A new report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) makes the case that federal policies are a barrier to Ontario’s economic growth. The Chambers are calling on the federal government to play a more productive role in improving Ontario’s economic competitiveness.
The report, A Federal Agenda for Ontario, shows that federal approaches to areas such as training, immigration, infrastructure, and economic development are hurting Ontario and its businesses.
“The federal government has done much to help Ontario during the downturn, including supporting the HST and helping bailout the auto sector” said Allan O’Dette, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But Ontario’s economy is still recovering, and we need the federal government to continue to seek ways to drive economic growth in the province.”
The report notes that Ontarians contribute $12.3 billion more into the federation than what they get back, and in many key areas, federal government policy is not aligned with provincial priorities.
“Over the past 5 years Ontario has lost 150,000 manufacturing jobs and with unemployment at 9.2% in the Greater Oshawa area we clearly need to drive change in how we do business in Durham Region,” notes Bob Malcolmson, CEO & General Manager of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. “ The federal and provincial government, together with Canada’s manufacturing industry, need to develop a coherent and coordinated strategy to fulfill Canada’s global manufacturing promise.”
The report makes 14 recommendations on how to reform policies relating to immigration, training, Employment Insurance, manufacturing, infrastructure, Aboriginal education, local economic development, and the way that the federal government distributes wealth across the country.
With the exception of reforms to Aboriginal education, these recommendations do not require the federal government to spend more money.
“Ontario businesses are optimistic that the province will emerge from this period of economic uncertainty stronger and more competitive than ever,” said O’Dette. “This is best achieved when we work collectively to create the right conditions.”
Click here for full report.
About the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce(GOCC): represents over 830 businesses through over 1,070 entrepreneurs, managers and corporate executives, which employ over 40,000 in the Greater Oshawa area. The Chamber has been Oshawa & Durham Region’s business advocate since 1928.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC): The OCC is a network of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province.