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Ontario's upcoming budget is expected to be "prudent," including an extension of the gas tax cut and funds allocated for infrastructure projects.


Ontario's finance minister is gearing up to unveil the budget on Tuesday, facing pressure to address the escalating cost of living, stimulate new home construction, and plan for larger public sector wages, all while anticipating a weaker economy ahead.

Premier Doug Ford emphasized that the fiscal plan would be "balanced, per se," focusing not only on the financial bottom line but also on considering slower growth, investing in infrastructure, and attracting manufacturing.


Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy indicated a continuation of the cautious approach seen in previous budgets. He highlighted the government's commitment to managing costs, fostering economic growth, and supporting workers.

Last year's budget aimed for a surplus in the upcoming fiscal year, but the fall economic update projected a $5.3 billion deficit for 2024-25, with a balanced budget forecasted for the following year. Whether this path to balance will remain unchanged is uncertain.


In a pre-budget announcement, Ford and Bethlenfalvy extended the 5.7-cent-per-litre cut to the provincial gas tax until the year's end. They also allocated $1.6 billion to assist municipalities in building critical infrastructure for new home construction.

However, opposition parties called for increased spending to tackle the affordability crisis and boost home construction. Ford clarified that new housing policies wouldn't automatically allow fourplexes across the province, expressing concerns about sudden changes in neighborhood density.


The debate around fourplexes has become a focal point, with the Liberals' support adding fuel to the discussion. Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner emphasized the importance of housing solutions in the budget, particularly fourplexes as a cost-effective option for affordable housing.


Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra criticized the federal government for withholding funding for affordable housing, citing discrepancies in progress reporting.


NDP Leader Marit Stiles urged prioritization of public health care and education in the budget, alongside housing initiatives.

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