Toronto, November 14, 2022 – The Ontario government’s Fall Economic Statement (FES) today signaled its continuing commitment to help build the province’s manufacturing sector, reducing business and energy costs, and providing targeted relief for Ontarians as they battle historic inflation and a projected economic slowdown.
“Any measure that helps manufacturers save on high energy costs and reinvest in their business to improve productivity is appreciated. From a short-term perspective, our member companies can use all the help they can get,” shares Dennis Darby, President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
Crucial from a productivity perspective, the FES included $675M in Ontario income tax relief over three years by temporarily allowing eligible businesses to immediately expense up to $1.5M per year for certain capital investments. It also improved on a previous cut to corporate income tax for small businesses by ensuring more small and medium companies can benefit from the lower 3.2 per cent rate. Both measures were direct CME asks.
The update also included $30M in new funds for the Skills Development Fund to help battle labour shortages. Released last month, CME’s 2022 Labour and Skills Survey highlighted the persistent impact of those shortages. Over the past year, 34 per cent of Ontario manufacturers have lost or turned down contracts and postponed or cancelled investment projects because of a lack of workers, costing the Ontario economy almost $4 billion. “This flexible funding will be welcome. We hope it will connect with the urgent needs of manufacturing employers hoping to get more workers into the sector”.
Looking ahead to next year, manufacturers hope to be part of an Advanced Manufacturing Council to take a deeper look at business competitiveness. The 2022 FES signals the government’s intention to remain a partner for industry through consultation on further red tape reduction, sustaining quality pensions and benefits for workers, and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.
“As the U.S. invests significant resources in clean technology subsidies to attract manufacturing, Ontario has a lot of work ahead to secure its long-term prosperity. We intend to continue working with the province on more concrete actions that can be included in Budget 2023,” concludes Darby.
- Ontario’s manufacturing sector employs close to 775,000 Ontarians
- The sector’s 36,200 manufacturing firms also directly generate over 12 per cent of the province’s GDP and over three-quarters of its merchandise exports
- Taking direct and indirect impacts into account, the sector’s footprint amounts to more than 30 per cent of Ontario’s economic activity