What to Expect from Another Ontario Progressive Conservative Government?

June 2, 2022, Ontario Premier Doug Ford secured a second majority government for the Progressive Conservative Party, with 83 seats. This achievement means Ford will once again hold a commanding position of power governing Ontario’s 43rd parliament.

Since this government’s first election in 2018, HRAI has worked to develop influential relationships with several prominent Ministers, who are close and trusted members of the Ford team. One such individual is former Minister of Energy Todd Smith, who has once again been elected in the riding of Bay of Quinte. Smith has called himself a friend to the HVACR Industry and has engaged with HRAI and members on a number of occasions. Also re-elected are former Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton and former Red-Tape Reduction Associate Minister Nina Tangri, both of whom had active engagement with HRAI.

It is expected that Ford will utilize this commanding majority to implement the pre-election budget immediately when the legislature resumes in September. Prior to beginning the election period, Ford’s Government released its 2022 Budget, called Ontario’s Plan to Build. Based on this document, we expect labour rights and small business supports will be the primary focus of the new government, as well as investments in infrastructure and the skilled trades which dominated the campaign trail with significant public support from prominent labour and construction unions.

The 2022 Budget also included a commitment of up to $4.5 million to support a “Clean Home Heating Initiative” that would help households in London, St. Catharines, Peterborough and Sault Ste. Marie keep energy costs down. The pilot, in partnership with Enbridge Gas, would support the installation of electric heat pumps with smart controls for up to 1,000 households across these communities, providing homeowners with $3,000 to $4,500 in incentives. This provincial project would build off the initial approximately 100 home Hybrid Heating Pilot Program launched last summer by Enbridge, supported by London Hydro and the City of London.

Some other notable budget allocations for the Skilled Trades included:

  • $73.8 million over three years for in‐class training for apprentices to accommodate an increase in enrolment, assist students with accessibility and accommodation needs and support additional in‐demand classes.
  • $15 million over three years for the Tools Grant, which provides increased financial support for apprentices completing their apprenticeship program and receiving certification by helping apprentices pay for their tools and equipment.
  • $6.3 million over three years for the Achievement Incentive program, which encourages and supports skilled trades employers, including those in group sponsor arrangements, when apprentices meet training and certification milestones.
  • $6 million over three years for the Group Sponsorship Grant, which improves apprentice progression and completion by supporting small‐ to medium‐sized employers to come together to train apprentices in the full scope of their trade.
  • $3.3 million over three years for the Apprenticeship Capital Grant to provide supports for Training Delivery Agents to meet the evolving needs of the workplace with innovative technology.
  • Extending the temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit

HRAI will continue to work on behalf of members in Ontario to ensure this new government is responsive to the needs of the HVACR sector.

For more information, contact Chelsea Goberdhan, HRAI GR Specialist for Ontario at 800-267-2231 x236, or email cgoberdhan@hria.ca.

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