For Immediate Release:




Toronto, March 26, 2024: Today, the Ontario Conservative government delivered a budget that was surprising mostly for its large deficit of $9.8 billion for 2023-24 – a tripling of the deficit from last year. Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada (CCMBC) President, Catherine Swift, commented “Considering the boasting this government has done regarding the positive outlook for the Ontario economy, the need for such a big increase in the deficit, largely attributed to a slowing economy, doesn’t make sense”.


The CCMBC was disappointed to see no movement on tax reductions, which have been promised by the Ford government for some time but not realized with the exception of the extension of the gas tax reduction. Swift noted “Income taxes in Ontario remain high, with some Ontarians paying over half of their income in tax. This is hardly an incentive to the entrepreneurial sector to establish and grow businesses in the province.” The two top personal income tax brackets are still not indexed to inflation in Ontario, which effectively represents theft as taxes increase only because of inflation and not real increases in income.


Considering the state of infrastructure in Ontario, the large amount of spending in that area was justified as long as it is monitored for efficiency. The overall spending increase of 3.4 per cent in the budget was somewhat more than inflation, and increases in the two big spending areas of health care and education were not excessive. This is appropriate considering that Ontario already spends more per capita in these two areas as compared to other jurisdictions which get better health outcomes and better education results at lower cost. Unfortunately, spending on electricity rate subsidies is expected to increase to $7 billion annually, when what is needed is a complete restructuring of electricity system costs.


Swift concluded “Although this budget does not significantly increase spending over last year, it also does not realize economies and substantially increases the deficit. I see nothing in this budget that will stop the current trend of manufacturers and other businesses leaving the province for more economically competitive jurisdictions.”



The CCMBC was formed in 2016 with a mandate to advocate for proactive and innovative policies that are conducive to manufacturing and business retention and safeguarding job growth in Canada.  For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Catherine Swift at 416 816 7248 or [email protected]