2013 Ontario Budget
Chapter I: A Prosperous and Fair Ontario

Highlights

  • Ontario has created almost 400,000 jobs since June 2009, recovering all of the jobs lost during the recession.
  • The current level of employment is more than 130,000 jobs above the high point before the recession.
  • Ontario's planned infrastructure investments of more than $35 billion over the next three years would support over 100,000 jobs on average each year.
  • Since 2008, the New Relationship Fund has invested more than $77 million in over 520 economic development projects involving First Nation communities, Métis communities and Aboriginal organizations.
  • An additional $360 million over three years is being invested by the government into the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program, starting in 2013–14.
  • The Province plans to proceed with a new $100 million investment to help small and rural municipalities build roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure.
  • New investments planned for GO Transit over the next 10 years include infrastructure projects that will allow for an additional 50,000 riders per day, an increase of almost 20 per cent over current levels.
  • The Province is proposing a comprehensive Youth Jobs Strategy of $295 million over two years to create employment and mentorship opportunities for about 30,000 youth and to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Ontario.
  • The Province is supporting Ontario manufacturers by extending the accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment, providing $265 million in tax savings over three years.

Section A: A Plan for Jobs and Growth

Introduction

Ontario's economy is growing and creating jobs despite a challenging global environment. This province's economic fundamentals are strong. Ontario has great schools and hospitals, competitive business taxes, as well as a highly skilled and diverse workforce. It remains an attractive place in which to live and work, to visit and to invest.

Since the 2012 Budget, however, expectations for global economic growth have weakened in the face of continued global uncertainty, especially in Europe.

European economies have worsened and the growth of emerging-market economies has slowed.

During the 1990s, Ontario's competitive advantages were largely the result of a low Canadian dollar, cheap oil and access to strong markets in the United States. Today, the Canadian dollar is close to parity with the U.S. dollar. The price of oil is high and U.S. economic growth remains modest.

In the face of these challenges and rising competition from emerging economies, more work remains to ensure Ontario's economy continues to grow and create jobs. Ontario's business sector can do more to seize growing opportunities in export markets. It can take advantage of Ontario's low tax rates, access to skilled labour and affordable health care system to make more productivity-enhancing investments. The government's role is to help build a supportive environment in which firms and entrepreneurs can take risks, make investments, create jobs and drive innovation.

Ontario is facing major economic challenges. Working with key partners, the government is laying out a six-part economic plan that will help Ontario's resilient economy seize new opportunities for growth and job creation. Key to the government's plan is eliminating the deficit, as it is essential to building greater confidence in the investment community and capital markets.

Ontario's Economy — Restructuring in the Face of Global Challenges

Adjusting to a New Economic Reality

Over the past decade, the Ontario economy confronted significant external challenges that raised business costs, eroded the province's competitiveness, and lowered Ontario's exports to the United States — its most important export market.

A near-tripling in the price of crude oil from 2002 to 2008 resulted in sharply higher energy costs for Ontario households and businesses. At the same time, the rapid appreciation of the Canadian dollar hurt Ontario's price competitiveness in the critical U.S. market. In 2008, as Ontario was adjusting to high oil prices and the strong Canadian dollar, the global economy fell into the most severe recession since the 1930s. Global trade collapsed, falling 10 per cent in 2009. The U.S. economy experienced a deep recession and a significant loss of jobs. Ontario's merchandise exports to the United States dropped by nearly one-third in just two years. As a result, Ontario was one of the provinces hardest hit by the global recession.

Ontario's Economic Challenges

As Ontario adjusts and adapts to the new global economic reality, it will need to confront a number of significant economic challenges. Some of these challenges arise from factors over which Ontario business, labour and government have little control — such as the external value of the Canadian dollar or the global price of commodities. Other challenges, however, arise from factors over which we do collectively have some control, such as our productivity and cost performance. By increasing investments in machinery and equipment, skills and training, and product innovation, we can improve our productivity and labour costs, enhancing Ontario's competitiveness. We can also make greater efforts to increase our sales in fast-growing markets.

Acknowledging these challenges and working with business, labour and other key partners to deal with them head-on will position Ontario for stronger growth in the future.

Central to these challenges is Ontario's lagging productivity growth. Since 1985, labour productivity growth in Ontario's business sector has lagged the pace of productivity improvement in the United States. From 1985 to 2000, productivity growth averaged 1.3 per cent annually in Ontario compared to 2.0 per cent in the United States. However, since 2001, this gap in productivity performance has widened, with Ontario posting only modest gains compared with much stronger growth in the United States. Achieving higher productivity is critical to maintaining and improving living standards in Ontario.

Chart 1.1: Ontario's Productivity Growth Has Lagged the U.S. Click for an accessible full description.

Research and development (R&D) performed by business helps drive overall productivity growth by creating new knowledge and new technologies. Business R&D as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in Ontario has continuously lagged behind the United States over the last decade, despite generous tax incentives and funding support. The gap in business R&D activity has widened since 2005 due to a major decline in R&D performed by Ontario's manufacturing sector.

Chart 1.2: Ontario Business R&D Spending Below the U.S. Click for an accessible full description.

Machinery and equipment (M&E) investment matters critically for labour productivity growth, not only because it augments the amount of capital per worker, but most importantly because it brings new technology to the workplace. Rapid introduction of new technologies spurs innovation, efficiency gains, enhanced output and increased competitiveness.

Business investment in M&E has been a source of strength for the Ontario economy since the recession. As Ontario's businesses strive to adapt to a high Canadian dollar and intense global competition, they have been increasing investment in productivity enhancing M&E.

As a share of real GDP, real M&E investment has been trending up and, at 4.9 per cent, currently stands at a long-term high. However, the share of M&E investment in Ontario remains well below the equivalent U.S. ratio. Ontario's underperformance in M&E investment relative to the United States has also widened. Since 2000, the gap between the United States and Ontario real M&E to GDP share has averaged 3.4 percentage points, more than double the average gap of 1.6 percentage points from 1981 to 1999.

Strong gains in corporate profits and healthy corporate balance sheets combined with low M&E prices have left Ontario's businesses in an excellent position to boost investment higher.

Chart 1.3: Ontario Businesses Could Be Investing More. Click for an accessible full description.

Population aging and the consequent slowdown in the rate of labour force growth have led to concerns about skills and labour shortages in the future. Employers in some sectors and industries are already reporting recruitment challenges.

Government, along with industry, employers and educational institutions, needs to work together more closely to identify workforce challenges, including supply-and-demand issues.

Access to accurate, timely and comprehensive labour market information is critical to ensure workers have the best chance to be matched with available and appropriate job opportunities. Expanded coverage of labour market information is needed to inform the labour market choices of employers and employees and to ensure full labour market participation of all segments of society. Postsecondary education and training institutions also need to continuously improve their responsiveness to the evolving needs of the labour market and employers.

The Challenge of Labour Market Imbalances

"In an era of aging demographics in Canada, the availability of quality skills and labour is a critical issue to companies' success and ability to invest in our economy."

Jayson Myers, President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, on release of CME's Management Issues Survey of CME, BDO and Food & Consumer Products of Canada companies, December 21, 2012.

"There have also been about 1,000 tech jobs created at medium-to-large tech firms over the last three years, a period that has seen 531 new companies established here. But those companies are now growing, fast, and a 'conservative estimate' is that there are roughly 1,300 unfilled tech positions locally, says Communitech's CEO, Iain Klugman."

Iain Marlow, Technology Reporter, "Help Wanted: Tech Workers Wooed with Catered Meals, Unlimited Vacation Time," The Globe and Mail, September 6, 2012.

The key external challenge for Ontario has been the significant appreciation in the Canadian dollar since 2002 compared to its U.S. counterpart. The high Canadian dollar puts pressure on Ontario exporters to cut prices or lose customers.

Chart 1.4: High Canadian Dollar Has Hurt Ontario`s Competitiveness. Click for an accessible full description.

The combination of Ontario's lower productivity growth and the appreciation of the Canadian dollar has contributed to a decline in Ontario's cost competitiveness. Between 1997 and 2010, the labour cost of producing a unit of output in Ontario increased 69 per cent while comparable costs in the United States increased by only 28 per cent.

Chart 1.5: Cost Competitiveness Has Eroded. Click for an accessible full description.

As the destination for 78 per cent of Ontario's merchandise exports, the United States remains Ontario's most important trading partner. However, the rapid rise of countries such as China as dynamic trading nations and the significant rise in the value of the dollar have resulted in a sharp decline in Ontario's share of the U.S. market. Over the last decade, Ontario has lost nearly half of its export market share in the United States.

Chart 1.6: Ontario Exporters Have Lost Market Share in the U.S. — Mostly to Emerging-Market Economies. Click for an accessible full description.

The same fast-growing economies that have captured a growing share of U.S. imports are a rich and growing market. However, compared to other advanced countries, Ontario's exposure to fast-growing economies is low when measured as a share of exports. In 2012, only five per cent of Ontario's exports were bound for fast-growing economies.

Chart 1.7: Ontario`s Export Exposure to Fast-Growing Economies Is Low. Click for an accessible full description.

Ontario, like other major developed economies, has experienced a significant structural shift towards a more technology-based and service-oriented economy.

Manufacturing accounted for 22 per cent of Ontario output in 2001. By 2011, this share had dropped to just 13 per cent. Over the same period, Ontario's service sector, including many dynamic, export-oriented industries, has steadily increased its relative size in Ontario's economy. Service sector output increased from 70 per cent of the economy in 2001 to 77 per cent by 2011.

Supporting manufacturing investments in new technology and promoting increased exports in both goods and service industries will help the Ontario economy adjust and adapt to the new global economic environment.

