Election results are in so it’s time to take another look at your family’s finances.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been re-elected. Winning 83 of the 124 seats in parliament, The Conservative Party of Ontario formed a majority government. The New Democratic Party, led by Andrea Horwath, again became the official Opposition, with 31 seats. Steven Del Duca’s Ontario Liberal Party won eight seats. The Green Party, led by Mike Schreiner, has one seat.
This election had the lowest-ever percentage of voters. Only 4.6 million votes were cast, of the 10.7 million registered voters in Ontario.
Voters had many important issues to think about. Ontarians care about climate change, an urgent issue for the world. At the same time, we need more doctors and nurses in hospitals. We need schools with smaller class sizes. We need better public transportation. And we night to fight racism and protect people from gun violence.
While all hose issues remain important, we have been through a tough two years of Covid-19. The pandemic hurt businesses and cost Ontario billions of dollars. With money on voters’ minds, they elected the party that focused on the economy.
Doug Ford and your family finances
What do the election results mean for your wallet? We don’t have a crystal ball, but here’s what the Progressive Conservatives are promising:
Bonus funds for you:
- If you work for minimum wage, your pay will increase to $15.50 on October 1st.
- If you are a nurse, the province will pay you $5,000 to stay in your job for the next two years. Ontario needs nurses.
- If you want to be a nurse in a remote or rural community, the government wants to pay your tuition.
- If you want to start a new career, the skilled trades could pay more than before. The Ontario government plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years to get more workers trained in the skilled trades.
Savings for you:
The Ontario government healthier family finances by saving you money on certain expenses and at tax time.
- If you earn less than $50,000 a year (or less than $82,500 as a family) you qualify for the Low-Income Individuals and Families tax credit. Before the provincial election, this credit was for people earning $38,000 or less. Now anyone earning $50,000 or less will qualify. An individual could save $300 on income tax in 2022. A family could save up to $875.
- If you need affordable housing, you might have more homes to choose from. The Ontario government says it has a long-term plan to address the housing crisis. Details on what the plan looks like haven’t been shared yet.
- If you are a senior citizen earning less than $65,000 a year, live at home, and receive home care, you qualify for a new tax credit on certain medical expenses. This will help with things like walkers, hearing aids, home oxygen and attendant care. You could save up to $1,500 per year.
- If you drive, you’ll get some expense relief soon. Starting in July, gas tax will be 5.7 less per litre. This will last for six months. You don’t have to pay to renew your licence plate anymore. This will save you $120 per year, per vehicle.
Perks come at a cost
Premier Doug Ford says he’ll grow Ontario’s economy in a big way. The budget he’s proposed promises to spend $158.8 billion on highways, public transport, hospitals, schools and more over the next ten years. With this budget, he says that Ontario would be $19.9 billion in debt. A big number, but actually an improvement from where things are today. It’s also a number that is a milestone he says will balance the budget two years sooner than earlier budgets would have.
Some experts warn that Ontario could face higher taxes, a continuing labour shortage, and more inflation in the years ahead to meet that budget. There’s also some speculation that the budget he’s proposed is part of a bait and switch plan. Meaning that it’s the one he’s used to get elected, but will officially table another one.
Was Doug Ford the best choice?
Whether Premier Ford was the best choice is all about perspective.
Doug Ford’s campaign slogan was “Let’s Get It Done.” He has big plans to “get shovels in the ground.” He wants to build new houses and highways.
The Ontario Liberal Party, New Democratic Party of Ontario and Green Party of Ontario had other ideas. Had one of them won they wanted to invest in green jobs and sustainable development.
In the end, the perspective of the voters that went to the ballot box was that new housing developments, new and improved highways, and a growing economy is what’s best for the province.
The question now is, will Ford live up to what he said he would do?
How to make the most of family finances with the PC win
Now that the provincial election is over, you know what to expect for four more years. That also means you can now put some thought into how to manage your family finances during that time.
Here are some tips on how can you make the most of the next four years under the PC government?
Find out what you qualify for. Don’t miss the chance to owe less at tax time. Learn all you can about tax credits available to you.
Make the money count. If you receive funds from the government or get a nice tax refund, consider putting the money to good use.
Spend less, save more. The prices of food, gas, and housing are still at record highs. The high cost of living isn’t going away, so use your money wisely.
If you find yourself spinning your wheels trying to keep up with your debt. Help is available. Reach out to one of Consolidated Credits Canada’s counsellors today.