2014 Ontario Budget

Chapter I: Ontario’s Decade — A 10-Year Plan for the Economy

Highlights

  • Establishing a new 10-year, $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will improve Ontario’s ability to attract significant business investments, strengthen Ontario’s strategic sectors and support the province’s future economic growth.
  • Committing $40 million annually to a food processing stream under the new Jobs and Prosperity Fund.
  • Maintaining a competitive business tax system, an integral part of the Province’s new 10-year economic plan to strengthen Ontario’s ability to grow and prosper.
  • Expanding the Industrial Conservation Initiative and introducing a new stream of the Industrial Electricity Incentive program to help large businesses with their electricity costs.
  • Ensuring, through Ontario’s five-point business energy savings plan, that small businesses have the tools they need to understand their bill, conserve energy, manage costs and save money.
  • Eliminating and reducing red tape to help businesses save millions of hours in time and $100 million in costs by 2016–17.
  • Expanding the reach of Ontario’s exports to fast-growing emerging markets, to help many small and medium-sized businesses grow and create jobs.
  • Continuing to support world-leading research through the Ontario Research Fund with $250 million over the next three years for leading-edge research infrastructure.
  • Providing financing to early-stage life sciences firms at a critical stage of their development, through a proposed Life Sciences Seed Venture Capital Fund.
  • Investing $25 million over five years in the Institute for Quantum Computing to support research and commercialization in this dynamic area.
  • Providing $5 million over 10 years to establish the Trillium Advanced Manufacturing Network to transform research results for manufacturers into concrete actions.

Section C: Creating a Dynamic and Innovative Business Climate

Ontario has built a strong reputation as a hub for global business. The province ranked third in North America for foreign direct investment (FDI), after New York and California, and has been ranked as Canada’s most competitive province and one of the best places for investment and business development. Ontario continues to focus on creating a dynamic and innovative business climate while improving productivity.

As discussed in Ontario’s Long-Term Report on the Economy, productivity is a key driver of an economy’s prosperity and living standards. A key challenge for Ontario, and countries around the world, will be raising productivity growth in the future.

That is why Ontario’s bold new plan is focused on leveraging business investment, fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and creating high-quality jobs. Recent initiatives include:

  • Improving the competitiveness of the tax system to increase business investment;
  • Supporting communities in all regions of the province to help them grow and create jobs;
  • Investing in Ontario’s dynamic and innovative sectors;
  • Providing programs to help businesses manage electricity costs;
  • Fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship;
  • Modernizing regulation to enhance business productivity; and
  • Going global — expanding Ontario’s trade strategy to increase exports in emerging markets to become a leader in productivity.

Ontario’s new 10-year plan for the economy and its investments today will ensure the Province remains one of the most attractive places to do business. The government will continue to compete for sector investments that create well-paying jobs here at home and lead the way in FDI and private-sector productivity. By fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship while building partnerships abroad, Ontario businesses will thrive in the international market for years to come. The government has a long-term plan that will make Ontario one of the most competitive places in the world.

Maintaining a Competitive Tax System

Ontario’s tax system is highly competitive internationally. Since 2009, the marginal effective tax rate on new business investment in Ontario has been cut in half, making Ontario significantly more attractive for business investment. Increased investment improves productivity and the competitiveness of Ontario businesses in export markets, leading to more well-paying jobs.

Recent Measures Ontario Has Taken to Support a More Competitive Tax System

  • Sales tax and corporate tax cuts totalling more than $9 billion per year:
    • The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) will remove $4.7 billion per year in embedded sales taxes paid by businesses when fully implemented;
    • Corporate Income Tax cuts deliver $2.3 billion of tax relief per year; and
    • Elimination of the Capital Tax provides $2.1 billion of tax relief per year.
  • Implementation of significant cuts to high Business Education Tax rates has resulted in savings of over $200 million per year for Ontario businesses.
  • The 50 per cent accelerated depreciation rate for manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment was extended to 2015, providing a benefit of $265 million over three years.
  • Harmonization with the federal Corporate Income Tax and Goods and Services Tax has reduced business compliance costs by more than $635 million per year.

A New $2.5 Billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund

In addition to maintaining an internationally competitive tax system, the Province is creating a new 10-year, $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will improve Ontario’s ability to attract significant business investments and support the province’s future economic growth.

The new fund will secure business investments that focus on job-creating innovation, productivity and going global, as recommended by the Jobs and Prosperity Council, and will invest in Ontario’s key sectors.

Firms look to invest in Ontario because of its well-established advantages, which include competitive taxes, a highly skilled labour force, and world-class infrastructure. Even with these business-friendly conditions, however, the province must compete globally with other jurisdictions to attract strategic investments. These competing jurisdictions increasingly offer a wide array of incentives to attract businesses, such as grants, tax breaks, energy subsidies and capital investments. With the new fund, the Province will have the flexibility to offer strategic incentives where necessary to secure key anchor investments in Ontario’s interest, help support growth, and create well-paid jobs at home.

Investing in Ontario’s Dynamic and Innovative Sectors

A diverse economy with many mature and emerging industries is one of Ontario’s great strengths. The Province will capitalize on its competitive advantages by supporting its key sectors.

“We’re approached, and visited, every day by governors, presidents, and country leaders who would like Cisco to bring the kind of knowledge-based jobs that we are bringing to Ontario. We look at these investments, and opportunities to partner, through a filter —do we see a supportive government, rich capabilities in the university system, a competitive tax rate, a predictable business climate, a stable employment base. We get all of that in Ontario, which is exactly why we chose Ontario over all the other places.”

Rob Lloyd, President, Development and Sales, Cisco.

Promoting Ontario’s Manufacturing Sector

Ontario’s Auto Sector

Ontario continues to be a leading North American auto-manufacturing jurisdiction. In 2013, the province’s almost 2.4 million units of production accounted for approximately 15 per cent of all light vehicles (i.e., cars and light trucks) produced on this continent.

The auto sector contributes significantly to Ontario’s economy, and played a key role in the recovery from the recent recession. Ontario’s motor vehicle assembly and parts sector accounted for about 2.5 per cent of Ontario nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012. The auto sector is also a major employer, accounting for almost 97,000 direct jobs in 2013.

The auto-manufacturing supply chains are an integral part of the auto industry and help support hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities across the province. These supply chains include innovative parts firms, a sophisticated tooling industry, as well as steel, chemicals and plastics manufacturing firms. Ontario’s established supply base contributes to its success and attractiveness as an auto manufacturing jurisdiction.

