A plan for rural Ontario

“Our Government is making life better for the people of rural Ontario,” said Huron-Bruce MPP, Lisa Thompson. “Whether it’s improving access to affordable natural gas or faster Internet service, our government wants to send a clear signal that rural Ontario is open for business.”
After 15 years of the previous government’s mismanagement, the Ontario Government has kept its promises, and continues to take action to restore trust, transparency and accountability in Ontario’s finances, while making life more affordable for people who live in rural communities and standing up for their interests.
Yesterday (Nov.15), Minister of Finance Vic Fedelli released the 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. Ontario is now projecting a 2018-19 deficit of $14.5 billion –that’s already less than the $15 billion deficit inherited from the previous government.
Highlighted in the announcement, the Government addresses ways it plans to make life more affordable in rural Ontario.
The government is working with private gas distributors to expand natural gas service to more rural communities to provide farms, businesses, and families with affordable, reliable power.
Investments in broadband services to these communities and rural businesses will help improve Internet connectivity and access so they can fully participate in the digital economy.
A new Agriculture Task Force will help inform the government on how to grow the rural economy in Ontario and reduce the regulatory burden on the sector. The initiative complements the government’s commitment to reduce red tape by 25 per cent by 2022. Various initiatives to date have been aimed at addressing outdated or duplicative regulations affecting the agricultural sector.
“Our government will continue to stand up for farmers and farm workers in our supply-managed sectors, particularly as the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is finalized,” said Thompson. “We will continue to vigorously defend and advance Ontario’s economic interests in these discussions.”
Hydro rates are a top priority for the government as it continues to find ways to reduce bills for ratepayers across the province, including rural customers. To date, 758 expensive and unnecessary renewable energy contracts have been cancelled, saving ratepayers $790 million. The government has also reined in executive compensation at Hydro One.
The government is also introducing one of the most generous tax cuts for low-income workers in a generation – the new Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit (LIFT). The vast majority of those earning $30,000 per year or less will pay no personal income taxes at all when they file their 2019 tax returns.  Low-income taxpayers earning just over $30,000 will also receive graduated income relief. This measure will provide tax relief to 1.1 million people in Ontario.