Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

Province announces additional health care resources and 

support for people, jobs and employers across Ontario


SIMCOE – Finance Minister Rod Phillips and Premier Doug Ford released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update) on Wednesday, pledging $17 billion in funding to address the COVID-19 crisis.

The government’s action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

This $17 billion response is a critical first step to ensure our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead. The plan includes historic levels of prudence, including a dedicated $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund, as part of the additional health care investments, as well as an unprecedented $2.5 billion reserve and an increased contingency fund of $1.3 billion to provide continued flexibility to respond to changing global circumstances. 

The plan includes $3.3 billion in additional health care resources to protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario. 

 “I know the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt by the families and businesses of Haldimand and Norfolk. Through this action plan, our government — in cooperation with all partners — is making investments to help everyone in Ontario weather the challenges ahead by working together, said MPP Toby Barrett.

“As Finance Minister, my number one priority right now is ensuring that our front-line health care professionals have the resources they need to fight the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Minister Phillips. “The people of Ontario can have confidence that we will do whatever it takes to protect their health and well-being. These additional resources will enhance hospital capacity, protect our loved ones in long-term care, and support our public health officials’ work to flatten the curve and slow the spread.”


As part of the action plan, the province also announced $3.7 billion to directly and urgently support people and to protect jobs. 

“During this global pandemic, I want the people of Ontario to be focused on their health – not worrying about losing their job or how to make ends meet as they deal with unexpected additional expenses,” said Minister Phillips. “We are helping make life a little more manageable for every person in Ontario, while providing additional support to those who need it the most.” 

Key initiatives in the government’s plan to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and support people, families, workers and employers include:

People and Jobs

  •  the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

The government’s plan also includes measures that will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows over the coming months, including:

“We’re taking responsible steps to lessen the burden for businesses and people,” said Minister Phillips. “Together, these actions can free up as much as $10 billion in cash flows for businesses and people in these uncertain times, helping protect jobs and household budgets.”


  • provides planning assumptions for the year ahead. The government will provide regular updates of the Province’s fiscal and economic outlook throughout the year.


For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446