options. (August 27)
Childcare
  • Providing emergency childcare options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers. (March 25)
  • Helping families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools. (March 25)
  • During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government is temporarily preventing childcare centres from collecting payments from parents, while also ensuring that their child care spaces are protected. (April 10)
  • The Ontario government is further expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who will benefit include people who work in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies and certain federal employees, including the military. (April 29)
  • The Ontario Government, in partnership with the Federal Government, is providing $234.6 million in funding to keep children and staff safe in child care and early years settings. This funding will help support enhanced cleaning costs as well as health and safety requirements set out to support the reopening of licensed child care and early years programs. This funding is in addition to the Ontario government's continued commitment to stabilize the child care sector as many Ontarians return to work. (Aug 7)
Supports for Students
  • Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people's pockets. (March 25)
Healthcare
  • Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage. (March 20)
Housing
  • The Ontario government is providing stability to Ontario's rental market by increasing fines for unlawful evictions and reinforcing the necessity for landlords to explore repayment agreements before considering evictions. (July 22)

Supports for Businesses

  • Municipal Emergency Act, 2020: ensure that the delivery of goods to Ontario's businesses and consumers isn't impacted by municipal noise by-laws that may unintentionally be impeding such deliveries when they are urgently needed. (March 19)
  • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption. (March 25)
  • Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit. (March 25)
  • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes. (March 25)
  • Over $1.8 billion by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding. (March 25)
  • The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), with premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province. All employers covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this sixmonth deferral period. (March 26)
  • The Ontario government is deferring $15 million in property taxes for people and businesses in parts of Northern Ontario located outside of municipal boundaries. Taxpayers will have 90 extra days to pay without incurring interest or penalties. (April 6)
  • The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. (April 9)
  • The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million. (April 24)
  • Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:
    • shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario's strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. (June 11)
    • Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. (June 11)
    • Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. (June 11)
  • The Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. (July 3)
  • The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, extended the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses by one month to help eligible small business pay rent for August. (July 31)
Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation's supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 17)
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online. This targeted application intake features two funding streams. The first is Bring Your Business Online: Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. The second is Develop Online Business Opportunities: Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects. (April 24)
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications open on May 12, 2020. (May 8)
  • The government is making $3.5 million available to help put protective measures in place for the workers who plant trees this season. Funds will be used for larger camp facilities and additional kitchens to provide more space, as well as extra personal protective equipment, plastic partitions for transporting workers and more wash stations. (May 7)
  • The federal and provincial governments are launching the second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus with up to $2.25 million of funding. The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations. Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees. (May 14)
  • The province is significantly expanding the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program and committing up to $15 million to enhance health and safety measures on farms and in food processing facilities. The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program provides cost-share funding for farmers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implement workplace modifications and other measures. (June 11)
  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers. The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need. (June 17)
  • The beef cattle set-aside program will provide beef farmers with up to $5 million in support. Farmers can claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs should they have to keep their market-ready animals on their farms for extended periods of time. (June 17)
  • The hog sector support program will also provide hog farmers with up to $5 million to help cover additional maintenance costs. Ontario is also providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products. This will assist the pork processing industry with managing capacity while helping those in need. (June 17)
Tourism
  • The Ontario Government is investing $1.5 million through the new Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund and offering promotional incentives at provincial attractions to help the province's tourism industry and welcome back visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will support projects that develop innovative tourism products and experiences, drive private sector tourism investments, workforce development, and support tourism operators to learn more through tourism industry associations. (Aug 6)
Indigenous
  • Providing additional supports of $26 million to Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need, and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations. (March 25)
  • The government of Ontario is providing up to $10 million to Indigenous-owned small- and medium-sized businesses to help them with much needed capital as the province begins to safely and gradually reopen the economy. Loans of up to $50,000 will be available to businesses that are either ineligible for, or unable to access, existing federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives for small businesses. (June 19)

Employment Standards

  • The Ontario government passed a piece of legislation that will protect the jobs of employees who selfisolate or quarantine. Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives. These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date the first presumptive COVID19 case was confirmed in Ontario. (March 19)
  • The government announced that it has enacted a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19. This will ensure businesses aren't forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired. (June 1)

Utility Relief

  • The Government of Ontario is providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates. For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-ofuse electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers. (March 24)
  • Supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21. (March 25)
  • Further supporting more affordable electricity bills by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering. (March 25)
  • Providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Lowincome Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak. (March 25)
  • The Ontario government is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting from April 2020. This initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. (May 1)
  • The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (May 6)
  • $9 million initiative for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID-19 period. Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months. (June 1)
  • $8 million initiative for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak. (June 1)
  • An extension of the Ontario Energy Board's winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times. (June 1)
  • The government recently announced that it will continue the suspension of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates and, starting on June 1, 2020, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour. (June 1)
  • Starting June 1, 2020, the new COVID-19 Recovery Rate comes into effect for electricity customers who pay TOU rates. This fixed rate will apply to TOU customer bills 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The COVID19 Recovery Rate will be in place until October 31, 2020, followed by a new customer choice initiative. Starting November 1, 2020, customers will be able to choose a plan that best suits their household and lifestyle with the option of either TOU electricity rates or tiered pricing, which will provide a set rate for electricity up to a certain level of consumption. (June 1)
  • The Ontario government is helping large industrial and commercial companies return to full levels of operation without the fear of electricity costs spiking by providing more stable electricity pricing for two years. Effective immediately, companies that participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) will not be required to reduce their electricity usage during peak hours, as their proportion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for these companies will be frozen. (June 26)