Ontario Is a Strong Partner to Competitive Companies

  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada: Supporting 7,300 jobs through investment in the Cambridge plant, helping secure assembly of advanced vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h hybrid sport utility vehicle, and investment in the Woodstock plant to expand capacity.
  • Ford Motor Company: Supporting 2,800 jobs through investment in the upgrading of the Oakville assembly plant to introduce global processes and increase R&D activity.

Advanced Manufacturing in Ontario

Ontario is Canada’s manufacturing heartland, accounting for 45 per cent of national manufacturing employment and 46 per cent of output. The manufacturing sector faced significant challenges over the past decade, including an overvalued Canadian dollar, weak demand from U.S. customers, and increasing competition from emerging markets.

Ontario’s productive and skilled workers and entrepreneurs are especially well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies will offer. One of the hallmarks of a jurisdiction’s potential to succeed will be its ability to identify and embrace technological changes and create opportunities to grow.

In order to help ensure that Ontario becomes a global leader in advanced manufacturing, the Province will provide $5 million over 10 years to establish the Trillium Advanced Manufacturing Network to support the growth of the manufacturing sector. The Network will be located at Western University’s Ivey Business School in London.

The Trillium Advanced Manufacturing Network will build a coalition of business, labour and government leaders, and deliver results to improve the success of the sector. It will collect cutting-edge research from around the world and share best practices throughout the sector.

Ontario is supporting partnerships between postsecondary institutions and industry to help ensure hands-on learning and training are available to students, and result in real, concrete benefits for industry.

Centennial College

The Potential

The Plan for Tomorrow’s Economy

The Result

The global aerospace sector is poised for substantial growth over the next 20 years. The Province wants to help ensure Ontario’s aerospace sector is ready to compete.

Ontario is supporting Centennial College as it partners with the private sector to train the next generation of aerospace workers.

A partnership between Bombardier and Centennial will help build capacity in Ontario’s aerospace sector, providing the entire supply chain with both new and experienced graduates and skills updating programs.


Niagara College

The Challenge

The Plan for Tomorrow’s Economy

The Result

Many small and medium-sized manufacturers in Ontario do not have the in-house capacity to perform research and development or solve operational problems.

Ontario is investing in a permanent, state-of-the-art Industry Innovation Centre in the Niagara region that will allow Ontario-based manufacturers to access business services, such as 3D printing provided by the faculty and students at Niagara College.

These services will help Ontario manufacturers increase their productivity, reshore product development, reduce production costs, and minimize production time, helping to create the next generation of manufacturing in the province.

Supporting Ontario’s Food and Beverage Processing Sector

Ontario’s agri-food sector is thriving. It contributes approximately $34 billion to the province’s economy and supports more than 740,000 jobs across Ontario. The province is also home to 3,000 food and beverage processing businesses. The food processing sector, supported by Ontario’s diverse and productive agriculture sector, is a crucial part of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sector — and one of Ontario’s top two manufacturing employers.

The Premier has challenged the broader agri-food sector to double its annual growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs by 2020. To complement existing programming, Ontario will help the sector meet this goal by committing $40 million annually to an agri-food and agri-products processing investment category under the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. This dedicated food-processing stream will help support Ontario’s farmers, attract new investments, create new jobs, enhance sector productivity and competitiveness, and expand the industry’s market reach both at home and abroad.

Over the next 10 years there will be an increased global demand for food products. With these investments, Ontario will be well positioned to take advantage of the demand.

Ontario is helping St. Albert Cheese Co-operative, which was established in 1894, build a new state-of-the-art cheese manufacturing operation that will support 110 local jobs and strengthen the economy. Their former factory was lost to a fire in 2013.

A provincial investment of $1 million will help the co-operative purchase equipment and establish a computerized production line for their new facility. The new operation will process 50 million litres of local milk a year, create 10 new jobs and support the more than 100 jobs that were displaced as a result of the fire. At 76,000 square feet, the building will be 30 per cent larger and will feature a manufacturing plant, an observation deck for visitors, a retail store and a restaurant. Production on the new line will start in the summer of 2014.

Ontario is supporting leading baked-goods producer Fiera Foods’ $34 million investment to increase production and enable the company to expand into new domestic and international markets. The Province’s $1.5 million investment will help retain 1,000 existing jobs and create 52 new jobs.

“Fiera Foods was started more than 25 years ago. My partner, Alex Garber, COO, and I established a culture at Fiera that focuses on innovation, quality and excellence, which set us on a path to achieve the success we’ve experienced to date. The Ontario government’s support enhances our ability to continue to grow and reach new markets both here at home and around the world.”

Boris Serebryany, CEO and President, Fiera Foods Company.

Growing Ontario’s Life Sciences Sector

Since 2003, the Province has invested almost $49 million in the life sciences industries. Ontario is now one of the premier centres for life sciences in North America and is recognized internationally for its leadership in developing world-class research. It is home to many innovative life sciences companies and top-ranked biomedical researchers. Ontario’s support programs help accelerate the development of innovative therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, health information technology platforms, research tools, and enabling technologies.

The next phase of advancing and leveraging innovation in Ontario involves achieving greater success in commercialization, which drives health technology sector growth and economic competitiveness that support job creation in the province.

In November 2013, the government announced the creation of the Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC), bringing together experts from the health care, home care, medical device, non-profit, mental health, research, academic and business sectors to identify opportunities to bring new health care products to market.

The government is committed to work with all partners in this sector to accelerate the adoption of new health technologies and innovations that demonstrate value through the development of initiatives including:

  • Implementing a framework for strategic, value-based procurement;
  • Clearly articulating Ontario health system priorities to buyers and sellers of health technologies;
  • Defining requirements for assessing the value of potential innovations;
  • Creating structured pathways for the adoption of proven innovations; and
  • Exploring transformative solutions offered by health technology innovations (e.g., mobile health, remote monitoring).

To support increased acquisition of innovative health products, the government has developed an Innovation Procurement Framework, providing $20 million over the next four years. The funding will identify barriers to innovation and provide guidance on early market engagement and innovation procurement models to further accelerate life sciences and health care technology.

The OHIC will be continuing its work to encourage proven innovations that will contribute to a more productive and sustainable health care system, and better health outcomes for Ontario patients.

