BREAKING | Ontario introduces $17B COVID-19 package; more than doubles deficit

Rod Phillips making an announcement

Ontario is introducing a $17-billion package to support the health sector, people and businesses through the COVID-19 outbreak.

New spending includes a $1-billion pandemic contingency fund, nearly $1 billion more for hospitals, and $75 million for more personal protective equipment for front-line workers.

Measures also include a one-time payment for parents of $200 per child 12 years old and under, doubling payments for low-income seniors and suspending student loan payments for six months.

The plan includes both new spending and tax deferrals and will be a major hit to Ontario's bottom line, pushing the current $9-billion deficit to $20.5 billion next year.

Finance Minister Rod Phillips says COVID-19 is an extraordinary threat to the health and economy of Ontario and it demands an extraordinary response.

Phillips was originally scheduled to introduce a full budget today, but instead is tabling a one-year fiscal outlook in light of the global pandemic's impact on the economy.
   

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