February 4, 2016 – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce recently released its latest economic agenda for Ontario. Much has changed since the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Mowat Centre partnered to release its first edition – Emerging Stronger 2012: A Transformative Agenda for Ontario.
"In some areas, we have made significant progress," stated Allan O'Dette, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. For example, Ontario is making much needed investments in infrastructure that will translate into productivity gains. In other areas, however, Ontario faces significant challenges. After several years of progress, Ontario’s deficit actually grew last year, and the provincial debt is approaching $300 billion. Interest payments on that debt now represent the third largest area of provincial spending after health and education.
Despite challenges, the OCC is confident that Ontario has all the assets it needs to secure its position as the world’s best place to work, invest, and live.
"But we need to act collectively and with renewed determination," said Mr. O'Dette. That is the purpose of Emerging Stronger 2016; to assess whether Ontario has truly emerged from the economic downturn, and to reflect on – and learn from – our shared successes and failures from the last five years.
Most importantly, it is an opportunity to chart an economic course for the next five years. To that end, Emerging Stronger 2016 marks a new beginning. Throughout 2016, the OCC will embark on an ambitious consultation process, called LeadON, which will engage Ontarians to determine the shape and structure of the successor initiative to Emerging Stronger. This new initiative will be outlined at the 2016 Ontario Economic Summit.