Due to the time needed for product development and regulatory approvals, the Province is supporting early-stage life sciences firms through a new Life Sciences Seed Venture Capital Fund. The proposed fund, of up to $30 million, would be a partnership involving the Province, the private sector and hospital foundations. It would invest in Ontario-based life sciences companies that need financing at the critical early stages of their development, helping to bolster Ontario’s position as a life sciences leader in North America.

Boosting Ontario’s Information and Communications Technology Sector

Ontario’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector ranks as the second largest in North America after California based on the number of companies. It is also a critical source of both products and services as firms throughout the economy increase investment in technology and raise productivity and innovation.

Ontario’s ICT sector is led by three clusters — Toronto, Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo — with a growing cluster in London. They form a corridor that accounted for over 80 per cent of the sector’s employment in 2013 and has strong concentrations of research and development (R&D) activity and venture capital investment.

Over the next 10 years, the government will continue to support the sector’s continued growth, including partnering with high value-added producers.

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Cisco Systems, Inc.

Today

The Plan for Tomorrow’s Economy

The Result

Cisco sells internet-based routing and networking products and services. Ontario is home to Cisco’s Canadian subsidiary, conducting R&D, sales and marketing.

$4 billion investment to make Ontario one of its global R&D centres, including developing technology used in mobile computing and video technology.

Creating up to 5,000 jobs over the next decade, mainly in Ottawa and Toronto.

Communitech

Today

The Plan for Tomorrow’s Economy

The Result

Communitech is the Waterloo Region’s hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies.

The Communitech Hub created a significant public-private partnership, engaging hundreds of companies, the local community, and the federal government.

In 2013, the Province announced a renewed commitment of $15 million over three years.

Leveraged more than $25 million from the federal government and over $125 million from the private sector, and will create approximately 7,000 new jobs.

“Communitech is proud to be a partner in the Ontario Innovation Agenda. This additional support will help us to expand programming at the Communitech Hub to meet the significant demand for startup assistance and support Ontario firms as they scale. We’re thrilled with the support from the Province — it’s a testament to the strength of the Waterloo Region technology cluster.”

Iain Klugman, CEO, Communitech.

An Expanding Information and Communications Technology Sector

IBM

Ericsson

Christie Digital

IBM is expanding its high-performance computing infrastructure, partnering with governments and universities to form the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre in Toronto. It is creating 145 new R&D jobs and an additional 100 jobs related to the design and building of a new data centre in Barrie.

A Swedish-based multinational corporation recently opened a new research and development lab in Ottawa with provincial support, creating and retaining 140 jobs.

A Kitchener-based digital projection and display systems company recently invested close to $140 million to further modernize its plant and develop new technologies, with support from the Ontario government, creating and retaining 100 jobs.

Promoting Ontario’s Entertainment and Creative Cluster

The entertainment and creative cluster 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 companies engaged in film and television production, interactive digital media, music, and book and magazine publishing contribute to a vibrant entertainment and creative cluster.

Ontario is one of the top film and television production centres in North America, and Ontario’s music industry is number one in Canada. The government successfully launched the three-year, $45 million Ontario Music Fund in 2013. This will allow the sector to drive innovation, while seizing opportunities in both the domestic and international markets, drive employment, create and enhance a music ecosystem for Ontario artists, and increase tourism in the province. One of the highlights of this year’s support for the industry was the investment to bring the JUNO Awards back to Ontario in 2015.

Ontario’s creative industries are a pillar of this province’s new economy and one of its best job creators — especially for young people. The government will continue to work in partnership with the entertainment and creative industries to showcase Ontario’s talent and expertise.

Culture, Tourism and Events

Ontario’s unique local festivals and events celebrate the province’s diversity, heritage and culture, and make it a more attractive place to visit. Supporting festivals and events across the province is part of Ontario’s efforts to build a strong economy and vibrant communities, drawing tourists and creating over 22,000 jobs in Ontario every year.

2015
Pan/Parapan American Games

In the summer of 2015, Ontario will host the Pan/Parapan American Games, the largest sporting event in Ontario history. It will be an opportunity to showcase Ontario to an international audience that will include more than 250,000 visitors.

Ontario Music Fund

The three-year, $45 million Ontario Music Fund announced in the 2013 Budget allows the sector to drive innovation and employment, while seizing opportunities in both the domestic and international markets.

JUNO Awards

The government is investing to bring the JUNO Awards back to Ontario in 2015, a year when the global spotlight will shine on the province as it hosts the Pan/Parapan American Games.

Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival has become North America’s largest film festival, and one of the top three in the world. The Province’s support of the signature fall festival helps focus the global spotlight on Ontario, promote cinema, stimulate growth in related industries, and attract thousands of tourists to the province.

Ontario Place

In June 2013, the government announced the development of the Urban Park and Waterfront Trail on the Ontario Place site, including linking the park to the existing waterfront trail system. Work on the park and trail is underway and is expected to be complete and open to the public in 2015.

Celebrate Ontario

The province’s Celebrate Ontario program helps over 200 festivals and events, such as the Taste of Toronto, the Stratford Festival and the Ottawa Bluesfest, enhance their programs, activities and services every year. Starting in 2014–15, the government will provide $2 million per year to support international amateur sports events.

Tourism Development Fund

The Tourism Development Fund encourages strategic new investments in the tourism industry by building the capacity and sustainability of tourism businesses, associations and regions. The government will provide $1 million per year to help the tourism industry develop innovative tourism products and attract private-sector investment to Ontario.

Ontario Libraries Capacity Fund

Recognizing the key role that public libraries play in delivering and supporting important community programs, the government will provide an additional $10 million over the next three years to help achieve IT improvements across the public library sector, improve service delivery, and encourage more research and innovation.

400th Anniversary of French Presence

In 2015, Ontario will commemorate Samuel de Champlain’s passage through the province and celebrate the 400th anniversary of French presence in Ontario. This celebration will bring together people from around the world to focus on the important cultural, social and economic contributions that Franco-Ontarians have made to the province.  

Strengthening Ontario’s Financial and Business Services Sector

Promoting the Financial Services Cluster

Financial and business services will continue to be one of the most dynamic sectors of the Ontario economy and a major growth and prosperity driver over the next 10 years.

