TORONTO—The latest Ontario budget 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 and Exporters.
CME commended the government for mirroring the federal decision to extend the accelerated depreciation for manufacturing and processing equipment through 2015—a move that the industry association says 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 it says 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,” CME Ontario vice-president Ian Howcroft said in a statement.
“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,” Howcroft said.
“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.”