Minister Del Duca Statement on Chamber of Commerce Report

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Minister Del Duca
Minister Del Duca
Minister Del Duca
Minister Del Duca

QUEENS PARK – Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Growth, Steven Del Duca has issued a statement on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce report on Ontario’s Economy.

Statement on OCC report

We’d like thank the OCC for their report — which outlines their members’ perspective on Ontario’s economy.
In fact, Ontario’s real GDP growth has exceeded that of Canada and all other G7 nations for the past three years, we’ve created more than 800,000 net new jobs, unemployment is at its lowest rate in 17 years, corporate profits are high and — as the report points out — business prosperity is at a 20-year high. Over the past year, cities across the province have added thousands of jobs: Hamilton added 27,000, Barrie added 12,000 and Kingston added 4,400, just to name a few.
However, we know that we need to do even more. In particular, we appreciate the OCC’s recognition of the need for businesses to remain competitive.
In the past year alone we have invested in the Ontario Talent Strategy, helping create some of the most sought-after talent in the world. We have reduced unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses through our Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act and reduced the cost of electricity bills by 25 percent on average for 500,000 small businesses and farms. We have also lowered the small business corporate income tax rate from 4.5 to 3.5 percent.
In the past 5 years, we have invested $830 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, our partnership with businesses that has created and retained over 45,500 jobs. And all along we have maintained a corporate income tax rate that can compete with any state or province in North America.  The net operating surplus of corporations in Ontario increased to $133 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up 15 percent from $116 billion in 2016. That’s an all-time record 16.1 per cent of Ontario’s GDP.
Others have pointed out our competitive edge as well. Site Selection—a magazine of corporate expansion and economic development – found that Ontario is the most competitive province in Canada. They gave their Canadian Competitiveness Award to the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth for a second year in a row in 2017. In Mercer’s 2016 Cost of Living survey and in KPMG’s 2016 business cost rankings they found that major Canadian Cities including many in Ontario were much more affordable places to live and do business than most major American cities. And more people are moving to Ontario than ever before and we’re leading the country in Foreign Direct Investment.
In this time of significant transformation — as Ontario businesses respond to emerging customer demands and technological changes — we will continue to stand with our businesses as they adapt. As the report highlights, government has a role to play in encouraging private sector investment in Ontario and we will continue to do so through organizations like the OCC, and in communities across Ontario.
Growing Ontario’s economy is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
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