  • Financial services sector employment in Ontario grew strongly in 2013 by over three per cent. Over the past 10 years, it grew more than twice as fast as overall employment in Ontario.
  • Employment in business services, including professional services such as architecture, engineering and administrative services, grew by over four per cent in 2013, and also grew more than twice as fast as the overall economy over the past 10 years.

Toronto is the financial capital of Canada and a global financial centre — home to many leading banks, securities dealers, insurers and pension funds. As a global financial centre, Toronto ranks as one of the best in the world — number nine on The Banker magazine’s ranking and fourteenth on the U.K.-based Global Financial Centres Index.

The Ontario financial services sector will also continue to be one of the most stable, efficient and well regulated in the world. Canada’s major banks have been ranked as the soundest in the world over the last six years, and Ontario will maintain its strong global reputation for well-run financial markets and effective risk management.

The government is continuing to work with the financial services sector, the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and other orders of government to implement a financial services sector growth and competitiveness strategy.

Establishing a Cooperative Capital Markets Regulator

A strong cooperative securities regulatory framework would enhance Canada’s reputation and competitiveness in global capital markets, which in turn would underpin stronger economic growth and more ready access to capital.

In September 2013, the Ontario, British Columbia and federal governments signed an agreement in principle to establish a Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System (CCMR) featuring a common regulator that would administer a single set of securities regulations.

Ontario is working actively with British Columbia and the federal government to meet the agreed timelines for this initiative, under which the CCMR would become operational by July 1, 2015.

The CCMR would also offer real benefits to investors and to companies raising capital, as well as to the investment industry and other market participants by better protecting investors, strengthening capital markets enforcement, and promoting safe, secure capital markets that attract investment.

Ontario, British Columbia and the federal government continue to invite other provinces and territories to participate in the CCMR.

Fostering Safe and Competitive Capital Markets

As the financial system becomes more complex and more interconnected, sound securities regulation and strong enforcement are becoming increasingly important to enhance competitiveness. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is devoting increased attention and resources to strengthening enforcement and investor protection. For example, in 2013, the OSC concluded proceedings against a total of 170 individuals and companies, up from 100 individuals and companies in 2012.

The government plans to propose changes to update securities laws and related legislation. Proposed legislative amendments would include:

  • Changes to the Securities Act that would:
    • Update disclosure requirements for exchange-traded funds;
    • Suspend running of relevant secondary-market civil liability limitation period while investors seek leave to proceed with their claim;
    • Expand scope of insider-trading and self-dealing provisions in relation to investment funds; and
    • Broaden definition of “market participant.”
  • Changes to the Securities Act and the Commodity Futures Act that would:
    • Increase scope of OSC compliance and continuous disclosure reviews;
    • Facilitate extension of freeze orders; and
    • Broaden OSC’s ability to preserve assets in an enforcement context.

These changes would help modernize and strengthen Ontario’s securities regulatory framework, enhance the competitiveness of Ontario’s capital markets and facilitate increased investment.

Modern Insurance Regulation

Recipients of long-term disability payments have seen their payments reduced or eliminated when their corporate employer faced fiscal challenges and the fund was not insured. The Province proposes to protect such future recipients by amending the Insurance Act to require that long-term disability benefits are insured.

Financial Services Regulation

The Province is actively engaged in its long-term commitment to continuously update and adapt Ontario’s financial services regulation to maintain a strong regulatory framework that protects consumers. This is achieved through periodic (e.g., five-year) reviews of legislation and regulations. As well, proactive regulatory improvements are initiated often to address technological advances and practices, national and international trends, and an evolving marketplace.

Credit Unions

Credit unions and caisses populaires play an important role in Ontario’s economy. They have over 1.5 million members and, at the end of 2013, had provided $33.4 billion in loans to households and businesses throughout the province. A modern regulatory framework that enables the credit union system to flourish and protect members is essential.

A review of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994, will be launched in the fall. This will provide an opportunity to update the legislation and regulations so credit unions can continue to meet the needs of their members and the economy into the future.

Online Promotion of Insurance

In recent years, credit unions and other deposit-taking institutions have been providing an increasing array of online services to their customers. Many services that used to be exclusively accessed in a credit union’s “bricks and mortar” branches are now being accessed by consumers online. It is important to ensure that Ontario’s policies regarding the online insurance activities of credit unions keep consumers’ best interests in mind.

To this end, in late 2013, the Province initiated an examination of insurance-product promotion on credit union websites. In addition to seeking the views of the insurance and credit union sectors, recent federal government action affecting federally incorporated financial institutions was also considered. As a result, the Province is proposing to prohibit credit unions from online promotion of insurance products such as home and auto insurance, which they are not permitted to promote in their branches.

Developing Ontario’s Resource Industries

A Diverse and Dynamic Mining Sector in Ontario’s North

Ontario remains Canada’s leading jurisdiction for the exploration and production of minerals and a major player around the world. The province also holds a strong position as the global centre for mining finance, with the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) having more than half of the world’s listed mining companies, with a market capitalization of almost $250 billion in 2013.

The northwestern region of the province is expected to experience significant growth in mineral exploration and mining development over the coming decades. The region’s Ring of Fire area, rich with chromite, nickel, gold and other deposits, will create enormous business and growth opportunities for the local mining and supporting industries. More than 20 companies and individuals hold active mining claims in the Ring of Fire area and 265 companies are exploring 400 projects in Ontario, laying the foundation for significant future mining development and job creation. Emerging market nations will continue to support demand for Ontario’s minerals, in turn driving continuing exploration and development in northern Ontario.

By 2025, significant output will be produced from Ontario’s Ring of Fire area, making the province one of the major world producers of chromite and strengthening Ontario’s position as a world leader in nickel production.

As part of Ontario’s ongoing modernization of the Mining Act, the Province is modernizing Ontario’s claims staking system — going from paper-based to online. Ensuring a fast, efficient system is in place is good for business, affected landowners and Aboriginal communities.

Ontario, First Nations and Industry Working Together to Realize the Potential of the Ring of Fire Area

In March 2014, a historic framework agreement was signed by the Province of Ontario and the Chiefs of the nine Matawa-member First Nations to engage in a community-based regional negotiation process. The agreement commits First Nations and Ontario to work together to advance Ring of Fire opportunities, including regional long-term environmental monitoring and enhanced participation in the environmental assessment process, resource revenue sharing, economic supports, and regional and community infrastructure.

