Ontario’s 2023

Fall Economic Statement

Analysis & Summary


Earlier today, Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy delivered the government’s Fall Economic Statement.

The minister’s mid-year update was clear – they are staying the course laid out in Budget 2023 to “build Ontario”. Today’s speech doubled down on many of the promises laid out this past spring. It reiterated the need to invest in infrastructure and housing to accommodate the province’s growing population.

In addition to rebating the HST on purpose-built rentals and extending the gas tax freeze until next June, Bethlenfalvy announced funding for critical housing infrastructure, as well as the establishment of the Ontario Infrastructure Bank. The new arm’s-length agency will focus on leveraging domestic investors to build major projects including municipal/community infrastructure, affordable housing, transportation, and energy.

One significant reversal from the plan presented by Bethlenfalvy this past spring is the government’s path to a balanced budget. Touting the need for flexibility due to economic uncertainty, geopolitical issues, and slowing revenues, Bethlenfalvy announced that the budget would not be balanced until 2025/2026 – one year later than initially planned.

With a turbulent global economy on the horizon, and strong political headwinds here in Ontario, it is evident that Premier Doug Ford and his team see infrastructure and housing as the key to regaining the narrative and electoral success.

Team Summa

By the Numbers

Projected deficit

(2023 – 2024)

$5.6B down

from $1.3B in the March budget

Real GDP growth

in 2024

in 2025




compared with 37.8% in March budget

New Tax Policies

  • Enhancing the Ontario Harmonized Sales Tax Rebate for purpose-built rental housing so that it is equal to 100% of the provincial portion of the HST paid
  • Extending the Temporary Gas Tax and Fuel Tax Cuts
  • Entering into a Coordinated Vaping Product Taxation Agreement with the federal government 
  • Enhancing the Ontario Focused Flow-Through Share Tax Credit to stimulate mineral exploration

Policy & Spending


  • $3B for a new Ontario Infrastructure Bank, with a mandate to to help build major projects in affordable housing, health care and transportation
  • $100M additional in 2023 for Invest Ontario, for a total of $500M
  • $200M over three years for a new Housing-Enabling Water System Fund
  • Removing the HST on qualifying new purpose-built rental housing
  • Extending the cuts to the gas tax and fuel tax rates to June 30, 2024
  • Lowering the age of eligibility for the Ontario Breast Screening Program from 50 to 40 by fall of 2024 
  • $12M additional per year in tax credit support to the critical minerals mining industry
  • Launching a new permanent framework for retirement benefits in skilled trades 
  • $5.4M through the Skills Development Fund to design and build three mobile tech classrooms to teach students and young people about careers in skilled trades
  • Expand the Guaranteed Annual Income System program so that more seniors get the financial help they need, starting in July 2024
  • $425M additional over three years, starting in 2023–24 as part of the Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System strategy
  • $170M over three years to support the Ready, Set, Go program, to improve long‐term outcomes for youth leaving the child welfare system
  • $13.4M in 2023-24 to fight gun and gang related crime

Next Steps

The Ministry of Finance launched the 2024 pre-budget consultations on October 19th. Proposals can be submitted to the Minister of Finance through the ministry. These consultations will help the government determine public priorities for Budget 2024.


To take effect, a few new measures announced in the FES require legislation, including the gas tax freeze and HST rebate for rental housing. 

The FES revealed that Ontario is in worse financial shape than it was when the budget was tabled in March. The finance minister said the province would meet uncertainty with prudence amid persistent inflation and high interest rates. The FES sets the tone for the 2024 Budget in March, showing stakeholders advocating for new spending that competition for dollars will be tough.

Need help navigating?

How might the FES impact your advocacy moving forward?
How might the FES impact your advocacy moving forward?
Looking to engage in the pre-budget process?
Looking to engage in the pre-budget process?
Wondering how the economic uncertainty may impact your advocacy?
Wondering how the economic uncertainty may impact your advocacy?

Our experts are here to answer all your questions.

Click here to view the complete 2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.