Ontario Budget Should Help Windsor's Economy: Dilkens

AM800-NEWS-MAYOR-DREW-DILKENS-WINDSOR-OCTOBER-2019-TWITTER

Mayor Drew Dilkens says Ontario's record setting budget will help keep Windsor's economy afloat.

The province released its $187-billion budget Thursday that includes $30-billion in COVID-19 related spending and will leave the province with a record high $38.5-billion deficit.

Dilkens says tax breaks for small businesses will help keep them going through the pandemic.

"We need the details, but it could give up to a $10,000 advantage to small businesses in terms of property tax," he added.

The province is subsidizing 16 per cent of electricity costs for industrial users and 14 per cent for commercial users starting January 1, 2021.

Dilkens says those savings will be huge.

"Whether you're a medium sized business or a large industrial user, you're used to paying rates that are extremely high, so the government is coming out with a program to reduce those rates to make Ontario more competitive," he says.

A record high deficit isn't desirable, but Dilkens says the province made some justifiable decisions.

"There really is no choice because you have to respond to be able to protect people; recognizing that this is the type of event that happens once every 100 years," says Dilkens. "It will take a number of years to re-pay the money that's being spent today."

Funding for the new acute care hospital in Windsor-Essex wasn't included in the budget, but Dilkens says he didn't expect to see many capital projects.

Dilkens has been told any money for the project will likely be announced in March of next year.