Submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Ontario
The recently announced provincial budget from the new Ontario government is a positive step forward in revitalizing the province’s manufacturing sector, but more must be done to create jobs and support business growth, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the country’s largest trade and industry association. CME commended the government for mirroring the federal decision to extend the accelerated depreciation for manufacturing and processing equipment through 2015 – a move that will result in $265 million in savings for Ontario companies – as well as the formulation of a new $295 million youth employment and mentorship fund, which could help encourage more youth to explore opportunities in in-demand manufacturing-related careers.
We are pleased to see the government formally recognize the importance of manufacturing to the province’s economy. The success of this entire budget starts with manufacturing, and we will continue to need strong leadership in the coming months from all stakeholders and all parties to implement policies that spur investment and keep us moving forward.
While CME also noted its support for the government’s commitment to reduce the deficit, other moves in the budget received a less favourable response. In particular, the elimination of a threshold exemption for large employers on employee health taxes is expected to drive down competitiveness.
Overall, this budget is a good signal that the province wants to work closer with industry. The rest of Canada and the rest of the world won’t wait for us. We need to work together to ensure Ontario is ready to lead – in job creation, in investment attraction, in export development – and that growth must start with a vibrant, innovative manufacturing sector.
To help expand the dialogue between manufacturers and policy-makers, CME recently founded the Ontario Council of Manufacturing Executives (oCME) – an exclusive group of senior industry leaders, who have come together to speak with one voice on priority issues impacting the province’s manufacturing sector. For more information, visit www.ontariomanufacturing.ca.
About CME – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada’s leading trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. For more information, visit www.cme-mec.ca.