Ontario Chamber Network urges the Province to focus the budget on principal drivers of economic growth to enhance Ontario’s long-term competitiveness.

“It is imperative that Ontario strengthen its long-term competitiveness by focusing on the principal drivers of economic growth. The Ontario Chamber Network calls on the provincial government to focus Budget 2020 around priorities that contribute to the long-term competitiveness of the province such as skills, regional economies, infrastructure, health, and sustainable spending models.”

Ontario is ripe with economic potential. Our province is fortunate to have world-class talent, an abundance of natural resources, and a global reputation for innovation. However, the province’s long-term economic competitiveness faces challenges. Cross-border competition is intensifying, our population is aging, input costs are rising, investment levels have fallen, skills gaps are widening, and much of our regional infrastructure is not equipped to withstand the effects of climate change or population growth. We encourage the provincial government to focus on measures that enhance Ontario’s competitiveness in the upcoming budget. The Ontario business community appreciates the difficult work that has been undertaken by the Government of Ontario to restore fiscal balance and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses. Such a high debt can weigh heavily on economic growth, as future generations may struggle to meet financing payments, they had little influence over. Conversely, failing to make critical investments in infrastructure and services now may have significant costs, as Ontario’s future economy may struggle to compete with others replete with robust public infrastructure and services.

The Ontario Chamber Network applauds the government’s commitment to reduce the debt and deficit as well as cut red tape by 25 percent by 2022 in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement. Yet, more work must be done to build a stronger Ontario and create an environment which encourages growth. The Ontario Chamber Network looks forward to working with the government to support evidence based policies that drive growth and contribute to a stronger province for all.