Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario to lay out next phase of COVID-19 response in Thursday’s budget

Coronavirus Canada Update: Five more COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba on Valentine’s Day
Coronavirus Canada Update: Five more COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba on Valentine’s Day

The Ontario government is expected to lay out the next phase of its COVID-19 response as it presents its first budget since the start of the pandemic on Thursday.

The Progressive Conservative government postponed delivering a full fiscal plan earlier this year, citing the economic uncertainty caused by the global health crisis.

The fiscal update it gave instead in March included $17 billion in COVID-19 relief, a projection that was later revised to $30 billion by the end of 2020-2021.

The province also initially predicted a deficit of $20.5 billion, which was later raised to $38.5 billion in light of the additional spending.

The province has already said Thursday’s budget will include details of the new standard for long-term care announced earlier this week, which would see nursing home residents receive an average of four hours of daily direct care.

Finance Minister Rod Phillips has said the fiscal blueprint will provide a multi-year outlook that will build on the measures presented in the spring.

“As we all know, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented level of risk to the global economy. So having a well thought out plan is more important than ever,” he said earlier this week.

“The next phase of Ontario’s action plan will make available every necessary resource to continue to protect people’s health going forward, and it will expand the support our government is providing to those still facing financial hardships due to the pandemic.”

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