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Budget 2024: New Investments in Skills Development Fund, Infrastructure, & Proposals to Eliminate the 6.1% Tax at On-Site Winery Retail

Budget 2024: New Investments in Skills Development Fund, Infrastructure, & Proposals to Eliminate the 6.1% Tax at On-Site Winery Retail

Today, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy delivered the 2024 Ontario Budget, entitled Building a Better Ontario.  TIAO will conduct a deep dive and share more analysis in the coming days.


In the meantime, here are the budget highlights—which respond to TIAO’s pre-budget submission asks on workforce training, housing, infrastructure upgrades, and craft beverage tax reform:



  • Investing an additional $100 million in the Skills Development Fund Training Stream to address challenges in hiring, training, and retaining workers



  • Investing $1 billion for the new Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program to support core projects to enable housing for growing and developing communities

  • Investing an additional $152 million over three years towards various supportive housing initiatives designed to support vulnerable people



  • Launching a new $200 million Community Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Fund to support new and revitalized sport, recreation, and community facilities

  • Allocating an initial $3 billion to the new Building Ontario Fund, a new infrastructure bank which will support the financing and building of critical infrastructure projects across the province

  • Providing an additional $100 million to the Invest Ontario Fund to attract more strategic investments that promote job creation and innovation

  • Allocating an additional $1.3 billion this year to improve high-speed internet access across Ontario



  • Consulting on a new Rural Economic Development Strategy that will inform additional policies to support the agriculture and food sector and rural Ontario


Tax Reforms

  • Proposing to eliminate the 6.1% tax at on-site winery retail stores


Affordability Measures

  • Proposing to extend the current temporary gas tax and fuel tax rate cuts, keeping the rates at nine cents per litre until December 31, 2024

  • Proposing to modernize the auto insurance system with reforms that will provide drivers with the option to opt out of certain coverage benefits to lower their premiums


The budget projects weak economic growth and a growing deficit as high interest rates are expected to take a toll on Ontario’s economy this year. Inflation is projected to ease: slowing from 3.8 per cent in 2023 to 2.6 per cent in 2024, returning to the Bank of Canada’s target rate of two per cent in 2025. Projected risks to the economic outlook include elevated inflation, the path of the US economy, geopolitical developments, and rising trade tensions.


 March 26, 2024