The Honourable Charles Sousa is Ontario’s Minister of Finance. He was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2007 and appointed as Finance Minister under Premier Kathleen Wynne in 2013. He is also Vice-Chair of the Treasury Board and Management Board of Cabinet. Before becoming Finance Minister, Mr. Sousa served as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Para Pan American Games, Minister of Labour, and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
The Ministry of Finance and the Minister play a vital role in supporting a strong economic, fiscal and investment environment in the province. Over the course of the year, the ministry releases a number of documents detailing the government’s spending policies and practices, this includes the budget. The budget outlines the government’s plan for the year and requires the support of a majority of the legislature to pass. In a minority parliament, if the government cannot secure a majority of votes, an election is called. This is what happened in Ontario this past spring.
In addition to preparing and delivering the budget, the Ministry of Finance is responsible for administering Ontario’s major tax statutes, producing financial statements that provide financial and economic highlights for the past year, the fall economic statement, and pre-budget consultations.
The Ministry of Finance and Ontario REALTORS®
Every year, OREA’s government relations team makes a submission during the pre-budget consultation phase to the Minister of Finance and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Our submissions highlight the importance of home ownership to the vitality of our provincial economy and communities, in addition to a summary of OREA’s major issues.
The Minister of Finance is a key decision maker when it comes to some of our most prominent issues, such as personal real estate corporations (PREC). As the Minister is approached with numerous requests, he must weigh all options carefully. What will this mean for Ontario’s revenue? For voters? And etcetera. In the past year, we have worked with the Minister on moving the issue of personal real estate corporations. While we have more work to do, OREA is proud to say that we have built a strong working relationship with Minister Sousa and his staff. Looking ahead, we will continue to meet with Finance officials on PRECs and other issues important to real estate.