Chart 1.8: Structural Changes to Ontario's Economy. Click for an accessible full description.

In conclusion, our collective challenge is to make the structural changes in Ontario that will increase our productivity and cost competitiveness. The purpose of the government's six-point plan set out below is to work with business, labour and other key partners to position Ontario for jobs and stronger growth in the future.

Ontario's Economic Plan for Jobs and Growth

Despite some challenges, the economic fundamentals of Ontario's economy are solid and its industries are well positioned to take advantage of growing opportunities in the global economy and continue to support Ontario's economic renewal.

Economic growth and job creation are driven by business and entrepreneurs taking risks and making investments. The government's efforts are best focused on creating a favourable economic environment.

Ontario's plan for jobs and growth builds on strong economic fundamentals supported by government policy and investments in six key areas:

  1. competitive business climate — supporting a competitive tax system and effective regulation promotes new business investment for job creation and economic growth;
  2. modern infrastructure — investing in transit, roads, schools and hospitals is a key foundation for a productive economy;
  3. highly skilled workforce — investing in skills and education, as well as youth employment, ensures the people of this province can work and prosper;
  4. promoting entrepreneurship and innovation — strengthening Ontario's ability to transform ideas into innovative goods and services for the global economy;
  5. going global — working with business to expand market access for goods and services beyond Ontario's borders to other provinces, the United States and emerging economies; and
  6. vibrant and strong communities — helping all communities and regional economies benefit from job creation and economic growth.

Improving the province's productivity performance is key to addressing Ontario's economic challenges and ensuring future prosperity. By focusing on these six areas — and working in partnership with business, labour, academia and communities — the government is doing its part to enable Ontario's economy to be more productive and competitive.

Seizing Opportunities

Ontario's prosperity will depend on taking advantage of opportunities for growth in the global economy.

  • In developing countries, rising middle-class prosperity is generating increased demand for many Ontario goods and services, such as food products, medical devices, and financial and other services.
  • A rebounding U.S. economy is directly generating a growing demand for goods such as automobiles and business equipment. Ontario exporters will also benefit by selling to U.S. corporations and their global value chains as well as to other Canadian provinces.
  • Ontario's forest products sector is turning the corner as higher demand for lumber from the recovering U.S. housing-construction market and strong global demand for pulp are increasing prices and creating opportunities for Ontario companies.
  • Ontario's large science and engineering workforce — 7.7 per cent of all Ontario workers — makes important contributions to Ontario's economic growth by developing new technologies for the global economy.
  • The continuing growth of emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India is fuelling demand for minerals produced by Ontario's large and diversified mining sector. Significant mineral exploration and investments are laying a foundation for future prosperity in Ontario's north.
  • According to the OECD, almost 900 million people in the world lack access to improved water services and 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. Ontario has about 900 companies that provide a wide range of water and wastewater technology expertise.
  • As a global financial services centre, Toronto is a magnet for global talent and investment. In 2012, the City of Toronto surpassed Chicago as the fourth most populous city in North America, behind Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles.
  • Over 200 languages are spoken in the province and visible minorities account for almost a quarter of Ontario's population. This diversity contributes to Ontario's prosperity.
  • Ontario is a top destination for foreign direct investment in North America, third only to California and New York in 2011. On a per capita basis, it ranked first of all major jurisdictions in North America.

1. Competitive Business Climate

Over the last 10 years, the government has done much to improve Ontario's business climate. Businesses, labour and government can work together to drive change and move to a more outward-looking and innovative economy. During the new government's Job Summit consultations across Ontario, businesses are expressing a willingness to step up and drive economic growth and invest more in productivity, innovation and training. It is therefore critical that business, labour, academia, the non-profit sector and government continue to make economic growth a provincial priority.

For its part, the government has put in place a competitive tax system for business, made regulations smarter and less burdensome, and enhanced the safety and efficiency of capital markets, while delivering lower-than-forecasted deficits. Eliminating the deficit is critical to maintaining confidence for investors and capital markets.

Reaching Out and Building Partnerships

The government is committed to Ontario's economic renewal and is reaching out to all stakeholders across the province, including business, labour, municipalities, non-government organizations and institutions. Everyone, and every region and community, has a stake in Ontario's economic framework for jobs and growth. The new government has held:

  • 12 jobs roundtables with the private sector, labour, education and training partners; and
  • pre-budget consultations with over 1,000 organizations and telephone town halls with over 600,000 households in communities across Ontario, including Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Peterborough, Toronto, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Newmarket, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Windsor and London.

The government is currently considering the recommendations of the Jobs and Prosperity Council, received in December 2012. It is taking immediate action on some recommendations, including the introduction of commercialization vouchers, working with the federal government on venture capital, and global exporter forums. A technical panel will be established to help implement the Council's recommendation to streamline and consolidate business support programs.

Improving Business Tax Competitiveness

The government has fundamentally restructured the tax system to improve Ontario's business tax competitiveness and enhance Ontario's advantages in sustaining long-term economic growth and job creation. These measures include:

  • replacing the Retail Sales Tax with the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), a more modern value-added tax;
  • eliminating the Capital Tax, which corporations paid whether or not they had a profit and was a significant disincentive to investment;
  • cutting Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rates for small and large businesses; and
  • streamlining CIT and sales tax administration, which is saving businesses over $635 million per year in reduced compliance costs.

The combined federal-Ontario general CIT rate is competitive with average CIT rates among developed countries, and is significantly lower than the average federal-state CIT rate in the United States — Ontario's major trading partner.

Chart 1.9: An Internationally Competitive CIT Rate. Click for an accessible full description.

As announced in the 2012 Budget, the general CIT rate will be frozen at 11.5 per cent until the budget is balanced in 2017–18.

The HST, capital tax elimination, and Ontario and federal CIT cuts have together significantly reduced Ontario's tax rate on new business investment, as measured by the marginal effective tax rate (METR). Since 2009, Ontario's METR has been cut in half, placing Ontario below the average METR among OECD countries and well below the average METR in the United States.

Chart 1.10: Ontario`s Marginal Effective Tax Rate on New Business Investment Has Been Cut in Half. Click for an accessible full description.

Small Businesses

To provide greater Employer Health Tax (EHT) relief to small businesses, this Budget proposes to increase the EHT exemption from $400,000 to $450,000 of payroll, beginning in 2014. The government also proposes to better target the exemption by eliminating it for private-sector employers with annual payrolls over $5 million. See Chapter IV: Tax, Pension and Financial Services for additional details.

Small businesses are already benefiting from a reduced CIT rate of 4.5 per cent.

Small businesses would also benefit from the proposed Youth Jobs Strategy — a package of initiatives that would promote employment opportunities, entrepreneurship and innovation for youth in Ontario, including hiring incentives to employers. (See the section in this chapter entitled Highly Skilled Workforce for details.)

The implementation of pooled registered pension plans in Ontario would make a cost-effective employee benefit option available to small businesses and provide a new retirement savings alternative for self-employed individuals.

Manufacturing Renewal

The Province's dynamic and competitive manufacturing sector is playing a leading role in Ontario's economic renewal and will remain a cornerstone of the economy, sustaining jobs across the province and exporting their products around the world. Manufacturing accounts for about 800,000 jobs in Ontario, or 12 per cent of total employment and 13 per cent of GDP. Ontario's manufacturing sector is a key driver of innovation in the province and accounts for nearly half of all manufacturing R&D expenditures in Canada.

Overcoming challenges such as the appreciation of the Canadian dollar and increasing competition, many Ontario manufacturing companies are adapting, investing and competing globally. Government actions that have strengthened the investment climate are helping the sector transition to new areas of growth, improve productivity and innovation, and attract new companies and high-value jobs to Ontario.

Business Invests in Ontario's Economic Renewal

The following are examples of significant investments in Ontario that are helping to renew the province's economy and create jobs.

  • NOVA Chemicals, a global leader in plastics and chemical manufacturing, is investing $250 million to convert its Corunna, Ontario ethylene cracker. This conversion will allow it to use up to 100 per cent of natural gas liquids from the Marcellus shale deposit.
  • IBM is investing a total of $210 million to establish an Ontario-based Smarter Canada Global Development Centre, which will create 145 R&D jobs at its large Canadian R&D lab. This investment is being supported by a $15 million grant from Ontario and a $20 million grant from the federal government. IBM's project will consist of five research areas of focus: health care data management; new discoveries and treatments for brain diseases and disorders; challenges facing cities including rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure; energy conservation and management; and water conservation.
  • Bombardier's Downsview facility was awarded the mandate for final assembly of the Global 7000 and 8000 aircraft that are expected to enter into service in 2016 and 2017, respectively. New investment into aerostructures assembly and flight testing buildings will occur soon, with capital spending estimated at $170 million.
  • Toyota is investing $100 million in its Cambridge plant to help expand manufacturing capacity for the Lexus RX350 and RX450h hybrid electric vehicle. This investment is expected to create 400 new jobs. The Ontario and federal governments are each investing up to $16.9 million to support this project.
  • Sumitomo Precision Products is investing $10 million in a new production facility for aerospace landing gear in Mississauga, creating 50 jobs. This facility will become the Japanese company's global headquarters for its aerospace division. Ontario is providing a $3.25 million loan in support of the project.

To increase the incentive for manufacturers in Ontario to invest, the Province will parallel the 2013 federal budget proposal to extend to the end of 2015 the accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) for manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment. This measure will reduce Ontario tax on manufacturing businesses by $265 million over the period from 2013–14 to 2015–16. The accelerated CCA shortens to three years the period over which the cost of new machinery and equipment can be deducted for tax purposes.

