GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO STATEMENT: Ontario Responds to the Federal Government’s Budget 2023 (March 28, 2023)

OTTAWA — Today, Ontario’s Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy issued the following statement in response to the federal government’s Budget 2023:

“Our government appreciates the federal government working with us in a number of areas to help Ontario families, workers, and businesses. Together, we have attracted billions of dollars in investments, putting Ontario and Canada back on the map as an automotive powerhouse, including Volkswagen’s recent announcement that it has chosen St. Thomas as the new home of its first-ever offshore battery plant.

The Government of Canada’s 2023 budget provides significant support responding to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act with investment tax credits in clean electricity, including small modular reactors, and clean technology manufacturing and extraction of critical minerals. We also welcome the federal government’s investment in its Strategic Innovation Fund to support the development and application for clean technologies.

Ontario will continue to work with the federal government to protect home-grown businesses as we bring manufacturing jobs back to the province. As part of this work, we need to work together to unlock the full economic potential of Ontario’s abundant supply of critical minerals and the Ring of Fire, including by eliminating federal duplication of Ontario’s robust environmental assessment process to ensure we don’t lose out on transformational global investments.

We note that the Ring of Fire wasn’t mentioned once in the budget. This is a missed opportunity for workers, for Canada’s growing electric vehicle and battery supply chains, as well as northern Ontario and Indigenous communities.

We also expect that the federal government will work with us to help us tackle the ongoing housing affordability crisis. We continue to call on the federal government to defer the Harmonized Sales Tax on all new large-scale purpose-built rental housing projects to help spur construction of more rental housing units.

Just a few days ago, I released Ontario’s own 2023 Budget: Building a Strong Ontario. It’s our blueprint for building a strong province during a time of global challenge and change. While our government is indeed working to build a strong Ontario for today and tomorrow, we know governments make faster progress when they work hand-in-hand, together. Working together, there’s nothing Team Canada and Team Ontario can’t accomplish.”