Ontario Independent

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Ontario budget contemplates dispersing the public sector workers across the province

The Ontario budget proposes dispersing the employees of the public sector across the province.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Progressive Conservatives in Ontario want to disperse government personnel across the province to boost local economies and save money.
  • The budget proposal also includes a proposed extension of a 20% tax credit for businesses in areas with weaker employment development.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives seek to disperse the public sector workers across the province to encourage local economies and save money.

In some localities, the government is also investigating hybrid work arrangements for public servants, with the option of expanding that model in the future.

The government’s 2022 budget, released Thursday ahead of an election campaign scheduled to start next week, featured outlines of those intentions.

Also read: Doug Ford is proposing a tax decrease for Ontarians earning less than $50,000 per year

The Conservatives claim that employee development and opportunity have been concentrated too heavily in the province’s main metropolitan centers, and they are working to rectify that.

In a planned budget address, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said, “Every small city and town, every community is rich in talent and opportunity, and they all deserve to prosper.”

“By working with our provincial agency partners, we will ensure that decent jobs in government and for provincial agencies benefit communities across the province.”

The budget highlighted a recent statement about intentions to relocate the Workplace Safety as well as Insurance Board’s headquarters from Toronto to London, Ont., as part of a community jobs plan.

The Ontario budget proposes dispersing the employees of the public sector across the province.
The Ontario budget proposes dispersing the employees of the public sector across the province. Image from Global News

The government claims that the existing Toronto headquarters costs more than $30 million per year, and the Conservatives say they are looking into moving other offices.

Other agencies that the administration is considering moving to were not mentioned. However, the budget paper states that newly created organizations such as Supply Ontario, Invest Ontario, and Intellectual Property Ontario, which does not yet have head offices, may be based outside of Toronto from the outset.

Invest Ontario, founded in 2020, is a government body tasked with luring new companies to the province.

According to the budget document, the Ontario Public Service is likewise looking into designing hybrid workspaces for staff to reduce congestion, which is another big campaign subject for the Progressive Conservatives, who are also proposing multiple roadway improvements to address the issue.

According to the budget, coworking spaces will be built for workers in north Toronto, Hamilton, London, Sudbury, Ont., as well as Ottawa, and the government plans to expand the concept to other cities.

A projected extension of a 20% tax credit for enterprises in locations with slower employment growth is also mentioned in the budget draught.

Source: CTV news

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