Chart 1.11: Annual Capital Cost Allowances on $1 Millon Investment in Machinery and Equipment Used in Manufacturing or Processing. Click for an accessible full description.

The federal government should continue to support efforts to increase investment, innovation and productivity in Ontario manufacturing. Where appropriate, a common approach or strategy that better coordinates federal and Ontario government efforts on behalf of the province's manufacturing sector, such as focusing on improving the sector's productivity, can help streamline and improve the effectiveness of overall government support. This was also a recommendation of the Jobs and Prosperity Council.

Cutting Red Tape: Ontario's Investment-Ready Program

Ontario will launch a certification program that pre-qualifies potential investment sites as development ready to make them more attractive to foreign direct investment and domestic expansion projects. A pre-qualified site will meet province-wide requirements regarding utilities servicing, transportation and access, and related due diligence. This information will be readily available for investment decision makers.

Ontario will become the first in Canada to have a province-wide site certification program.

The program will not only position communities to attract jobs and investment, it will also help to streamline the regulatory and administrative requirements placed on businesses.

Streamlining and Modernizing Financial Services Regulation

The financial services sector is a major engine of growth for the Ontario economy, with strong job growth of 3.2 per cent in 2012. This job growth has been almost twice as fast as the economy as a whole over the past 10 years. The financial services sector also stimulates economic growth by supporting many ancillary business services jobs, financial transactions, savings and investment, and access to capital for businesses. The financial services sector supports other key sectors in the economy, such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

To enhance Ontario's investment climate, the government is continuing to update and adapt Ontario's financial regulation to maintain a sound and stable regulatory framework for investors and consumers, as well as the securities and insurance industries.

Securities Regulation

Over half of the Canadian securities industry GDP and employment and 80 per cent of market activity take place in Ontario. In addition, Ontario has built a world-class regulator that plays a leadership role within Canada, as well as internationally.

The industry and its regulation are important to Ontario's economy, and Ontario has worked diligently in recent years to make capital markets in Canada safer, more efficient and more competitive. Ontario remains prepared to work with the federal government and other interested provinces to establish a common cooperative securities regulator.

Any new model must support vibrant capital markets that underpin strong economic growth and access to capital as well as protect investors. An updated and streamlined securities regulatory framework in Canada would include:

  • an expert and independent board to govern the new regulator and be accountable to a council of participating ministers;
  • a corporate and executive head office in Toronto, while recognizing and building on the expertise of securities regulators across Canada, such as oil and gas expertise in Calgary;
  • an effective voting structure in relation to any fundamental changes to the regulator that recognizes the significant role of jurisdictions with major capital markets; and
  • reduced costs for issuers and investors, while providing a more modern and responsive regulatory environment.

This framework would offer real benefits to businesses raising capital and to investors, and it would enhance Canada's international reputation for excellence in financial regulation. In the meantime, the government will explore options to work with the federal government to ensure the effective and efficient regulation of systemic risks in Canada's capital markets including risks that arise from derivatives markets.

Significant steps are also being taken to ensure that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) remains a highly regarded, modern and effective 21st-century securities regulator. Ontario is moving forward to ensure that its capital markets remain safe and competitive, its status as a world leader in financial services is enhanced, and that it continues to be viewed as an attractive market for global investment. See Chapter IV: Tax, Pension and Financial Services for additional details.

For instance, there is a pressing need to ensure that Canada meets its G20 reform commitments, including the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. As home to over 90 per cent of Canada's trading in key OTC derivatives, Ontario has a strong interest in making sure this initiative stays on track. The government will consider how best to ensure timely action so that derivatives markets in Ontario are regulated appropriately and remain internationally competitive.

Access to capital for all businesses is a priority for the government and it looks forward to the OSC's recommendations on debt and equity crowdfunding and other potential ways to enhance access to capital markets for businesses of all sizes and stages of development, while maintaining appropriate investor protections. In addition, the OSC has established a Small and Medium Enterprises Committee to advise OSC staff on policy- and rule-making initiatives relevant to small companies in Ontario's capital markets, and on the emerging issues and unique challenges faced by those companies.

2. Modern Infrastructure

In an increasingly competitive global economy, well-maintained and modern infrastructure helps to attract investment and lower business and manufacturing costs. Ontario remains dedicated to making strategic infrastructure investments where they are needed most. The Conference Board of Canada recently found that each $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors. It also found that the Province's recent and planned investments add over $1,000 to the average annual income of Ontarians by 2014 and lower the unemployment rate by almost one percentage point relative to where it would otherwise have been.

The Economic Impact of Public Infrastructure in Ontario
Conference Board of Canada, April 2013

The Conference Board of Canada recently published a report that assessed the economic impact of public infrastructure investment in Ontario.1 Citing Ontario's recent and planned real infrastructure investments from 2006 to 2014, the report states:

  • In addition to the short-term economic activity generated by the construction phase, investments in public infrastructure provide a significant and permanent boost to overall potential output (i.e., GDP).
  • Public infrastructure supports an annual average of approximately 167,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, including nearly 195,000 in 2013. (Induced jobs are generated by the spending from those directly and indirectly employed.)
  • This average mainly includes approximately 23,000 jobs in manufacturing, 49,000 in construction and 88,000 in business services (e.g., transportation, wholesale and retail trade, and financial services).
  • Public infrastructure supports private-sector production by helping provide an educated and healthy population as well as assets (e.g., transportation networks) relied on by businesses. It also helps boost private-sector productivity and leads to business investments in new technologies and capital.
  • Total productivity growth is a significant long-term driver of competitiveness and real per capita income. The cumulative increase in the stock of Ontario's public infrastructure helped boost the province's productive capacity in the range of 1.1 per cent to 2.6 per cent in 2012.

1 Pedro Antunes and Jacqueline Palladini, "The Economic Impact of Ontario's Infrastructure Investment Program," The Conference Board of Canada, April 2013.

The Province recognizes the importance of infrastructure and has invested approximately $85 billion in public infrastructure since 2003.

Chart 1.12: Highlights of Infrastructure Expenditures by Sector Since 2005-06. Click for an accessible full description.

The Province, with its partners, plans to continue to revitalize infrastructure in Ontario. The government plans to invest more than $35 billion over the next three years, including almost $13.5 billion in 2013–14. Infrastructure investments would remain focused on the most critical areas such as transportation, health care and education, consistent with the government's long-term infrastructure plan, Building Together. These planned investments support over 100,000 jobs on average each year across the province and align with the government's commitment to eliminate the deficit by 2017–18.

Chart 1.13: Highlights of Planned Infrastructure Expenditures by Sector. Click for an accessible full description.

New Revenue Tools to Support Transit Infrastructure

The government will be guided by a number of principles when it comes to new transportation and public transit investments, and the revenue that will be raised to pay for them.

  • Transportation needs vary across the province, and new investments should reflect the needs of different communities and regions.
  • New revenue generated from transportation-related activities should be dedicated to transportation projects in a clear and transparent manner so that the investment is directly tied to measurable results.
  • Any new revenue tool should not unfairly impact one type of commute or community over another.
  • New revenue tools should enable choice among the different transportation options available, while encouraging the use of public transit.
  • New transportation investments must be tied to smart city- and region-building and efficient land use planning, and endeavour to accommodate each region's changing population in the most efficient way possible.

These principles will help guide the Province's deliberations after it receives Metrolinx's June report on revenue tools for public transit investment in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Transportation Challenges in the GTHA

"Transportation bottlenecks in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and throughout Ontario are hurting quality of life and productivity. The Big Move, Metrolinx's plan to rebuild transportation in the GTHA, provides an opportunity to engage all stakeholders on how we pay for infrastructure, not just in the GTHA but across the province."

Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Pre-Budget Submission, March 25, 2013.

"Congestion in the Toronto Region is not just a fact of life, it is changing how we live our lives. We all know it's not a change for the better. We can no longer defer the tough decisions on how to address our region's lack of mobility. In today's ultra-competitive global economy, our competitors are investing in infrastructure that is helping them attract investment, jobs, and skilled workers. We, too, must act or fall behind.quot;

Carol Wilding, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Toronto Board of Trade (news release), March 18, 2013.

Recognizing the growing challenge of congestion in the GTHA, the Province created Metrolinx in 2006 to lead the coordination and delivery of a transportation plan, The Big Move, for this critical region. Metrolinx has estimated the capital costs of projects under The Big Move to be $50 billion. There will also be associated financing costs and, as these projects come into service, they will require ongoing funding to maintain and operate over their lifetime.

Ontario is not the first jurisdiction to consider a range of revenue sources for funding transit infrastructure. For example, Los Angeles County Metro raises significant funds by issuing debt backed by dedicated revenue streams, which it uses to build carpool lanes and new rail transit lines. The Agence Métropolitaine de Transport in Montreal uses dedicated revenue tools to build and operate commuter rail and bus rapid transit reserved lanes.

The Province is committing to convert select high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in the GTHA into high-occupancy toll (HOV/HOT) lanes, in which carpooling drivers would continue to drive for free, but other drivers would be able to choose to drive in these lanes for a toll. Toll-free options would exist on all highways that have HOV/HOT lanes. This model has been successfully implemented in several places, including in Florida, Texas and California. The Province will consult with its partners and bring forward a plan by year-end.

The Province will continue to invest in priority public transit capital investments outside the GTHA, such as the Waterloo Region rapid transit and Ottawa light rail transit projects. It will continue to invest two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues in public transit systems across the province, an investment that has yielded $2.2 billion for public transit systems in Ontario since 2004.

