TORONTO - Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to today's monthly employment release by Statistics Canada:
"Employment in Ontario increased by 182,300 in March. In the last 10 months Ontario's employment has increased by 1,011,400, including almost 25,000 more men and women working in our manufacturing sector above pre-COVID levels.
The COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be a challenging period for many people across the province. Although job numbers have increased this month, many individuals, families and businesses are still struggling. We are helping by providing significant support and laying the foundation for a strong economic recovery.
The 2021 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy, is the next phase in Ontario's response to the pandemic. It builds on the unprecedented supports for families, workers and employers that have been made available since the beginning of the pandemic.
To help small businesses that have been most affected by the necessary restrictions to protect people from COVID-19, Ontario is providing a second round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments to eligible recipients. About 120,000 small businesses will automatically benefit from an additional $1.7 billion in relief through this second round of support in the form of grants of a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 — bringing the estimated total support provided through this grant to $3.4 billion.
To support Ontario's tourism, hospitality and culture industries, Ontario is investing an additional $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support these sectors.
To help workers with their training expenses, the government has proposed a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021. It would provide up to $2,000 per recipient toward 50 per cent of eligible expenses, for a total estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021.
To help parents with the added costs created by COVID‑19, the government is providing a third round of payments to support parents through the Ontario COVID‑19 Child Benefit, totalling $1.8 billion since last March. The payment will be doubled for this round to $400 per child and $500 for each child with special needs. Parents who have not applied for the previous payments will be able to apply for this third payment round.
In the coming months, as vaccinations become widely available, our government will remain focused on keeping people safe, protecting jobs and defeating the virus. Hope is on the horizon, and it's months, not years, away."