The Ford government has introduced record-setting spending that will prioritize heath protection and economic recovery.
Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy says the 186-billion dollars in the new budget will include a third round of payments to parents, which will be doubled to 400 dollars for each school-aged child and 500 dollars for children with special needs.
There will also be a second round of payments to small businesses of up to 20-thousand dollars each, and a financial support program for the hard-hit hospitality and tourism sector.
The government will spend 6.7-billion dollars on pandemic health care, including more money for the COVID-19 vaccination program, testing and contact tracing, and to help hospitals clear surgical backlogs and cover revenue shortfalls.
There’s also funding for increased jobs training, to help put Ontarians back to work.
But there’s no money to allow for paid sick days a decision being condemned by the New Demcorats.
The minister warns that yearly spending deficits in the tens of billions of dollars will continue for years.
He doesn’t expect the provincial books to be balanced until 2030.