But the Province recognizes the transportation needs of those communities and regions that lack public transit systems, and the need for better infrastructure in heavily travelled areas of the province. Therefore, this Budget includes $100 million for small and rural municipalities for a new, dedicated fund for municipal roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure. The Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Ministries of Transportation and Infrastructure will consult in the summer of 2013 on the design of the program and make funds available by October 1, 2013. This fund would be in addition to the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative, for which proposals were received by the Province in April 2013. At the same time, the government will also consult on the components of a permanent program for roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure investments in small and rural municipalities for the 2014 Budget.

Transportation Infrastructure

Public Transit

Investments in public transit help manage congestion, support economic growth and contribute to improved quality of life. The Province supports 96 municipal transit systems serving 127 communities through the gas tax transfer. In addition, the Province is supporting key municipal transit projects, including:

  • up to $416 million towards the renewal of Toronto's streetcar fleet;
  • up to $600 million towards Ottawa's light rail transit project;
  • up to $300 million towards Waterloo Region's rapid transit project; and
  • $870 million towards the extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line to York University and into Vaughan.

Ontario's planned investments in public transit support over 30,000 jobs on average in each of the next three years.

Through Metrolinx, the Province is leading the development of an integrated transportation system and investing in regional transit projects to deliver:

  • modern transit with the Toronto light rail lines, including the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown light rail project, where early construction is underway;
  • 34 kilometres of planned dedicated lanes in York Region that allow rapid transit buses to move out of congested traffic and provide more reliable service; and
  • quick and dependable rail service between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station — two of the busiest transportation hubs in the country.

The Province plans to increase investments in GO Transit over the next 10 years to address underserviced areas, meet projected demand for peak-hour service, and help lay the foundation for future two-way all-day service on the GO network and for other major initiatives included in The Big Move. This new funding would:

  • increase capacity to move 50,000 additional riders per day, a rise of almost 20 per cent over current levels;
  • add 16,000 new parking spaces, an increase of 25 per cent over current levels; and
  • invest in new stations, fleet, maintenance facilities and corridor improvements.
Highways

Ensuring the flow of people and goods is vital to a strong economy and the growth of Ontario's communities — urban and rural, large and small, northern and southern. The Province is making substantial investments to rehabilitate and improve the provincial highway network, including projects to address bottlenecks and support economic growth. Examples include:

  • widening key sections of Highway 401 in the GTHA, Highway 417 in Ottawa, and Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon; and
  • building the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway in Windsor and extending Highway 407 east through Durham Region to connect with Highway 35/115 in Clarington.

The Province plans to move forward with a number of new highway projects, including:

  • improvements to Highway 17 in Renfrew County, to Highway 401 in Waterloo Region and Northumberland County, and to Highway 66 in northeastern Ontario;
  • proceeding with the planned extension of Highway 427 to Major Mackenzie Drive in York Region; and
  • new HOV lanes on sections of Highways 401, 404, 410 and 427 in the GTHA.

In addition, new funding would be allocated to ensure rehabilitation of bridges on the provincial highway network continues to be a priority.

Planned investments in Ontario's highways support over 25,000 jobs on average in each of the next three years.

Health Infrastructure

Investments in health care infrastructure help to deliver good care when and where people need it, and protect the health care system for future generations. The Province plans to invest over $3.5 billion in capital grants to hospitals over three years. These funds would support 19 major hospital projects that are under construction and more than 30 that are in various stages of planning, including:

  • Atikokan General Hospital — construction and renovations to upgrade inpatient facilities;
  • New Oakville Hospital of Halton Healthcare Services — construction of a new state-of-the-art facility to accommodate a full range of hospital services including acute care, complex continuing care and rehabilitation;
  • Providence Care Centre in Kingston — construction of a new replacement hospital that will consolidate services including rehabilitation, complex continuing and palliative care, and long-term mental health currently provided at two hospital sites in the area;
  • St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton — West 5th Site (Centre for Mountain Health Services) — construction of a new facility that will provide larger, state-of-the-art facilities to integrate medicine and psychiatry; and
  • Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital — construction of a new hospital that will feature new emergency and surgical services, new operating rooms, acute inpatient and intensive care beds, diagnostic imaging and specialized ambulatory clinics, among other services.

The Province's planned investments in hospitals support over 25,000 jobs on average in each of the next three years.

In addition, the Province plans to invest in health care infrastructure that responds to the demographic needs of Ontario. This means investments to support providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is developing a long-term solution to address the capital investment needs of the community sector. See Section B: A Fair Society and Section C: Fiscally Responsible and Accountable Government of this chapter for additional information on health care investments.

Education Infrastructure

Over the next three years, the Province plans to provide about $3.6 billion in capital grants to school boards to build better places to learn. This includes recently announced funding to build and renovate almost 90 schools across the province as well as funding to support the creation of extra classrooms to accommodate the full-day kindergarten program, which will be fully implemented by September 2014. Planned investments in Ontario's elementary and secondary schools support more than 10,000 jobs on average each year over the next three years.

Postsecondary Infrastructure

Supporting the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce is needed to compete in the global economy. Over the next three years, the Province plans to provide more than $800 million for infrastructure in colleges and universities, supporting approximately 5,000 jobs on average each year. This includes the commitment to fund the construction of 20 projects including major new facilities at colleges and universities. This would ensure Ontario's postsecondary system is able to respond to projected enrolment growth, with an emphasis on better asset management. Examples include:

  • Laurentian University — School of Architecture, Sudbury;
  • Sir Sandford Fleming College — Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre, Peterborough; and
  • Wilfrid Laurier University — Global Innovation Exchange, Waterloo.

The Province is also planning to make investments in research capacity at postsecondary institutions through the Research Infrastructure program of the Ontario Research Fund.

Federal Support

As part of its 2013 budget, the federal government announced a new 10-year Building Canada plan for infrastructure.

Ontario expects that its share of future funding under this plan will reflect the importance of the province's infrastructure for Canada's economic growth and prosperity, and that the plan will be flexible enough to support Ontario's priorities. Ontario continues to encourage the federal government to deliver dedicated funding for public transit.

See Chapter III: Federal-Provincial Relations for further details.

3. Highly Skilled Workforce

The availability of a highly skilled and adaptable workforce is critical to Ontario's success in meeting the challenges of rising global competition and technological changes. Population aging and slowing labour force growth also underscore the importance of equipping the workforce with the skills required in today's knowledge-based economy, as well as having policies that facilitate labour market participation by all segments of society.

A key government objective is to ensure that more people get jobs while employers find the skilled workers they need to improve their competitive position. Ontario's education and training institutions also have to be well positioned to meet the changing demands of the global economy and technological innovation.

Youth Labour Market

Despite job gains in Ontario since the end of the recession, Ontario's youth face persistently high unemployment. The employment rate of youth (the proportion of the population aged 15 to 24 with jobs) has also remained well below its pre-recession levels, largely because youth shouldered the brunt of job losses during the downturn. In 2012, the youth employment rate stood at 50 per cent, compared to 57 per cent in 2007.

While government investments have minimized the severity of the economic downturn and helped to ensure that Ontario's youth fared much better than their counterparts in most OECD countries, youth unemployment is still unacceptably high.

Chart 1.14: Youth (15 to 24 years) Employment Rate: 2006-12. Click for an accessible full description.

Studies show that periods of youth unemployment can have long-term social and economic consequences. These experiences can lead to youth facing persistently lower wages and a higher likelihood of becoming unemployed later in life. Therefore, it is critical that governments and employers work together to pave the way for a brighter future for Ontario youth.

Building on Previous Achievements

Ontario has made significant investments to build the knowledge and skills of its population, ranging from full-day kindergarten to postsecondary education. Ontario's education and training institutions have helped equip young people for jobs in a knowledge-based economy. Youth aged 15 to 29 account for 35 per cent of participants in Employment Ontario, the province's $1 billion system of employment and skills training programs and services.

In addition, Ontario has supported a number of youth initiatives, including the Youth Action Plan, announced in August 2012, which will benefit 13,000 young people each year through a variety of programs, including increasing the number of Youth Outreach Workers and supporting community programs through a new annual Youth Opportunities Fund. This plan helps create over 5,000 part-time and summer jobs for youth.

Building on Ontario's Youth Action Plan, the government has created the first-ever Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities. It will engage with youth, young professionals and community partners to ensure that young people across the province get the right training and job opportunities, and have the tools they need to succeed.

Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy

Recognizing the need to provide even more opportunities for Ontario's youth, the government is proposing a comprehensive Youth Jobs Strategy, providing an investment of $295 million over two years. The strategy would support the following initiatives that would promote employment opportunities, entrepreneurship and innovation for youth in Ontario:

  • Ontario Youth Employment Fund to expand employment opportunities for youth across Ontario;
  • Ontario Youth Entrepreneurship Fund to support the next generation of entrepreneurs through mentorship, startup capital and outreach;
  • Ontario Youth Innovation Fund to support skills needed to lead and manage industrial research, development and commercialization, as well as support young entrepreneurs at universities and colleges; and
  • Business-Labour Connectivity and Training Fund to promote partnerships among business, labour, educators and youth to identify and solve skills development issues.

The government will consult with youth on designing the strategy, including consulting with the Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities.

Ontario Youth Employment Fund

The government is proposing a Youth Employment Fund of $195 million over two years to create employment opportunities for 25,000 youth in Ontario. The Province would provide hiring incentives to employers to offer young people in all regions of the province an entry point to long-term employment. Youth who participate in the program would learn life and work skills while earning income. It would also help employers better tap the youth talent available in the province.

The Fund would use Employment Ontario's network of employment and training services and the support of the employer community across Ontario to find appropriate job placements that meet the diverse needs of Ontario's youth.

