Ontario parents will get another payment in Budget 2022

Some parents may still receive direct payments from the Ontario government this year.

The payments, which were previously not included in the 2022 budget, were first mentioned in the government’s Speech from the Throne on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Lt. Governor. Elizabeth Dowdeswell said when the budget is reintroduced, it will include an additional $225 million over two years in direct payments to parents “to help their children catch up.”

“This funding, which will put money directly into the pockets of parents, is in addition to the more than $26.6 billion the province is investing in public education, the highest amount in provincial history. ‘Ontario,’ she said.

A Ministry of Finance spokesperson confirmed to CTV News Toronto that this funding is a new addition to the budget and that details are still being finalized, including whether all parents will receive the payments or if the distribution will be more targeted.

Information on eligibility, as well as how much money parents can anticipate, is expected in the coming days.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy told reporters the funding will help “close gaps in student learning after two years of pandemic disruption”.

“We will have more details on how we will roll out this program. But let me tell you this, we’re going to listen to parents, we’re going to listen to a lot of people to say what’s the best way to provide the right kind of funding to support parents,” he said.

The funding is lower than what was proposed in the 2021 budget, when the Ford government set aside $980 million to offset costs incurred by parents as a result of virtual learning.

At the time, parents received $400 per child from 0 to 12th grade. Parents of children with special needs under the age of 21 received $500.

This will be the fourth installment to parents since Prime Minister Doug Ford took office in 2018. The other two were rolled out as part of the Support For Learners program at the start of the pandemic.

Under this program, parents received $200 per child or $250 per child with special needs. It cost the Forde government about $868 million.

If the same parents are eligible for this round of funding, it could be around $90 to $100 per child.

When asked why the $225 million wasn’t directed to school boards, Bethlenfalvy pivoted to talk about the billions the government is already spending on education, tutoring and mental health supports for students. of the public education system.

The union representing education workers, which is currently negotiating a new contract, said in a statement it was calling for greater investment in schools.

“Meanwhile, this Speech from the Throne announced $225 million that would go to parents who are supposed to find private guardians to help their children catch up,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

“Ontarians deserve better than this recycled pre-election budget.