In February 2014, Deloitte LLP was brought on to help establish a development corporation that would be responsible for infrastructure in the Ring of Fire region. Deloitte LLP will act as a third-party resource for key partners, including First Nations, industry, and the provincial and federal governments.

Providing Growth Opportunities for Local Mining Industries

To support the growth of the mining industry in the Sudbury area, the Province is committing up to $26.7 million for the first phase of an expansion of Maley Drive, subject to matching federal and municipal contributions. The expansion will create a limited-access east-west route bypassing central Sudbury, taking heavy trucks carrying ore and slurry off city streets.

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission

The government is moving forward with a balanced approach to transforming the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) to ensure sustainable employment, continued economic growth, and a strong transportation and telecommunication network in Northern Ontario.

As recently announced, the Province has reached an agreement with Bell Aliant for the sale of Ontera, Northern Ontario’s vital, efficient and reliable telecommunications network, that will ensure continued service quality, sustained jobs, significant capital investment in Northern Ontario and the best value to taxpayers.

Through an advisory committee, the government has listened to the voices of northern municipalities, Aboriginal communities and industry stakeholders, and is committed to keep the remaining ONTC business lines (motor coach, Polar Bear Express, rail freight and refurbishment services) in public hands as these vital transportation services and infrastructure support economic growth in northern Ontario.

A sustainable organization will require operational improvements including through cost containment, restructuring and collective bargaining.

The government is also prepared to support this renewed direction with new investments to ensure the sustainability of ONTC assets, for example:

  • Improving service and accessibility of motor coach services; and
  • Refurbishing passenger rail coaches for use on the Polar Bear Express, which will sustain jobs and create business for the refurbishment division while ensuring vital service between Cochrane and Moosonee can be delivered more effectively and efficiently.

Helping Businesses Manage Electricity Costs

Rate Mitigation for Business

Many programs and incentives are available to support industrial consumers:

  • The Province extended the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate (NIER) Program with $360 million over three years (2013–14 to 2015–16) to provide a rebate of two cents per kilowatt-hour to qualifying large northern industrials;
  • The Province implemented the Industrial Conservation Initiative in 2011 that encourages large companies to conserve during peak hours, saving money for the entire electricity system;
  • Companies have the opportunity to participate in Demand Response programs administered by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA); and
  • Industrial companies could be eligible for a significant reduction in electricity rates through the Industrial Electricity Incentive program if they start or expand operations and create jobs.

Five-Point Business Energy Savings Plan

The government knows that local entrepreneurs are focused on growing their business. Ontario’s five-point business energy savings plan is designed with the busy small business owner in mind.

  1. Working with energy agencies, local distribution companies and the Retail Council of Canada, the government will promote the use of Roving Energy Managers.

    Roving Energy Managers will be available to small businesses to provide support and assistance every step of the way on an energy-savings project — from applying for incentives to installing energy-efficiency measures.
  2. The saveONenergy for Business Conservation program will be better tailored to small businesses to ensure they can benefit from the programs that help them manage and reduce their energy bills.
  3. The saveONenergy for Business Conservation program is also being expanded to provide increased incentives to businesses. Participation will be made easier and faster for small businesses by simplifying and automating application processes.
  4. To help small businesses cover the upfront capital costs of conservation projects, the Province will work to make on-bill financing available for the sector, beginning in 2015, and allow repayment through the utility bill.
  5. To ensure conservation incentives continue to be available for small businesses, Ontario will commit to another six years of conservation programs through the new Conservation and Demand Management Framework.

Giant Tiger operates over 200 stores across Canada and employs over 7,000 employees. Through a project funded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Hydro Ottawa, an Embedded Energy Manager (EEM) was hired within Giant Tiger to find energy reduction opportunities, resulting to date in average annual electricity savings of about $7,500 per store, or about six per cent of its bill, across about 40 stores in Ontario.

Industrial Electricity Incentive

In 2012, the OPA began accepting applications for the Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) program under two application streams. The IEI assists with the management of electricity demand by encouraging increased industrial production through sharply discounted electricity rates for local job creators. In this way, Ontario is using the current surplus baseload generating capacity to support domestic job creation and economic growth.

Table 1.5 shows a selection of the successful IEI applicants.

TABLE 1.5 Industrial Electricity Incentive Program — Examples of Successes
Applicant Name Sector Estimated New Jobs
Pembroke MDF Pulp and Paper 140
ASW Steel Steel 45
Atlantic Packaging Products Pulp and Paper 80
Resolute Forest Products Pulp and Paper 78

As part of Ontario’s efforts to support a dynamic business climate, drive local economic growth and support job creation, the government will direct the OPA to run a new IEI stream to accept applications for discounted electricity rates.

The new stream will make available up to four terawatt hours of electricity per year. Program guidelines and eligibility criteria will be expanded to encourage participation from more diverse economic sectors, and contracts will be available for a longer term, with an end date of December 31, 2024.

This stream will build on the previous successful intakes, and the OPA will aim to complete the procurement process in time to award contracts by December 31, 2014.

Industrial Conservation Initiative

Ontario is committed to providing competitive industrial electricity rates while also promoting the conservation of energy, including electricity.

To support these priorities, in 2011 the Province implemented the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI). The ICI charges the largest consumers in the province, termed Class A consumers, a global adjustment rate based on their contribution to peak demand.

Vision Extrusions, an extrusions manufacturing company in York region employing 325 workers, could expect to save approximately $560,000, or 17 per cent, on its annual electricity costs under proposed changes to the Industrial Conservation Initiative, assuming the company reduces its electricity consumption by 15 per cent during times of highest system demand.

Consumers with an average monthly peak demand greater than five megawatts (MW) are defined as Class A consumers, and those with an average monthly peak demand of less than five MW are defined as Class B consumers.

In the updated Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), a large industrial consumer with a five megawatt demand and a 75 per cent capacity factor is projected to pay about $3 million less in the next five years, and about $11 million less to 2030, compared to the 2010 LTEP forecast.

The Ministry of Energy will expand the definition of Class A consumers, lowering the threshold from five MW to three MW, thereby increasing the number of Ontario businesses eligible to participate in the ICI.

This will save participants on average 15 to 20 per cent on their energy bill.

