Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government released its 2017-18 budget on April 27. The budget is the first balanced Liberal budget in a decade. However, the provincial debt now sits north of $300 billion with interest charges estimated at $12 billion annually.
The $141 billion budget includes huge dollars for health care, some education tweaks, and 2,000 new housing units in Toronto. At first blush, any changes, taxes, or funding related to agriculture or food isn’t mentioned in any meaningful capacity. One related budget line is the previously announced $1.4 billion in hydro rate reductions, up to an average 25% for households (including, as far as we understand it, many farms). There’s also nearly $200 million for high school and college student co-op programs.
The budget also includes money for infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and schools, but is heavily weighted to Toronto and urban public transit funding or for very long term completion.
More to come.