Employment opportunities would be available across Ontario, with an added focus on areas with high youth unemployment, including at-risk youth (e.g., youth leaving care, youth receiving social assistance), Aboriginal youth, recent immigrants and visible minority youth, and youth in rural and northern communities. This investment would improve youth outcomes today by providing employment opportunities, while supporting Ontario's future economic growth as youth are equipped with the skills to succeed going forward.

Youth Employment Fund — Examples of How It Would Help

  • Munish is 26 years old and has a university degree from India. He recently moved to Toronto and was struggling to find work because he lacked Canadian work experience. After getting help from an Employment Supports (ES) service provider, he is able to find an administrative position. His new employer is also able to train him because of the wage subsidy available through the Youth Employment Fund.
  • Jennifer lives in Sioux Lookout and has a high school diploma. She dreams of becoming a chef. A local family-run restaurant is willing to take her on as an apprentice but she cannot afford the knives and uniform she will need to do this job. Through the Youth Employment Fund, the ES service provider is able to provide a nominal advance to enable the purchase of these items so that she can start this job.
  • Luc lives in Cornwall and has only managed to find a few short-term jobs in warehousing. Several of his employers told him that they might have full-time positions available if he were to get training as a forklift operator. With help from the ES provider and financial support from the Youth Employment Fund, Luc is able to get the proper training so that he can move into full-time employment.
  • Solange lives in Windsor and is hoping to find a job where she can help other youth. Her ES service provider found a position that a local not-for-profit agency has had difficulty filling and may be a good fit for her career goals. As Solange does not meet all of the requirements of the job, the Youth Employment Fund is able to provide her with financial support to take a training course in presentation software and also gives her new employer access to a wage subsidy.
Ontario Youth Entrepreneurship Fund

Creating new businesses is an important part of Ontario's economic future. To help ensure that Ontario's next generation of entrepreneurs is strong, confident and ready to compete at home and abroad, the government is proposing an Ontario Youth Entrepreneurship Fund of $45 million over two years, generating nearly 6,000 mentorship and job opportunities.

The fund would focus on three priority areas:

  • Mentorship: ensuring young entrepreneurs are connected to experienced entrepreneur mentors who provide coaching, business strategy and "go to" market advice that substantially increase the long-term success of a startup company.
  • Seed-stage capital: financing a company is often the biggest barrier to getting started. The fund would offer small loans, seed capital and other grants to lower this barrier. The seed-stage capital would be provided to Accelerator Hubs that would partner with investors to support young entrepreneurs with their startup companies.
  • High school entrepreneurship outreach: funding over two years to entrepreneurship-focused organizations that would support outreach and provide tools to students through classroom presentations, conferences and experiential learning. Successful business owners would also serve as mentors to help strengthen the next generation of business leaders.

These targeted investments would support young entrepreneurs across the province, as they work to build their careers, turning them from job seekers into job creators. The Province would use the Ontario Network of Excellence and Small Business Enterprise Centres to ensure that this fund is implemented as quickly as possible.

To bolster the environment for Ontario's young entrepreneurs, the government will allow graduates choosing to start a business in Ontario to defer paying off Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans and payment of interest until one full year after completing postsecondary education, rather than the standard six-month grace period.

Ontario Youth Innovation Fund

Ontario's academic institutions provide students with 21st-century skills to succeed in the modern economy. These talented students, however, need more opportunities to enter the knowledge-based workforce and make positive contributions to the province's innovation economy.

Ontario would invest $10 million over two years to provide exceptional post-doctoral fellows with skills and experience to lead and manage industrial research, development and commercialization efforts, resulting in rapid commercialization of research and a boost to economic activity. This investment would flow through Ontario Centres of Excellence, which offer established infrastructure, and should leverage $40 million from industry. This new investment would build on the success of Mitacs, which has created 1,650 internships for graduate students and 111 post-doctoral fellowships in Ontario, since 2008.

The government would also provide $20 million over two years for the On Campus Accelerator Centres that would facilitate development of entrepreneurial activity in Ontario's universities and colleges. This investment would build on existing centres like Ryerson's Digital Media Zone, University of Toronto's Impact Centre, Nipissing University's Student Development Fund, Experience Entrepreneurship at Conestoga College and the VeloCity Program at the University of Waterloo, where successful, new innovative companies are being developed and getting products to the market.

Supporting Youth Social Innovation

In addition to providing supports for youth employment and entrepreneurship, the government has provided a one-time investment to develop and deliver a province-wide Social Impact Academy for youth, leveraging Ontario's world-leading social innovation infrastructure. This program will help selected cohorts of youth build critical leadership and social innovation skills to achieve improved social outcomes for Ontario. The program will capitalize on young people's creativity, their desire to make an impact on society and their technological abilities to begin to address social challenges that impact youth.

Business-Labour Connectivity and Training Fund

In recognition of the need for better coordination among business, labour, educators and youth to identify and solve talent development issues, the government is proposing $25 million over two years to support creative new pilot initiatives. This funding would support youth-focused training programs that strengthen innovation and collaboration skills, as well as initiatives from business groups.

Improving Labour Market Participation

Ontario faces a long-term demographic challenge from slowing working-age population growth. This will result in a slower pace of labour force growth, lessening the province's economic prospects. As a result, it is important that Ontario continue to improve labour force participation of all segments of society, to increase the supply of available workers and enhance the Province's long-term economic potential.

A number of vulnerable groups, including recent immigrants, Aboriginals and people with disabilities, have relatively low labour force participation rates. These groups account for nearly 38 per cent of Ontario's adult population, which is a significant pool of underutilized talent.

The government is taking measures that strengthen the job market participation of social assistance recipients (see Section B: A Fair Society in this chapter for details). Ontario continues to take steps to remove barriers for people with disabilities and facilitate the integration of immigrants into the workplace.

Removing Barriers to Participation for People with Disabilities

About two million people in this province have a physical, mental, sensory or learning disability, and that number will grow as Ontario's population ages.

It is a social and economic imperative to tear down the physical, technological, information, bureaucratic and attitudinal barriers that prevent people with disabilities from living life to the fullest potential.

Working with Ontario's businesses, organizations and communities, the government is taking additional steps to facilitate the workplace participation of people with disabilities. To combat current high unemployment and poverty rates, which result in high costs to individuals, businesses and the economy, the government is:

  • announcing a new Partnership Council on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities, composed of government and corporate leaders, to champion the hiring of people with disabilities;
  • moving the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario from the Ministry of Community and Social Services to the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment; and
  • providing $3.2 million in 2013–14 to support accessible public library services through the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind). Access to reading material in alternative formats increases literacy, encourages lifelong learning, and improves opportunities for employment and community engagement for people who are print-disabled.
Immigration

Ontario recognizes the importance of successfully integrating immigrants into its workforce. The Province offers a variety of programs, including Bridge Training Programs, which help immigrants settle and prepare to enter the labour market. Since 2003, Ontario has invested in more than 300 Bridge Training Programs that have helped nearly 50,000 highly skilled newcomers get the training and experience they need to get licensed and find work in their fields. With Bridge Training Programs demonstrating strong outcomes and continued success, demand for them has continued to increase. In response, the government will provide an additional $15 million over three years, beginning in 2013–14.

Ontario also launched its immigration strategy in November 2012 to ensure the success of the province's newcomers, and to keep Ontario strong and prosperous. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will convene an Employers' Table in the spring of 2013. Through this, the government and employer community will work together to better support employer immigration needs and explore ways to improve labour market outcomes for Ontario's immigrants.

Integrating Employment and Training Services

The government is making progress on its plan to integrate employment and training services across government with Employment Ontario, to deliver results where need is greatest. This will give individuals and employers easier and better access to the services that meet their needs — whether it is training to improve skills, opportunities to gain work experience, or strategies and tools to recruit local talent.

The Ontario government has successfully integrated employment services transferred from the federal government with its employment and skills training programs and services as part of Employment Ontario's transformation. The new system will build on the solid foundation of Employment Ontario and will consist of flexible and effective programs with the following key components:

  • an improved and more consistent approach to assessing the needs of clients, to better match clients to services based on individuals' needs and readiness to work;
  • a renewed focus on engaging employers to ensure their workforce development needs are met; and
  • enhanced referral pathways within Employment Ontario and across government programs to better connect clients to a range of services and supports and improve outcomes.

Key Achievements

  • Employment Ontario serves approximately one million people each year, including over 90,000 employers.
  • Second Career has helped over 65,000 laid-off workers retrain since June 2008.
  • Over 100,000 students accessed jobs and services in the summer of 2012.
  • With more than 150 trades and occupations, Ontario supports the largest apprenticeship system in Canada. Over 120,000 apprentices are learning a trade today — more than double the number in 2002–03.
Apprenticeship

An adequate supply of skilled tradespeople is critical to Ontario's continued economic growth and prosperity. Over the past nine years, the government has significantly expanded the apprenticeship system, more than doubling the number of apprentices in the province to over 120,000. New annual apprenticeship registrations have grown from 17,000 in 2002–03 to over 30,000 in 2011–12.

The government also understands the importance of supporting apprentices to obtain certification. Ontario provides supports directed at employers, apprentices and training institutions to promote access to and completion of apprenticeships.

The Ontario College of Trades, an industry-driven governing body, which is now operational, will help modernize the province's apprenticeship and skilled trades system. In addition, the government will review Infrastructure Ontario's procurement policies to ensure that they are consistent with the broader objectives of supporting apprentices and strengthening the apprenticeship system.

Postsecondary Education

Ontario has made significant investments to support Ontario's workforce through education and skills training.