TABLE 1.6 Industrial Conservation Initiative — Potential Savings Examples
Sector Average Monthly
Peak Demand
Annual Estimated
Savings
Reduction to
Total Bill
Manufacturing 4.1 MW 4~ $400,000 12%
Data Processing 3.2 MW ~ $900,000 23%
Notes: Values are illustrative. Actual savings will depend on multiple factors, including actual contribution to peak demand and levels of electricity consumption. Annual estimated savings rounded to the nearest $100,000.

The ICI program expansion supports both increased business competitiveness as well as the government’s conservation goals by:

  • Enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of a larger number of industrial firms;
  • Helping reduce emissions by promoting energy conservation during peak demand periods;
  • Improving the reliability of the electricity system, especially during critical peak demand periods; and
  • Reducing the need for and costs associated with the building of new electricity power plants in the future to cope with periods of high demand.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and entrepreneurship are important drivers of economic growth. Ontario is committed to supporting a business environment where small businesses, entrepreneurs and investors can strive to create the technologies and well-paid jobs of the future.

Investing in Venture Capital Funds

Access to capital is a driver of growth and innovation for entrepreneurial firms. Young firms, however, often have difficulty finding the capital they need to grow and expand. That is why the Province, with the federal government and private-sector partners, recently launched the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund (NVCF).

The NVCF had its first closing in January 2014 at over $217 million, and could grow to $300 million with additional private-sector commitments. To support early-stage financing, the fund will invest in high-potential firms as well as other venture capital funds. To date, the NVCF has already invested in two Ontario-based, venture capital funds.

The announcement of the NVCF builds on the continued success of the Ontario Venture Capital Fund (OVCF).

TABLE 1.7         Innovative Companies Supported by the Ontario Venture Capital Fund
  Shopify
(Ottawa)
Achievers
(Toronto)
BlueCat Networks
(Toronto)
newterra
(Brockville)
Business A leading e-commerce platform used by retailers to sell goods and services online. Provides a cloud-based platform to engage and recognize employees and their performance. Provides reliable and secure internet protocol (IP) address management solutions to help organizations manage their networks and devices. A leader in the design and manufacture of modular water treatment systems.
Achievements Recent market valuation of $1 billion. Named sixth-fastest growing software company in Canada in 2013. 1,500 clients worldwide. Three-year growth rate of more than 30 per cent.

Ontario’s support for venture capital is having a positive effect. In 2013, Ontario-based companies received $675 million in venture capital investments, the fourth consecutive annual increase. Through the Province’s ongoing commitment to improving access to capital, Ontario is well positioned to be in the top five North American jurisdictions for venture capital investment by 2025.

Commercializing Leading-Edge Discoveries

Ontario’s universities, colleges and research hospitals play an important role in the development of a well-educated labour force, while also making leading-edge discoveries. Bringing these discoveries to market through Ontario’s network of innovation and commercialization centres supports entrepreneurial activity within the province, and is a key driver of long-term economic growth.

The Province will continue to support the activities of world-leading researchers through the Ontario Research Fund, including $250 million over the next three years to invest in leading-edge research infrastructure. This funding will help postsecondary institutions leverage investments from the federal government, private sector and other sources. These investments help sustain Ontario’s long-term prosperity by supporting research that will create the technologies and well-paid jobs of the future.

The field of quantum computing seeks to apply the principles of quantum mechanics to develop a new generation of computers. This technology could result in radically improved computing speeds, and potentially impact such areas as medicine and resource discovery. The Institute for Quantum Computing, at the University of Waterloo, continues to make significant discoveries in this field, positioning Ontario at the forefront of this exciting technology. Building on its previous support, the government will commit $25 million over the next five years to continue supporting the Institute’s research and commercialization activities.

The government recognizes the strategic importance of the Perimeter Institute as a global leader in theoretical physics, advanced training and postgraduate research. The Province will continue to support its research, training and outreach activities.

Increasing Access to Capital

All businesses, particularly startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), need broad access to pools of capital to foster job creation and economic growth. In March 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission published for comment four proposed prospectus exemptions that would make it easier for businesses to raise capital and, in particular, would enable crowdfunding.

Growing Small Businesses in Ontario

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the leading source of business entrepreneurship and account for more than 60 per cent of private-sector employment. In a dynamic economy, successful small and medium-sized businesses will grow and prosper as they innovate and expand into global markets.

To help foster a healthy and growing small and medium-sized business sector, the Ontario government is taking the following actions:

  • Employer Health Tax Exemption — raising the exemption from $400,000 to $450,000 of annual Ontario payroll means that 60,000 small employers will now pay less Employer Health Tax. This change saves these employers up to $975 per year;
  • Five-Point Business Energy Savings Plan — ensuring small businesses have the tools they need to understand their bill, conserve energy, manage costs and save money;
  • Reducing Red Tape — reducing burdens on businesses through renewal of the Open for Business initiative. Each year, ministries will identify, measure and report on at least one additional burden that can be reduced;
  • Venture Capital — creating a new venture capital fund in collaboration with the federal government and private-sector partners that will help innovative startups and other emerging companies get the financing they need to build competitive businesses and create tomorrow’s jobs;
  • Expanding SME Exports — providing opportunities for Ontario’s small businesses to diversify exports beyond the United States to fast-growing markets, through the Going Global Trade Strategy; and
  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) — maintaining a low CIT rate for small business at 4.5 per cent, a full seven percentage points below the general CIT rate. Small and medium-sized enterprises also continue to benefit from enhanced tax credit rates for employee training and a 10 per cent refundable R&D tax credit.

Supporting Regional Investments Helps Create Jobs

The government’s priority is to create jobs, growth and opportunity in every part of the province. Each region of the province has unique advantages to specific industries and economic activities that form a strong base to build resilient local economies.

The Eastern and Southwestern Ontario Development Funds support regionally based projects that create jobs in Ontario’s communities. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) supports northern municipalities, businesses and economic development organizations.

  • Since its launch in 2008, the Eastern Ontario Development Fund has committed over $70 million to 126 projects, leveraging business investment of over $670 million and helping to create and retain 15,400 jobs.
  • Since October 2003, the NOHFC has approved over $897 million, leveraging over $3.2 billion towards 5,933 projects in Northern Ontario. About 22,900 jobs have been created or retained.
  • Since its launch in October 2012, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund has committed support of over $40 million for 32 projects, leveraging business investment of over $400 million and helping create and retain 9,800 jobs.

Through the Communities in Transition program, the government helps communities and industries facing sudden economic challenges such as closures, job losses and industry-wide restructuring. The government also offers assistance for drafting new economic strategies to build strong communities.

