On March 25, 2020, the Ontario provincial government announced $17 billion in new economic measures for businesses and individuals to help stabilize the health care system, communities and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures were declared as a first step in the provincial government’s response and this legislation is expected to pass quickly.

For Businesses

  • A temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption to $1 million.
  • Allowing employers to defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months.
  • Providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Setting electricity prices for small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, 24 hours a day for 45 days and providing an additional $1.5 billion for electricity cost relief programs.
  • Help to support regions lagging in employment growth with a new Corporate Income Tax Credit titled the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.

For Individuals

  • A one-time payment of $200 per child under 12 years of age and $250 for those with special needs.
    • If you did not already apply for Support for Parents using direct deposit during the Teachers Strike, you must apply here.
  • Setting electricity prices for residential and farm time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, 24 hours a day for 45 days and providing an additional $1.5 billion for electricity cost relief programs.
  • Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief.
  • Providing emergency child care options for health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.
  • Increasing funding for charitable and non-profit social services by $148 million through the Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards.
  • Expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment.
  • Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

Additional measures announced include funding for the health care industry including hospitals, public health funding and the long-term care sector and specific supports for Indigenous peoples and communities.