Today, Ontario’s Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy announced the 2023 Budget “Building a Strong Ontario”, signaling a shift in focus away from reactionary COVID-19 measures, returning to Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government’s initial plans on which they were elected.
This budget follows through on campaign commitments made during the 2018 and 2022 election periods, focusing on housing, health care, and job creation. Minister Bethlenfalvy signalled that despite global economic uncertainty, Ontario’s economy remains robust with largescale economic growth, the creation of new jobs, and significant recent investments in the manufacturing industry.
Ontario is expecting a $1.3 billion deficit in 2023-24 – a significant reduction from the $12.3 billion predicted in early 2022 – and projecting a $200-million surplus in the 2024-2025 fiscal year bringing the budget back in balance. The budget includes the $4.4 billion ‘downpayment’ from the healthcare investment pledged by the Canada Government to bolster Ministry of Health planned investments.
Budget 2023 includes a commitment to expand veterinary training programs to address critical labour shortages and ensure animals receive the prompt care they need. Specifically, the government is investing $14.7 million over two years, starting in 2024–25, to launch a new collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program with the University of Guelph and Lakehead University. This new program will allow an increase in enrolment by 20 new students per year, resulting in up to 80 new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine seats over four years.