Published: Thu, March 26, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

170 new cases of coronavirus in Ontario, total reaches 837 active cases

170 new cases of coronavirus in Ontario, total reaches 837 active cases

This funding will allow the province to take immediate action to increase the number of assessment centres, add more acute care and critical care beds, improve testing and provide more protective equipment for frontline workers.

The funding will help create 1,500 new hospital beds, buy protective equipment for front-line workers and fund transitional care projects to ease hospital over-crowding.

It's the highest daily increase in active cases reported by Ontario since the outbreak reached the province on January 25.

The new funding is included in the province's one-year fiscal outlook introduced today in the legislature, which includes a total of $3.3 billion in new health care spending for 2020-2021.

Meanwhile, private-sector firms with annual remuneration of less than $5 million will see an exemption to an employer health tax double this year to $1 million of payroll, cutting approximately $355 million in tax.

The provision of $9 million in direct support for families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for non-payment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It will allow businesses to defer paying most provincial taxes for six months, leaving them with $6-billion in temporary relief.

The latest projections out of Ontario were part of a mini-budget of sorts, as Phillips and Ontario's Progressive Conservative government were forced to delay tabling a full budget until November amid all the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

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Providing emergency childcare options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health-care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.

"Many Ontarians are at their financial breaking point".

Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new corporate income tax credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.

More than 10,000 Ontario residents are now awaiting test results, while over 26,000 have tested negative. A measure valued at over $1.8 billion.

The March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update provides planning assumptions for the year ahead.

The outlook provided was much gloomier than the one presented in the province's fall update a year ago, which forecast a deficit of $6.7 billion in 2020-21, and economic growth of 1.5 per cent.

Ontario's $2.5-billion reserve fund is the highest in its history.

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