The Ontario Budget: Hard Times Ahead

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The Ontario Budget: Hard Times Ahead

To ease future cuts, the government established a budgeting system this year which would see much of the COVID-related funding budgeted under special funds distinct from the normal ministries. So much of the increased funding for the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Long-Term Care (LTC) is not reflected in their line items but instead through special funds that are then later allocated to a ministry.

So first the good news: The health and LTC special COVID funds are “budgeted” to continue for a couple of years. An additional $4-billion in 2021–22 and $2-billion in 2022–23 is currently planned to help the health sector address COVID-19.

The bad news, however, is that even with that continuation of special COVID funds, overall healthcare and LTC funding is budgeted to go... down – by $1.9-billion in 2021/22 and another $500-million in 2022/23. That’s a lot of cutting.

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