Key Achievements

  • Since 2002–03, there are over 160,000 additional students enrolled at Ontario colleges or universities, an increase of 41 per cent.
  • Since 2002–03, Ontario has created almost 16,000 new graduate spaces — an increase of 58 per cent.
  • The number of Ontario college and university students qualifying for student financial assistance has increased by 150 per cent since 2002–03.
  • The 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant helps to lower the cost of a postsecondary education. Approximately 230,000 college and university students received the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant in 2012–13.
Affordable Postsecondary Education

Ensuring the affordability of postsecondary education is a priority of the government. Through a variety of loans, grants, bursaries and a new postsecondary tuition framework, the government ensures that every qualified student will be able to pursue a postsecondary education. Through programs such as the Ontario Access Grant and the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant, launched in 2012, the government is helping eligible students pay for their tuition. The government will continue to provide the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant to eligible students, making postsecondary education more accessible.

Tuition-Fee Framework

On March 28, 2013, the Ontario government announced a new tuition-fee framework reducing allowable annual tuition-fee increases over the next four years. Under the new framework, annual tuition-fee increases will be capped at an average of three per cent, only one percentage point above the average inflation rate in Ontario over the past 10 years.

This means tuition increases for most full-time arts and science undergraduate students and most college students will be limited to three per cent. This approach complements existing supports for postsecondary students, including the Student Access Guarantee and the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant.

In addition, the government will introduce a fairer approach to defer fees, ensuring students are not asked to pay for their tuition before their OSAP funding arrives. Changes to the definition of a full university course load for determining tuition fees will also be announced over the summer, following further consultations with institutions and students.

This new tuition framework will improve accessibility, reduce growth in costs to students and give institutions revenue predictability for the next four years.

Strengthening Postsecondary Education Accountability

In order to better inform students about their future career options and ensure greater accountability, the government is proposing to require postsecondary education institutions to better track outcomes for students over time and report on career success rates among graduates. This would build on existing reporting through institutions' Multi-year Accountability Agreements.

4. Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Fostering Research and Development

Ontario's continued prosperity depends on its ability to transform ideas into innovative goods and services for global markets.

One of Ontario's innovation strengths is its significant proportion of higher-education research and development (R&D) funded by business — a key measure of industry-academic cooperation and technology transfer. Based on the latest available data, Ontario's proportion of business-funded, higher-education R&D exceeded that of most other advanced economies, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Chart 1.15: Ontario's Business-Funded, Higher-Education R&D Compared to Selected Countries. Click for an accessible full description.

Breakthroughs by Ontario's scientists and researchers, however, are not always turned into new products and services. The Jobs and Prosperity Council identified weak commercialization outcomes as a challenge to Ontario's innovation economy. Acting on a Council recommendation, the government is implementing a Commercialization and Innovation Voucher pilot program. The voucher will help entrepreneurs and small businesses to access innovation, productivity and commercialization services offered by Ontario's research institutions.

Sometimes entrepreneurs have difficulty accessing capital that would help them grow their business. The Province is working with the federal government to put in place a new venture capital fund of up to $300 million in partnership with the private sector. This new Ontario-based fund would help strengthen Ontario's venture capital industry, and help fund potential high-growth firms in the province.

With discoveries ranging from insulin to stem cells, Ontario scientists have a long history of medical breakthroughs. Ontario continues its support for medical discovery by committing $100 million to the Ontario Brain Institute over five years. The Institute will use the funds to expand its patient-focused neuroscience research to include Alzheimer's disease and depression, and continue its work on cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy.

As noted in the discussion of Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy, the Province is establishing a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund and a Youth Innovation Fund to help create Ontario's future business leaders.

Entertainment and Creative Sector

The entertainment and creative sector is an important component of Ontario's economy. Knowledge-intensive and creative industries support a higher quality of life and good jobs, making Ontario an attractive place to live, work and visit.

Ontario Music Fund

The government will provide $45 million in grants over three years, starting in 2013–14, for a new Ontario Music Fund. The province-wide fund will support new digital and record production and distribution of Canadian music, increase partnership opportunities, and promote Ontario's music industry both at home and abroad. Grants from the fund will help the industry to innovate, invest and take advantage of opportunities in the global music marketplace, bringing more recording activity to the province. The fund will also support Ontario's live music strategy, positioning the province as a leading place to record and perform music.

Massey Hall

Toronto's Massey Hall continues to play an important role in attracting leading performers from around the world. The government will provide $8 million in 2013–14 to support Massey Hall's revitalization. The renewal of this iconic landmark will allow Massey Hall to continue to contribute to the growth of Ontario's performing arts scene as a fully functional modern venue.

Canadian Film Centre

Celebrating 25 years, the Canadian Film Centre is a leader in developing Canada's creative and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based and digital media industries. Many of the Centre's graduates have gone on to key positions in making innovative, ground-breaking content, winning national and international accolades for their work. The government will provide funding of $9 million over three years, starting in 2013–14, to support the Centre's educational programs for advanced film, television and new media. This will also develop new market opportunities for its students and their projects.

Film and Television

Ontario leads the Canadian film and television industry as the top production centre, ahead of British Columbia and Quebec, and is third behind California and New York in North America. Ontario's film and TV production activity accounts for over 40 per cent of all film and TV production activity in Canada.

The Province offers a complete range of advantages including top-notch technical and creative crews, world-class studios and post-production facilities, a dynamic talent pool, a variety of locations, and financial support. As a result, in 2012, the province's film and television industry contributed $1.28 billion to the economy.

5. Going Global

Ontario's export-based economy is well positioned to take advantage of emerging global opportunities. According to the OECD, spending by the global middle class is expected to more than double from $21 trillion US in 2009 to $56 trillion US by 2030. The bulk of this growth is expected to come from the Asia Pacific region, where spending is predicted to multiply from about $5 trillion US in 2009 to $33 trillion US by 2030. As a result, Asia Pacific's share of worldwide middle-class spending is expected to dramatically increase from 23 per cent in 2009 to 59 per cent by 2030.

The Jobs and Prosperity Council, in its 2012 "Advantage Ontario" report, recommended that:

"…there should be a focus on export opportunities where Ontario has an inherent advantage and where global demand is rising ... agri-food, advanced manufacturing, tourism, health care, education, housing, infrastructure, financial services, natural resources, information communications technology and life sciences."


Chart 1.16: Spending by the Global Middle Class, 2009-30. Click for an accessible full description.

In 2012, over 90 per cent of Ontario's exports were destined for slow-growing advanced economies — 78 per cent to the United States alone. Only five per cent of Ontario's exports were bound for fast-growing economies. By 2030, the fast-growing economies' share of the world economy is expected to rise sharply from 28 per cent to almost 50 per cent.

Chart 1.17: Ontario's Export Market Opportunities, Province's Current Exposure to Fast-Growing Economies. Click for an accessible full description.

The government will work with business to promote Ontario's many export industry strengths and expand market access beyond Ontario's borders to other provinces, the United States and rapidly growing emerging markets.

Ontario exporters can better target and access all export markets in three ways:

  • exporting finished goods and final services directly to both established and emerging markets;
  • exporting key components and services to North American-based firms that are integrated into evolving global supply chains serving all markets; and
  • pursuing global product mandates to be supplied from Ontario.

Having more Ontario companies export has important competitiveness and productivity benefits. Successful exporters overcome entry barriers, adapt to global competition, learn about new markets, products and innovative technologies, and apply them at home while leading the way for other firms.

In Ontario, 46 per cent of manufacturing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) already export — a higher export propensity than in many other industrial economies except Germany. Furthermore, many Ontario SMEs are beginning to export and diversify their sales beyond the U.S. market.

The Jobs and Prosperity Council identified a number of policy levers that could help maximize Ontario's export opportunities including organizing trade missions; leveraging connections between Ontario's multicultural population and emerging-market economies; building management expertise; and enhancing the export capacity of SMEs.

Ontario can also take advantage of its favourable international perception and global brand to grow its exports abroad. This can be supported by the competitive strengths of Ontario's industries, and international business contacts established through its many immigrant communities.

  • Ontario is strengthening trade corridors with the United States, including "gateway" bridge and highway infrastructure. This will help industries that rely on smooth operations across the border. In Windsor, the Province is building the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway, an extension of Highway 401 that is one of the key components of a new crossing at Canada's busiest land border, ensuring the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services.
  • Ontario is working with the federal government to pursue new trade agreements that would improve access for exporters to foreign markets and benefit Canadian consumers. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would improve access to the largest and one of the richest markets in the world. Canada is also negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a number of countries as well as trade agreements with India and Japan.
  • Ontario is helping exporters with over 60 outbound missions in priority sectors. This will include new and emerging markets, such as India, China, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America. Ontario is also conducting over 70 seminars to develop marketing and other trade skills among exporters.
  • Ontario is hosting a major global exporter forum this fall, where companies in Ontario's leading advanced industries will learn more about how to capitalize on export opportunities in the Asia Pacific region.

6. Vibrant and Strong Communities

Ontario's communities and regions have different economic strengths, opportunities and challenges. The economy of northern Ontario faces different competitive issues than the large urban complex of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Rural municipalities also have different needs from major urban centres.

The government is committed to working with municipalities and local industries to overcome their unique challenges, while helping them take advantage of emerging opportunities for jobs and growth.

Local Food

Ontario's agriculture and food processing industry is a critical pillar of the province's economy. The sector has proven resilient during tough economic times and continues to grow, driving jobs and economic growth in rural and urban communities.

That is why the government introduced a local food bill that, if passed, would celebrate and support the good things grown, harvested and made in Ontario. The legislation is one part of the broader Local Food Strategy to increase awareness of access to and demand for local food in Ontario. The broader strategy will support innovative local food projects with funding of $30 million over three years.

