Excerpted from analysis
The Ontario government’s 2022 election budget, a re-packaging of many previous announcements, promises to spend $198 billion to “Build Ontario” as the province emerges from a two-year long pandemic and battles an affordability crisis. The government’s motto translates into opening up the ring of fire, re-announcing small business supports, investing in skilled trades and manufacturing, building highways/transit/hospitals, and tackling affordability with tax credits and temporary rebates.
The average rate of annual growth for program expenses over the next couple of years is only 2.5 per cent, which is certainly not enough to keep up with inflation, population growth, and increased demand for public services. There may be a reckoning down the road (either through program cuts or tax increases) but for now, the message is clear: We can build our way out of the pandemic.
Building Ontario should include building the critical social infrastructure that enables Ontarians to work, grow, and thrive. Nonprofits and charities, as the fabric of communities, are at the centre of this infrastructure with their community connections and on-the-ground knowledge. ONN is disappointed to see a lack of recognition for how nonprofits fuel strong communities across the province, during and beyond crises.
Budget 2022 misses the opportunity for strategic investment in and partnership with the nonprofit sector. Ontario’s communities need- and the economy relies on advancing transformational community-led solutions.