eNews Alert: Ontario Budget 2019

Apr 11, 2019

Ontario Budget 2019
What Museums Need to Know

See the full Budget 2019 HERE
Read the Media Release from the Department of Finance HERE
Read the government's highlights from the budget HERE

April 11, 2019

Infrastructure, transit, healthcare and education, employment programs all featured in the budget as anticipated.

Today’s 2019 Ontario budget "“Ontario’s Plan to Protect What Matters Most” continues to focus on Open for Business, balancing the budget responsibly and reducing the debt burden. Minister Fedeli’s speech mentions recent government initiatives achieved for the benefit of individuals, families and businesses, such as:
•    Cancelling the cap-and-trade carbon tax;
•    Cutting corporate income taxes through the Ontario Job Creation Investment incentive 
•    Introducing Low-Income individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit
•    Building New Schools in high growth areas; and adding new long term care beds, more hospital beds, and repairs and upgrades to dozens of hospitals across Ontario”

The government projects "a deficit of $11.7 billion in 2018–19, a $3.3 billion improvement from the deficit of $15 billion inherited from the previous government." 

Minister Fedeli stated “Premier Ford promised to find savings of four cents on every dollar. Our government has nearly doubled that and found about eight cents for every dollar spent."

At the time of the budget release, there is no confirmation on funding related to culture and museums, and details will be made available in the spending estimates coming in the next 2 weeks.

Of Interest to Museums

Stated in the chapter, Open for People,

"Strengthening Ontario Tourism, Culture And Sport: The Government’s Vision For Tourism, Culture And Sport

  • "Ontario’s Government for the People is taking a people‐first approach to tourism, culture and sport. Working with agencies, community partners and businesses, the government will make strategic investments to embrace and showcase Ontario’s heritage and attractions, create conditions for Ontario to be the destination of choice for tourists, and be the best place to play and be an athlete. Investments will provide economic opportunity and prosperity for the people of Ontario." (pg 219)

"Supporting Culture in Ontario"

  • "Ontario’s culture sector employs over 270,000 individuals and is one of the province’s fastest growing sectors. Ontario’s culture sector contributes over $25 billion to the economy and has grown by 23 per cent since 2010 — outpacing the growth of some of Ontario’s largest sectors. Culture in Ontario is a broad and diverse sector that includes organizations, companies and individuals such as artists, musicians, writers and actors. Cultural heritage establishments play key role in the sector as well, including museums, art galleries and historic sites.

    The Province will continue its support for arts and culture events through funding programs like the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, which will help arts and culture organizations drive cultural tourism spending and create new experiences that will make the entire province a more attractive place to visit."(pg 221)
  • "The government is committed to protecting the Canadian Club Heritage Centre as a meaningful cultural attraction and tourism destination in Windsor. The Province is committed to doing its part to support the reopening of this iconic part of Windsor’s heritage." (pg 222)

Also of interest, and aligned with recent OMA discussions with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, following the completed cycle of public consultations, the government “will be leveraging the findings to develop …a new tourism strategy to support its continued growth and unlock its limitless potential […] that will make Ontario known as a destination of choice for tourists, and investors, while supporting businesses and community development.” (pg 221)

In addition to “Reducing the Burden on municipalities: Cutting red tape" (see Section C), also referenced in the budget and on the Association radar is 

“Reviewing Regional Governance:

The Province is undertaking a review of regional government and is committed to improving the way it works. The regional government model has been in place for almost 50 years in Ontario. This review will ensure that regional governments are working efficiently and effectively to make the best use of taxpayers’ dollars.

The government has appointed Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling as special advisors to meet with the different regions, invite feedback from residents and businesses, and find out what has been working and what might need improvement. They will deliver advice to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing based on their expertise and assessment of the feedback." (pg 151)

The OMA participated in the pre-budget consultations, the Tourism Strategy Consultations, will also participate in the Regional Government Review Consultations, and will continue to work with members to strengthen our sector, working to realize our Ontario’s Museums 2025 strategic vision. 

Over the coming weeks, the OMA will continue to share budget information relevant to Ontario museums as it becomes available.  

Media Coverage
A Note from the OMA Executive Director, Marie Lalonde
Dear Museum Colleagues, 

Now, more than ever, it's important to work together and advocate with one voice through a strong association.  The OMA is your association, and we couldn't do what we do without you!

Your membership or donation goes to support the efforts of the OMA and allows us to advocate on behalf of our Ontario museum sector. 

If you're able, please consider a donation to the OMA today! 

Marie Lalonde, Executive Director 
Yes, I want to help!
p.s. There is strength in numbers! If you are not already, become an OMA Member by visiting: https://members.museumsontario.ca/membership/join
For any questions or comments, please contact Marie Lalonde, Executive Director, (mlalonde@museumsontario.caor by phone at: 416-348-8672 or toll free, 1 866 662 8672. 
Ontario Museum Association
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Toll-free in ON: 1-866-662-8672
Phone: 416-348-8672
Fax: 416-348-0438
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