Canada NewsEconomyNews

‘I think there’s hope’: New Ontario finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy ‘laser-focused’ on economic recovery

Article content continued

Ontario was leading the country in job creation before the pandemic, he said, adding that “we’re going to continue (on) that path… in a laser-focused way.”

He acknowledged that renewed and extended lockdowns — now province-wide for all non-essential businesses — are painful for the affected firms. But he said the province has been taking advice from public health and medical experts when making such decisions, and is providing millions of dollars in support to businesses including grants and relief on property taxes and energy bills as a “bridge to the other side” of the pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and former finance minister Rod Phillips arrive to deliver the 2020 Fiscal Update at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Wednesday March 25, 2020. Photo by Frank Gunn /THE CANADIAN PRESS

“Our decisions are very much driven by the health and safety and the guidance that we’re getting from the experts,” he said, adding that his government is also “very mindful of the difficult environment that many families and workers and businesses across the province have to face.”

He said he believes businesses and workers in the province will prove to be “resilient” as his government unfurls more than $15 billion in supports over the next three years, as announced in November’s budget.

Bethlenfalvy added that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines — though criticized by some as being too slow as cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb — should provide a “no pun intended, shot in the arm” to public health and ultimately the economy.

“I’m very optimistic about not only the rollout but getting this economy back on its feet and stronger than before, both from a health point of view and from a business point of view — those things are linked,” he said. “I think there’s hope.”

View Article Origin Here

Related Articles

Back to top button