Toronto, March 24, 2021 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) welcomes supports in Ontario’s 2021 Budget to drive growth in Ontario’s manufacturing sector. Today’s budget reaffirms the province’s commitment to take action to help the sector reinvest and grow coming out of the current COVID-19 crisis.
“Manufacturing is the cornerstone of Ontario’s economy and we are pleased to see that the Ford government has acknowledged this by putting in place many measures to support manufacturers in productivity, investment, and skills”, says Dennis Darby, President and CEO of CME.
Investment measures and programs: the government is on the right track
CME is happy to see immediate and direct measures to support investment. Most notable are the increase of the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit from 10 % to 20 %, the new $400 million Invest Ontario Fund for manufacturers who are looking to expand and improve their overall manufacturing capabilities, and the postponement of property tax assessments. “These measures are more than welcomed in the current context where we need to stimulate investment through direct support”, adds Darby.
Ontario Made: renewed commitment to a successful program
CME applauds the million-dollar one year commitment to support the continuation of the Ontario Made program, particularly in expanding promotion in the retail space and increasing consumer awareness of all the incredible products that are made right here in the province.
“In the first 8 months of this program, we have seen over 2,100 manufacturers list over 10,000 locally manufactured products. This renewed commitment will allow CME to expand our work with local manufacturers to increase their sales through local retailers, and increase consumer awareness of Ontario Made brands”, said Darby.
Skills and labor shortage: more support for upskilling
Labour and skills shortages are the most pressing challenges facing manufacturers today. Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the cost of training. Upskilling workers is the first step businesses must take in order to invest in automation, new machinery and equipment.
CME is happy to see that many measures have been put in place, including the introduction of a temporary, refundable Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, which would be a temporary, refundable personal income tax credit that would deliver support for upskilling careers and training for 2021, and new investments in the Ontario Skilled Trades Strategy that total $288.2 million in 2021-2022.
“As important as these measures are, we are pleased that the government has acknowledged that their work is not yet done to support an innovative, growing, and globally competitive manufacturing sector in Ontario. The commitment to develop an Economic Growth Plan, which will be focused in part on advanced manufacturing, should act as a spring-board for Ontario’s prosperity and growth for the next generation. We look forward to working with our members and the province on the development of this action plan,” concluded Darby.
About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.