Ontario Releases 2020 Budget. Technology and Innovation funding central in provincial action plan

Ontario 2020 Budget

Technology and Innovation funding central in provincial action plan

On November 5th 2020, at 430pm Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Government presented the second budget of Premier Doug Ford’s administration. Ontario’s first budget since the startof the COVID-19 pandemic follows the previously announced  Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover format and was first provincial budget to be tabled virtually.

The $187 billion Fiscal Plan focused largely on pandemic-related spending over the next three years.

$4.8 billion has been ear marked for net new recovery funding.

$680 million of the new recovery dollars will further fund Ontario’s broadband infrastructure projects over four years to support the 12% of underserved or unserved Ontario residents;

“We can’t afford to be an offline government in an online word,” Finance Minister Rod Phillips said.

Rural broadband

The 2020 budget includes a historic investment of nearly $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access across the province. This includes the additional $680 million announced late on Nov. 4 to the existing $315 million previously committed to through the Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan.

This funding will be used for shovel-ready projects starting in 2019-20, will create jobs, and connect unserved and underserved communities during COVID-19 and beyond.

Telecom and ICT clients trust Fundingportal to help them find, apply for and leverage funds for broadband infrastructure. Fundingportal has extensive experience working with and a deep knowledge of programs to include the Improving Connectivity for Ontario ( ICON ) and the now closed CRTC Broadband Fund. Work with Fundingportal to find and successfully apply for the right Broadband, IoT and Tech funding. Connect with our team to receive your full funding strategy options, here.

Investment in digitization of government services

The 2020 budget outlines several areas of spending to support the technology industry. Technation (formerly ITAC), Canada’s leading tech industry association, commended the budget, noting that many recommendations they had submitted have been adopted.

Of note, the newly announced Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund will see $500 million over four years committed to upgrading provincial services, with a particular focus on digital solutions.

Other net new grants and incentives includes:

  • $100 million committed to the Community Building Fund, over two years. Support dedicated to community tourism, cultural and sport organizations facing additional pressures due the Covid-19;

  • $6 billion, over 3 years in flexible health protection funding will be allocated to changing needs;
  • Ontario’s arts institutions will receive $25 million to help offset operating losses; and
  • 2021 Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit proposal aims to help seniors retrofit or renovate for safety and accessibly measures – 25% credit will be granted on eligible claims of up to $10 thousand; 
  • Medium and Enterprise industrial or commercial organizations will see a 14% – 16% in electricity cost reductions on average over three years, totaling $1.3 billion in planned provincial spend. Program has been designed to encourage employers reinvest in workforce resources;

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