Since 2006, the Ontario government has committed over $17 million in Communities in Transition funding to assist 67 communities and industry groups.

Although major closures are a normal part of the economic cycle, the government will engage early to help prevent closures, where possible. In the event of a closure, the government will help to mitigate the impact on workers and communities. Working with business and labour, Ontario will strengthen worker protection when major closures do occur, building on the success of the Communities in Transition program and Rapid Response Teams.

Anchoring Economic Sectors, Creating Opportunity

Eastern Ontario Development Fund:

  • Located in Iroquois, Ross Video Limited, a manufacturer of switchers, control systems and robotic cameras for use in broadcast and live event production, received a $513,600 grant. The project will leverage $5.1 million in private investment, create 25 jobs and retain 160 jobs.
  • Flying Colours Corp., located in Peterborough and specializing in aircraft completions, received a $1.2 million grant to expand its avionics facility. This project is leveraging $12 million in private investment and the company is committing to create 60 new jobs and retain 169 jobs.
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation:
  • Rotacan received a $1 million grant and loan for its rotary, blast-hole, drill-bit manufacturing operation in North Bay. The project leveraged $1 million in private investment and created 16 new jobs.
  • Geraldton Community Forest Inc. received a $1.75 million grant towards the construction of a Regional Skills Centre at the Greenstone Regional Airport. The training centre will provide training for employment opportunities in the forestry and mining sectors for Aboriginal people. The project leveraged $2.85 million in other investment and will create and retain 27 jobs.
Southwestern Ontario Development Fund:
  • NASG Canada Inc., a Woodstock-based supplier of stampings and welded assemblies to the automotive industry, received a $1.5 million grant to expand its facility, and create 50 jobs and retain 210 jobs. The project leveraged $12 million in private investment.
  • Natra Chocolate America Inc., a manufacturer of chocolate bars, spreads and other specialty products, received a loan of $2.8 million to help invest $19 million in its new London facility, creating 56 new jobs in the community.

The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program helps rural communities plan and build a foundation for economic growth, and strengthens rural businesses through support for projects related to business development and diversification, regional marketing, and attraction and retention of skilled labour.

  • Since 2003, RED has invested $167 million in 468 economic development projects, generating over $1.2 billion in new economic activity while creating and retaining over 35,000 jobs.

Creating Opportunity in Rural Ontario

Recent Investments by the Rural Economic Development Program:

Located in Collingwood, Goodall Rubber Company of Canada (a hose and fitting supplier) is expanding its operations to position itself as the North American leader in the ammonia market, directly supporting Ontario’s agri-food and processing sector. The project is creating 20 new jobs and leveraging $1.3 million in private investment.

The municipality of Port Hope received support to develop a strategic plan to strengthen relationships between local residents and the business community, and help local business develop business plans and marketing strategies.

Reducing Regulation for Business to Enhance Productivity

Ontario is building a regulatory environment that encourages business growth. As part of the recent Open for Business renewal initiative, Ontario is finding ways to further reduce regulatory burdens, adopt smarter regulatory practices and facilitate ongoing business-to-government connections. The government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would create a better business climate by reducing burdens for business.

Each year, ministries will identify, measure and report on at least one initiative that can help further reduce the regulatory burden on businesses. Through this initiative, the government will help stakeholders save millions of hours in time and $100 million in costs by 2016–17. The government is committed to reducing the regulatory burden while protecting public safety.

A smart and targeted effort at red tape reduction will ensure a better business climate without putting public safety at risk. This work follows the government’s achievement of eliminating 80,000 regulatory burdens or 17 per cent of red tape since 2008.

“The province’s commitment to introduce red tape accountability legislation is in line with CFIB’s recommendations to government. By legislating annual reporting from all ministries and by regularly measuring the cost of regulations on businesses, Ontario is expecting to join the best in class in regulatory reform.” 

Canadian Federation of Independent Business, March 12, 2014.

The following are examples of burden reduction projects that have helped reduce cost for businesses and stakeholders.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Form 7 Reduction

  • A form must be filed with the WSIB every time a worker is injured on the job, even if the injury does not result in the employee losing time from work (known as WSIB Form 7).
  • By working with the small business sector, WSIB was able to reduce the length of Form 7 by 60 per cent. WSIB also launched electronic and tele-claim services to make filing a claim more convenient.
  • These changes save an average of eight minutes per claim, which multiplied out to the thousands of Form 7 submissions every year, translates into more than 10,000 hours and half a million dollars in cost savings annually.

Biogas Approval Streamlining

  • Many agricultural businesses have considered the installation of biogas digesters as a way to generate renewable energy from farm waste (manure). However, in the past, the approval process was prohibitively long and expensive, stunting the development of these facilities.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, working with the Ministry of the Environment, has worked to streamline approvals for on-farm anaerobic digesters, making it substantially easier and less costly for lower-risk facilities to be established.
  • Under the new framework, the approval times have gone from around two years to an average of three months. Other fees and unnecessary requirements have also been reduced, resulting in estimated average savings of almost $89,000 per operator, or $1.77 million for all stakeholders in one year.

Small-Scale Solar Facilities Approval Streamlining

  • Under Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approvals program, small-scale solar facilities were facing costs and time commitments disproportionate to the size and risk of their projects.
  • To address this, the Ministry of the Environment worked with stakeholders to streamline the approvals process for low-risk, small-scale solar facilities that have minimal environmental impact when complying with standard regulatory requirements.
  • These changes reduced the preparation time for approvals from an average of 17 months to less than 30 days, with final approvals being granted online in less than 10 minutes.
  • This move from a one-size-fits-all process to one based on risk will deliver more than $1.9 million in savings to ground-mounted solar facilities operators in a one-year period (based on registrations to date).

Open for Business, “Fewer Burdens, Greater Growth,” (January 2014).

Going Global

Attracting Foreign Direct Investment

Ontario has experienced considerable success in attracting FDI, and has proven to be a leading destination within North America for investment.

  • fDi Intelligence, a leading industry resource for research and analysis on FDI trends globally, published in its 2012 report on FDI trends in Ontario and North America that Ontario was a destination for global foreign direct investment. It:
    • Received the third highest number of investment projects in the United States and Canada; and
    • Ranked number one for FDI projects per capita among major North American states/provinces.