Today, agriculture and related industries contribute more than $34 billion to the Province's GDP and employ over 710,000 people in communities across Ontario. The food processing sector is the province's second-largest manufacturer, with the GTA being one of the top three food processing clusters in North America.

Rural Ontario

The government continues to support the residents of rural Ontario and will continue its existing investments made through the Rural Economic Development (RED) program. Through the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative, the government is also investing nearly $90 million over the next three years to help municipalities undertake critical infrastructure projects that strengthen local economies and create jobs.

The government is also providing $100 million for small and rural municipalities for a new, dedicated fund for municipal roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure.

In 2013, the Province is also providing rural municipalities with $699 million in support through the combined benefit of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) and provincial uploads, an increase of $314 million over the previous program.

Northern Ontario

The government has created a Cabinet Committee on Northern Ontario to address the unique economic challenges facing northern Ontario. The challenges include job creation, revitalizing transportation infrastructure and improving vital access to the Ring of Fire.

The government is moving forward on the planned extension of the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program, which assists northern Ontario's largest industrial electricity consumers — and key economic contributors — to reduce energy costs for large users, supporting their employees, families and communities and maintaining global competitiveness.

The program was first announced in March 2010 for a three-year period and the Province is extending the NIER program by investing an additional $360 million over three years — starting in 2013–14.

  • The NIER program has created or protected almost 16,000 jobs at 24 forestry, steel and mining-related facilities in northern communities since it was launched in 2010. Its three-year extension will continue to support growth and development in northern resource sectors such as forestry and mining.
  • This program continues to be a significant government action to respond to unprecedented challenges faced by the forestry industry during the global recession and its after-effects.

Strong Northern Communities

The government is working with communities and key industries in northern Ontario to help create a stronger, more diverse and sustainable northern economy.

  • The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is working to build strong, prosperous northern communities through seven programs that encourage businesses to develop new technologies, stimulate entrepreneurship and invest in a young skilled workforce across northern Ontario.
  • The government is investing $360 million over the next three years through the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) program to continue assisting northern Ontario's largest industrial electricity consumers and key economic contributors.
  • The Ontario Power Authority's Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) program offers a reduced electricity rate on new and expanded production to better manage load. The program will create jobs and bring investment across the province, including northern Ontario.
  • The government is making significant infrastructure investments to strengthen northern communities. For example, it is building a new Thunder Bay Consolidated Courthouse, expected to be completed this fall, and upgrading Atikokan General Hospital.
  • In 2013, the Province is providing northern municipalities with $339 million in support through the combined benefit of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) and provincial uploads, an increase of $86 million over the previous program.
  • Government support for northern school boards in 2013–14 will total nearly $1.5 billion — a 72 per cent increase in per-pupil funding over the 2002–03 level.
  • The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has graduated a total of 220 new doctors since the spring of 2009. Nine Nurse Practitioner Clinics have been announced and 42 Family Health Teams created.

Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire, an area with deposits of chromite and other minerals, is important in the immediate and long-term future of northern Ontario's economy. The government is working with industry and First Nation communities to explore and develop mineral extraction opportunities in the Ring of Fire area in an environmentally sustainable way.

The government is committed to helping First Nation communities benefit from extracting minerals in the Ring of Fire area through resource revenue sharing. To ensure that these communities are involved in the development process, the government is also providing enhanced funding to First Nation communities in the Ring of Fire area and actively working with them towards signed memoranda of understanding.

Aboriginal Peoples in Ontario

More than 240,000 people in Ontario identify as Aboriginal — First Nation, Métis or Inuit. Nearly 21 per cent of Aboriginal peoples in Canada live in Ontario, more than in any other province.*

The Ontario government is strengthening cooperative relationships with Aboriginal peoples, which will improve their opportunities for economic and social development.

  • Since 2008, the New Relationship Fund has invested more than $77 million in over 520 economic development projects involving First Nations, Métis communities and Aboriginal organizations. These projects have created more than 540 jobs and funded skills training for over 4,300 Aboriginal people.
  • The Aboriginal Business Directory, launched in 2010, is an online database of Aboriginal businesses in Ontario, to help them promote their products and services to potential customers and non-Aboriginal partners.
  • A preliminary draft Agreement-in-Principle for the Algonquin Land Claim was released in December 2012 for public review. The negotiation teams for the Algonquins of Ontario, Canada and Ontario organized public information sessions in March 2013.

* Statistics Canada Census, 2006.

Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program

The Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program (ALGP) continues to facilitate opportunities for Aboriginal participation in the energy sector. The government looks forward to continuing to work with Aboriginal communities to create jobs and support investment for those communities, and to create benefits for the people of this province.

To date, two loan guarantees have been approved under the ALGP, with the Mother Earth Renewable Energy Project in operation and construction underway on the Lower Mattagami Project.

Supporting Regional Development

In 2011–12, the government increased annual funding for the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to $100 million and maintained this level of funding in 2012–13 to support job creation and strengthen the economies of northern communities.

  • Since October 2003, more than 21,500 jobs were created or protected in the north as a result of 5,312 projects to which the NOHFC committed more than $824 million. These investments have leveraged another $3 billion from other contributors.

In October 2012, the government launched a permanent Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF). It also replenished and made permanent the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF).

  • Since October 2012, the government has committed $15 million through the SWODF, leveraging a total investment of nearly $120 million and helping create and protect 2,200 jobs.
  • Since 2008, the government has committed more than $60.6 million through the EODF, leveraging a total investment of nearly $591 million. These investments are helping create and protect 14,100 jobs in eastern Ontario.

Helping Communities Create Jobs and Growth

The following are some examples of how the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) are investing in southern Ontario's communities to create jobs.

  • The EODF has contributed $1.5 million to Nestlé Canada's $15.3 million investment to purchase and install new equipment in its Trenton facility, reducing the company's environmental impact and ensuring that food safety remains the top priority. This project has created 35 new jobs and protected 298 existing positions.
  • The Province has contributed $1.5 million through the EODF to help Northern Cables Inc. — an innovative manufacturer of armoured cable located in Brockville and Prescott — expand its facility and purchase new equipment. This has created 32 new jobs, protected 105 jobs and helped reduce the company's reliance on foreign suppliers.
  • The EODF has also supported Peterborough-based McCloskey International Limited, a company that manufactures equipment for the aggregate industry. The project enhanced the company's facilities and expanded its production capabilities to manufacture heavy equipment components in-house. The government has supported its $15 million investment with $1.4 million, which created 129 jobs and protected 104 jobs.
  • With the support of the SWODF, Lambton Conveyor Inc., a manufacturer of grain storage, handling and drying equipment, is expanding into a vacant former auto parts facility in Wallaceburg. The project will lead to the creation of 110 jobs and the protection of another 110 jobs. The project will support the company's growth in export markets.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)

Toronto and surrounding municipalities are important for Ontario's economy. The GTHA accounted for over half of the province's output in 2012. Roughly 52 per cent of Ontario's working-age population lives in the GTHA and a similar share of employment is generated in the region. The Province has established a strong partnership with municipalities within the GTHA.

Toronto — City of the Future

A leading global business publication has ranked Toronto as one of the best cities in North America for business investment. fDi Magazine (April/May 2013), published by the Financial Times Ltd., ranked Toronto in second place after New York City in the categories of "Overall North American Cities of the Future 2013/14."

Toronto also placed second after New York City as a major North American city for business friendliness.

The rankings by fDi Magazine are based on data collected for 422 cities under five categories: economic potential; human resources; cost effectiveness; infrastructure; and business friendliness.

The government invested $870 million in the extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line, linking the City of Toronto with York Region, and is providing up to $416 million for the renewal of Toronto's streetcar fleet.

The Province is investing $500 million towards the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, which will showcase Ontario; promote healthy, active living; and leave a legacy of new and upgraded sports and recreation facilities. In addition, the Province is investing $514 million towards the Athletes' Village project, which will advance the implementation of Waterfront Toronto's award-winning precinct plan for the West Don Lands area.

Since 2004–05, the government has invested over $370 million in research infrastructure and nearly $312 million in research excellence in the GTHA through the Ontario Research Fund.

In 2013, the government is investing about $630 million in the GTHA as a result of the Province's uploads of social assistance benefit programs as well as court security and prisoner transportation costs.

Sustainable Development and Healthy Communities

Ontario has a strong track record of developing policies and initiatives that focus on the preservation of the natural environment and quality of life for all the people of Ontario.

The government realizes that a healthy environment supports Ontario's long-term economic and social well-being including healthy and vibrant communities. For example, Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy sets priorities for protecting and restoring the lakes to keep them drinkable, swimmable and fishable for generations to come. This will help protect the health of the lakes. Many communities, including northern, rural and urban communities across Ontario, benefit by being close to these lakes.

The Great Lakes are a critical resource for the lives and well-being of all people in Ontario and for the province's economy. They provide drinking water for more than 80 per cent of the people of this province and support electricity generation, fishing and tourism as well as other key sectors in Ontario. The government provides $15 million annually to protect the Great Lakes, including support for the Ontario Great Lakes Strategy and activities related to the Canada–Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem. In addition, the government will provide $13.5 million over three years to protect the quality and quantity of drinking water supply sources for the people of Ontario, working in partnership with small municipalities.

Ontario is eliminating coal-fired generation and increasing renewable energy sources that generate less pollution and help improve Ontario's air quality. Closing the coal-fired power plants is a big step forward since these plants emit sulphur dioxide, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals and toxins known to cause serious health problems, including cancer. The Canadian Medical Association estimates air pollution costs Ontario more than $220 million in health care costs and contributes to the deaths of 1,200 Ontarians each year.

