Informing and engaging area residents


Ontario Government Proposes To Extend Gas Tax Rate Cuts Through 2023

By Goldie Ghamari, MP for Carleton

As part of its plan to help keep costs down for Ontario families and businesses, the government’s 2022 Fall Economic Statement proposes legislation that would, if passed, extend the current gas and fuel tax rate cuts to December 31, 2023.

The proposed extension of the gas and fuel tax rate cuts for an additional year would save Ontario households $195 on average between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023. This extension follows legislation passed this spring that cut the gas tax by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax by 5.3 cents per litre for six months, from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

The proposed extension to the gas and fuel tax rate cuts builds on the government’s other measures to help keep costs down for families and businesses, including:

  • Cutting costs for millions of Ontario vehicle owners by refunding licence plate sticker renewal fees paid since March 2020.
  • Enhancing the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit to provide claimants of the credit up to $875 in tax relief, as of 2022.
  • Providing additional tax relief for workers, families and seniors through the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit, the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, the Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, and the new Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit.
  • Delivering both near-term solutions and long-term commitments to build more homes faster to put home ownership within reach for all Ontario families, through the government’s housing supply action plans.

Ontario Preparing More Students for Careers in the Skilled Trades

The Ontario government is investing $4.8 million to expand the dual credit program, helping prepare more students for the jobs of tomorrow by better connecting learning in the classroom to good-paying jobs. The expansion of the program will create opportunities for an additional 2,200 students to earn college credits and take apprenticeship training while still in high school and help to build interest in skilled trades as a rewarding career.

Ontario’s dual credit programs support eligible secondary students to take college courses or apprenticeship training that count towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and a postsecondary certificate, diploma, degree or a Certificate of Apprenticeship. High school students taking dual credit courses benefit from a variety of college supports and services as well as the supervision and support of their dual credit teacher at their school. Additional Training Delivery Agents, including trade unions, will now be included in the delivery of Dual Credit Level 1 Apprenticeship training programs.

With one in three journeypersons today being over 55 years of age, the next generation of workers must emerge to fill critical labour shortages. Currently, 100,000 construction trades workers will be needed by the end of the decade to deliver Ontario’s ambitious $160 billion plan to build critical infrastructure, housing and transit.

The government is also expanding the dual credit program to attract 420 students over two years into Early Childhood Education career pathways, which is critical to ensuring qualified workers enter the sector as demand rises following the implementation of Ontario’s plan to improve affordability and accessibility.

For the 2023-24 school year the dual credit program expansion will include:

  • An additional 400 students in apprenticeship in-class training
  • An additional 400 students in technological education college courses
  • An additional 180 students in Early Childhood Education college courses

Since 2019, the Ministry of Education has taken action to increase awareness of and exposure to technology, the skilled trades and the apprenticeship pathway by:

  • Modernizing curriculum, including the revised Math, Science, and Career Studies courses including mandatory learning about the skilled trades.
  • Providing early and ongoing exposure to skilled trades through experiential learning, like co-op education.
  • Delivering job skills programs, like Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), in high schools for students to apply their learning across 19 economic sectors including construction, food processing, manufacturing and transportation.

The expansion of the dual credit program is part of the next steps in Ontario’s Plan to Catch Up and ensures students have exposure and access to learning opportunities to consider skilled trades as a future career.

Governments Strengthen Biosecurity at Ontario Poultry Operations

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help eligible non-supply-managed poultry operations and related agri-businesses increase biosecurity efforts to reduce the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The Poultry Biosecurity Preparedness Initiative is a new, cost-share initiative to assist eligible non-supply-managed poultry and waterfowl farmers, meat processors in the sector and other related businesses in taking a variety of actions to increase biosecurity and reduce the risk of disease. Eligible poultry and waterfowl farmers are those non-supply-managed operations with flocks of at least 300 birds.

This program was developed following discussions with poultry farmers and is intended to support farmers in their biosecurity efforts. This initiative builds on other actions the government has taken to support the sector, such as educational webinars for farmers, orders to prohibit co-mingling of poultry and expanding access to farmer mental wellness programs.

Examples of eligible actions for support under this initiative include:

  • Adding equipment designed to enhance on-farm biosecurity, such as the installation of a security gate for controlled entrance or purchase of security equipment and biosecurity signage.
  • Adding cleaning and disinfecting equipment such as hot water pressure washers and constructing wash stations, anterooms and segregation walls; or
  • Enhancing protocols or practices to mitigate interactions between wild and farmed birds.

Applicants can receive up to 70 per cent cost share for eligible expenses (retroactively to April 1, 2022), up to $100,000 per enhanced location, for up to $500,000 per business.

Eligible businesses can apply for support through this initiative starting in January.

Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $140 million in support to more than 6,500 projects through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This funding has provided eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations with the ability to innovate and grow.

Office Notice:

My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. My staff and I will be happy to assist. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.

– Goldie

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