Ontario Extending Gas Tax Cuts to Keep Costs Down for Families

By Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton

Spring is a great time of the year to share our culture and traditions.

One of the wonderful things about living in a cultural mosaic as we do in the Carleton riding is the opportunity for us to share our traditions and holidays while learning about the traditions and holidays of people from other faiths.

Easter was last weekend, bringing with it a blend of one of the most important holidays in Christianity and a family celebration which usually sees children taking part in an Easter Egg hunt. This was our first Easter in a few years without snow on the ground, opening up the option for some to move their Easter Egg hunt to the outdoors.

Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ following his crucifixion, was earlier than usual this year. Easter’s exact date varies so much because it actually depends on the moon. The holiday is set to coincide with the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, the first full moon after the vernal equinox, which is recognized by the church as March 21.

Next year, Easter is much later, falling on April 20.

In March, our Muslim community marked the beginning of Ramadan. Muslims observe Ramadan through acts such as fasting, spending time in prayer and reflection, and undertaking acts of giving.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It has special significance in as it is believed the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad during Ramadan.

Ontario is made richer as a result of our strong, diverse and vibrant Muslim community and its values of generosity, compassion and charity, which we see and feel across our community, and across the province.

Holi, one of the most important holidays in Hinduism, took place March 25 this year, as it was the evening of the first full moon in the month of Phalguna.

Holi is a celebration of the end of winter, and the divine, eternal love of Radha Krishna. It is a festive holiday of friendship, mending what is broken, music, dancing and playing. It is known as the Festival of Colours, as people smear dry coloured powder on each other and drench each other with coloured water.

On the day after Holi, Hola Mohalla, a Sikh festival which means “mock fight”, began and lasted for three days.

During Hola Mohalla, Sikhs demonstrate their martial skills in simulated battles. During the festival, celebrants move to a given spot in army-style formation, accompanied by war drums and standard bearers. Guru Gobind held the first such mock fight in 1701 at Anandpur.

Later this month, our local Jewish community will be celebrating Passover, which takes place from April 22-30.

Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, April 22 – 30, 2024. Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. Pesach is observed by avoiding leaven, and highlighted by the Seder meals that include four cups of wine, eating matzah and bitter herbs, and retelling the story of the Exodus.

My family had a wonderful Nowruz celebration, which is a huge celebration with food, fireworks and dancing that can last for weeks to celebrate the Persian new year.

This year, more than ever, I sincerely hope you were able to share the traditions of your family’s faith and culture with some of your friends and neighbours.

Ontario Extending Gas Tax Cuts to Keep Costs Down for Families

To continue keeping costs down for families and businesses, the Ontario government is introducing proposed legislation through its spring 2024 Budget that would, if passed, extend the existing gasoline and fuel tax rate cuts until December 31, 2024.

The Ontario government temporarily cut the gasoline tax by 5.7 cents per litre, and the fuel (diesel) tax by 5.3 cents per litre, from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024. Today’s announcement would ensure the rates remain at 9 cents per litre until December 31, 2024, saving Ontario households $320 on average over the two and a half years since the tax rate cuts were first introduced.

The proposed extension to the gasoline and fuel tax rate cuts builds on the government’s additional measures to help put more money back into people’s pockets, including:

  • Eliminating the licence plate renewal fee in March 2022, saving the average household $600 to date.
  • Banning new road tolls on 400-series highways in Ontario and permanently freezing driver’s licence and photo card fees, saving drivers an estimated $66 million over the next five years.
  • Launching One Fare, which will save daily riders on participating systems an average of $1,600 each year.
  • Introducing legislation that, if passed, would give Ontario voters a veto over a new provincial carbon tax, cap-and-trade system or other carbon pricing program.
  • Ending the Drive Clean Program, saving taxpayers over $40 million every year.

Quick Facts

  • The price paid at the pump is made up of the cost of crude oil, wholesale margins, retail margins, federal excise tax, the federal carbon tax, Ontario gasoline/fuel tax and HST.
  • Ontario continues to call on the federal government to eliminate the federal carbon tax, which increased to 14.31 cents per litre on gasoline and 17.38 cents per litre on diesel on April 1, 2023 and is scheduled to increase by 23 per cent on April 1, 2024.

Ontario Investing Over $1.8 Billion to Build More Homes

The Ontario government is investing more than $1.8 billion in housing-enabling infrastructure funding to help build at least 1.5 million homes. This funding includes $1 billion for the new Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program and $625 million more for the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund, bringing its total funding to $825 million. This new funding complements existing and ongoing provincial investments in housing- and community-enabling infrastructure, including the $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund, the original $200 million investment in the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund and the investment of nearly $2 billion for the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund since 2021–22.

The new $1 billion Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program will support core infrastructure projects that help enable housing for growing and developing communities, such as roads and water infrastructure. This funding will help municipalities get shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure that will lay the groundwork for more homes across the province, with an emphasis on projects that can build the greatest number of homes. More information about the program, including eligibility and application intake details, will be announced later this year.

Ontario is more than quadrupling its investment from $200 million to $825 million over three years to expand the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund, which will help municipalities repair, rehabilitate and expand drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure needed to build more homes. First announced in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, municipalities can still submit an application for the program until April 19, 2024.

Ontario is also supporting housing outcomes through its Building Faster Fund, that was announced in August 2023 to provide up to $1.2 billion over three years to reward municipalities that are building more homes. The fund is designed to help municipalities pay for critical housing- and community-enabling infrastructure needed to accommodate growth, such as site servicing and building new roads. The Building Faster Fund includes $120 million that is being reserved for small, rural and northern municipalities to help build housing-enabling infrastructure and prioritize projects that speed up the increase of housing supply.

The government is giving municipalities the tools they need to build more homes faster and tackle the affordability crisis that is pricing too many people, especially young families and newcomers, out of the dream of homeownership. In partnership with municipalities, Ontario will continue working hard to unlock housing opportunities and support growing communities. The province continues to call on the federal government to pay its fair share and help fund housing-enabling infrastructure investments, and support vibrant, growing communities.

Quick Facts

  • To support the future of Ontario, the government is investing $185 billion over the next 10 years in hospitals, long-term care homes, highways, public transit and other key public infrastructure.
  • As announced in Ontario’s 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the government is introducing additional measures to help build critical infrastructure faster and smarter. This includes the Ontario Infrastructure Bank, and the building of more rental homes by taking steps to remove the full eight per cent provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
  • The three-year Building Faster Fund, announced in August 2023, supports municipalities in achieving their housing targets, including housing‐ and community-enabling infrastructure. Funding is provided to municipalities that have reached at least 80 per cent of their provincially assigned housing target for the year with increased funding for municipalities that exceed their target.

Office Notice:

My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. My staff and I will be happy to assist. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.


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