Ontario is on track to build a clean, reliable electricity system. The Province has been working to bring clean sources of energy into the supply mix and to encourage energy conservation. Conservation is the cheapest source of energy available, and Ontario will continue to be a leader in smart-grid technology and energy conservation.

Conserving energy not only saves money for families and businesses, it also lowers demand on the electricity system and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2005, various initiatives have helped Ontario families and businesses conserve more than 1,700 megawatts (MW) of electricity — the equivalent of taking more than half a million homes off the power grid.

The Ontario Power Authority now has over 10,000 MW of renewable capacity under contract. These clean energy projects are helping Ontario meet its goals for improving air quality and eliminating coal-fired generation.

Chart Descriptions

Chart 1.1: Ontario’s Productivity Growth Has Lagged the U.S.

Line chart shows the level of business sector real output per hour worked between 1984 and 2011, with the index for 1984 equal to 100. There is one line for Ontario and another line for the United States.

The chart also includes a table that shows:

  • Between 1985 and 2000, average annual productivity growth was 1.3 per cent in Ontario and 2.0 per cent in the United States.
  • Between 2001 and 2011, average annual productivity growth was 0.4 per cent in Ontario and 2.3 per cent in the United States.

Return to Chart 1.1

Chart 1.2: Ontario Business R&D Spending Below the U.S.

Ontario businesses continue to underinvest in productivity-enhancing activities such as research and development (R&D). Business R&D as a percentage of GDP in Ontario has continuously lagged behind the U.S. over the last decade. Between 2001 and 2010, Ontario’s business R&D as a percentage of GDP declined from 1.7 per cent to 1.1 per cent, while the U.S. declined from 2 per cent to 1.9 per cent.

Return to Chart 1.2

Chart 1.3: Ontario Businesses Could Be Investing More

Line chart shows real business investment in machinery and equipment as a percentage of real GDP in Ontario and the United States over the period 1980 to 2012.

The line for Ontario increased from about 2.0 per cent in the mid-1980s to 4.9 per cent in 2012.

The line for the United States increased from roughly 4.0 per cent in the mid-1980s to 8.4 per cent in 2012.

Return to Chart 1.3

Chart 1.4: High Canadian Dollar Has Hurt Ontario’s Competitiveness

Line chart shows the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar between 1990 and 2013.

From 1990 to 2002, the Canadian dollar declined from the high-80 cent US range to the low-60 cent US range.

From 2002 to present, the Canadian dollar rose from the low-60 cent US range to around parity with the U.S. dollar.

Return to Chart 1.4

Chart 1.5: Cost Competitiveness Has Eroded

Bar chart shows the percentage change in total economy unit labour costs in U.S. dollars between 1997 and 2010 for Ontario and a selection of OECD countries. The countries are ranked in order of highest to lowest labour cost growth as follows: Norway, Australia, Canada, Ontario, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Finland, France, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Canada, Ontario and the United States are highlighted. Between 1997 and 2010, total economy unit labour costs increased 75 per cent in Canada, 69 per cent in Ontario and 28 per cent in the United States.

Return to Chart 1.5

Chart 1.6: Ontario Exporters have Lost Market Share in the U.S. – Mostly to Emerging-Market Economies

Bar chart shows the percentage share of U.S. merchandise imports sourced from Ontario between 2000 and 2012.

Ontario’s share of U.S. imports declined from 9.5 per cent, or $172 billion, in 2000, to 5.6 per cent, or $127 billion, in 2012.

Return to Chart 1.6

Chart 1.7: Ontario’s Export Exposure to Fast-Growing Economies Is Low

Bar chart shows seven bars representing the share of total merchandise exports in 2012 to fast-growing economies from Ontario, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Japan and Australia. Fast-growing economies include Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

The share of exports going to fast-growing economies is as follows: Ontario is 5.0 per cent, Canada is 9.5 per cent, the United Kingdom is 12.7 per cent, Germany is 16.6 per cent, the United States is 34.8 per cent, Japan is 39.2 per cent and Australia is 48.3 per cent.

Return to Chart 1.7

Chart 1.8: Structural Changes to Ontario’s Economy

Stacked bar chart shows the share of total nominal GDP for the services, manufacturing and other goods sectors for 2001 and 2011. The other goods sector includes the primary, utilities and construction industries.

In 2001, the services sector accounted for 70 per cent of total output, manufacturing accounted for 22 per cent and other goods accounted for 9 per cent.

In 2011, the services sector accounted for 77 per cent of total output, manufacturing accounted for 13 per cent and other goods accounted for 10 per cent.

Return to Chart 1.8

Chart 1.9: An Internationally Competitive CIT Rate

This bar chart shows that in 2013 Ontario’s combined federal-provincial general Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate at 26.5 per cent is slightly higher than the average CIT rate of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries (25.6 per cent).

Ontario’s combined federal-provincial CIT rate is lower than the average CIT rate of G20 and G8 member countries, 28.8 and 30.8 per cent respectively, and well below the average federal-state CIT rate in the United States (39.3 per cent).

Return to Chart 1.9

Chart 1.10: Ontario’s Marginal Effective Tax Rate on New Business Investment Has Been Cut in Half

The marginal effective tax rate (METR) is a comprehensive measure of the tax burden on new business investment. It takes into account federal and provincial/state corporate income taxes, capital taxes and sales taxes. Ontario and federal tax changes have reduced Ontario’s METR from 33.2 per cent in 2009 to 16.6 per cent in 2013 and 2014. By comparison, in 2014, the average METR will be 34.8 per cent for the United States and 20.2 per cent for the member countries of the OECD excluding Canada.

Return to Chart 1.10

Chart 1.11: Annual Capital Cost Allowances on $1 Million Investment in Machinery and Equipment Used in Manufacturing or Processing

This chart compares the annual deductions for Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) under the temporary accelerated method and the regular method.

The accelerated CCA allows the cost of the investment to be fully deducted over three years while under the regular CCA it takes 14 years to deduct 99 per cent of the cost.

Return to Chart 1.11

Chart 1.12: Highlights of Infrastructure Expenditures by Sector Since 2005–06

This bar chart shows the government’s annual infrastructure expenditures by sector, including third-party contributions and federal government transfers for capital investments, from 2005–06 to 2012–13. The breakdown for 2012–13 is as follows: Transit $2.5 billion; Transportation/Highways $2.8 billion; Health $3.1 billion; Education & Postsecondary $2.6 billion; Other $2.1 billion. Other includes investments in the water/environment sector, justice facilities, and municipal and local infrastructure.

Return to Chart 1.12

Chart 1.13: Highlights of Planned Infrastructure Expenditures by Sector

This bar chart shows the government’s planned annual infrastructure expenditures by sector, including third-party contributions and federal government transfers for capital investments, from 2013–14 to 2015–16. The breakdown for 2013–14 is as follows: Transit $3.4 billion; Transportation/Highways $2.9 billion; Health $3.2 billion; Education and Postsecondary $2.6 billion; Other $2.5 billion. Other includes investments in the water/environment sector, justice facilities, and municipal and local infrastructure.

Return to Chart 1.13

Chart 1.14: Youth (15 to 24 years) Employment Rate: 2006–12

The employment rate of youth (the proportion of population aged 15 to 24 with jobs) in 2012 was 50 per cent, well below the pre-recession rates of 56 per cent in 2006 and 57 per cent in 2007.

Ontario’s youth fared better than most OECD countries. The average employment rate of OECD countries was an estimated 39 per cent in 2012, declining from 43 per cent in 2006.

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Chart 1.15: Ontario’s Business-Funded, Higher-Education R&D Compared to Selected Countries

Ontario outpaces most other advanced economies in higher-education R&D funded by business.

Business funding of higher-education R&D is a measure of industrial-academic cooperation in R&D and technology transfer. In 2010, Ontario businesses funded 7.3 per cent of the R&D performed by higher-education institutions — the same as in Canada. Ontario’s proportion of business-funded, higher-education R&D exceeded the OECD average, as well as the United States (5.2 per cent) and the United Kingdom (4.1 per cent). Among G7 countries, only Germany (13.9 per cent) had more higher-education R&D funded by business than Ontario.

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Chart 1.16: Spending by the Global Middle Class, 2009–30

Bar chart shows three bars representing the years 2009, 2020 and 2030. The bars are divided into four segments representing middle-class spending in millions of 2005 US dollars at purchasing power parity for North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the rest of world.

According to the OECD, spending by the global middle class is expected to grow from $21 trillion US in 2009 to $56 trillion US by 2030.

Return to Chart 1.16

Chart 1.17: Ontario’s Export Markets Opportunities, Province’s Current Exposure to Fast-Growing Economies

Bubble chart plots the relative share of Ontario exports in 2012 to four groups of countries. The position of each country group bubble on the chart provides the forecast for real GDP growth between 2012 and 2030 and each group’s projected share of the world economy in 2030.

The first bubble is for the United States, which accounts for 78 per cent of Ontario exports. The United States’ real GDP is expected to grow 2.6 per cent per year on average and account for 17 per cent of the world economy in 2030.

The second bubble is for other advanced economies, which include Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. These countries account for 14 per cent of Ontario exports, are expected to grow 1.3 per cent per year on average and account for 15 per cent of the world economy in 2030.

The third bubble is for fast-growing economies, which include Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. These countries account for 5 per cent of Ontario exports, are expected to grow 5.8 per cent per year on average and account for 50 per cent of the world economy in 2030.

The fourth bubble is for the rest of the world. These countries account for 3 per cent of Ontario exports, are expected to grow 3.6 per cent per year on average and account for 19 per cent of the world economy in 2030.

Return to Chart 1.17