Attracting Global Investment, Creating Jobs at Home

In recent months, Ontario’s trade offices around the world have facilitated a number of investments, including:

  • India-based Mahindra Satyam, which offers consulting and information technology (IT) services spanning various sectors, and its sister company Tech Mahindra are setting up a development centre and research and development facility in Toronto, planning to hire up to 130 IT engineers and financial experts, and investing approximately $10 million over the next five years.
  • U.S.-based XPO Logistics provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea and air carriers in the United States, Mexico and Canada. XPO Logistics opened a carrier procurement office in Ontario that will focus on the procurement of full truckload-focused companies that can move their clients’ goods throughout Canada. The project secured 200 jobs and is resulting in an approximate investment of $24 million.
  • Gizeh, a food packaging company from Germany, made a $4 million investment in the food processing/advanced manufacturing sector in Ontario. This investment will create 20 to 25 new jobs and, within three years, the company expects an additional investment of $25 million and 60 to 70 new jobs.
  • Newgen Software Technologies Limited from India has entered into a strategic partnership with HP Canada to offer solutions particularly with respect to the financial services market. Newgen Software is a leader in business process management, enterprise content management and customer communication management. The company has also procured its first project from a municipal government in Ontario and a bank. The investment is $3 million and 10 jobs.

Expanding Exports

Demand for Ontario’s high value-added goods and services is expanding around the world. Emerging markets such as China and India will continue to grow quickly, while advanced regions such as the United States and Europe will continue to provide steady demand for Ontario’s resources, high-technology exports, and professional and technical services.

One of the greatest sources of opportunity for Ontario’s small businesses lies in expanding and diversifying exports overseas, beyond the U.S. market. Over the past decade, many of Ontario’s small and medium-sized businesses have started to build on their export success to the United States by pursuing new export markets abroad.

The Province continues to move forward with its Going Global Trade Strategy, which will expand the reach of Ontario’s exports, including to fast-growing emerging markets that are quickly increasing their share of the global economy. It will help Ontario companies — especially SMEs — increase their success in exporting to global markets and creating jobs. The Ontario government continues to:

  • Promote Ontario companies’ quality goods and services, by opening Ontario’s eleventh International Marketing Centre (IMC) in São Paulo earlier this year to help companies explore export opportunities and connect with international buyers and investors in Brazil.
  • Further expand representation to include South Korea, Chongqing in China, and Israel, adding to the existing IMCs in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, London, Paris, Munich, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and New Delhi (including a satellite office in Mumbai).
  • Expand the number of trade missions to increase the number of companies exporting and increase employment by connecting more businesses to more foreign buyers, while increasing Ontario’s global reputation as a source of innovative goods and services.
  • Help exporters find new markets. Last year alone, Ontario led over 70 outbound trade missions in priority sectors and emerging markets. These outbound missions are helping almost 500 SMEs to export and have identified almost $450 million in potential exports. They are part of a plan to help triple exports to emerging economies and diversify exports over the next 10 years.
  • Expand the opportunities for foreign buyers to connect with potential Ontario exporters. Ontario has hosted over 80 foreign buyers and international delegations. A Global Export Forum focused on opportunities in the Asia Pacific region was held in Ontario last fall. Another Global Export Forum, focused on Latin America, will be held in May 2014.
  • Connect Infrastructure Ontario with Ontario’s international trade offices to create export opportunities for Ontario firms that have participated in Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) projects. Infrastructure Ontario is showcasing the made-in-Ontario AFP model through its involvement with the National Governors Association in the United States.

It is projected that, over the next 10 years, Canada will negotiate a diverse collection of comprehensive trade agreements with most of its major trading partners, including India and Japan. Ontario will continue to support trade agreements that benefit its economy while supporting strategic sectors. Concluding new trade agreements will also help Ontario businesses become more productive and involved in global competition, supporting the international transfer of new ideas, innovation and competitive techniques.

Successful Missions
  • Ontario’s in-market trade representation in Mexico, Chile and Brazil has helped Ontario companies secure 25 contracts (April ­to October 2013). Ontario software, ICT, mining, tooling, construction and clean energy firms are among those that have achieved this new business.
  • Electrovaya, a clean technology company, has received a purchase order for approximately $1.0 million US from an original equipment manufacturer in the United Arab Emirates. The order is for a high-value application for strategic portable power systems and is the first order from the Middle East. Electrovaya exhibited in the Ontario pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit.

Chart Descriptions

Strengthening Ontario’s Sectors

Aerospace

2nd largest aerospace sector in Canada.

Partnering with industry and academia to help build a leading aerospace cluster around Downsview Park in Toronto.

Agri-Food

6th largest in food and beverage processing in North America.

Supporting farmers through funding for business risk management and innovation programs while partnering with manufacturers, like Dr. Oetker in London, to add value to Ontario-grown food.

Auto

A top sub-national NAFTA jurisdiction in vehicle assembly.

Working with major auto companies to support assembly facilities that will anchor the automotive cluster in Ontario, including support for Ford Motor Company in Oakville.

Chemistry

Sarnia-Lambton is Canada’s largest chemistry cluster.

Supporting the production of innovative and new products including basic organic and inorganic chemicals, synthetic resins and fertilizers.

Clean Tech

Ontario’s clean tech sector has 10,100 jobs and 200 firms.

Working with industry on research and development and manufacturing of bio-based technologies, processes and products. Also, Ontario’s Water Sector Strategy will help to strengthen the water sector and help innovative firms compete in global markets and provide solutions to global water challenges.

Financial Services

Toronto is 2nd largest by employment in North America.

Working with industry and other levels of government to implement a financial services sector growth and competitiveness strategy. Ontario, British Columbia and the federal government have signed an agreement in principle to establish a Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System (CCMR). Ontario is working with British Columbia and the federal government to meet the milestones set out in the agreement.

Forestry

In 2013, forest products exports were valued at $3.6B.

Supporting the transformation of the forest sector towards production of higher value-added products to preserve and create jobs through existing funding programs and reforms to the tenure and pricing system for Crown forest resources.

Information and Communications Technology

2nd in ICT in North America.

Partnering with Cisco Canada to launch the largest job-creating investment in the history of the province’s technology sector and working with Communitech to support entrepreneurial activity in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Life Sciences

2nd in life sciences in North America.

Fostering health care advancements and their commercialization by establishing the Ontario Health Innovation Council with private and public partners as well as funding research in genomics and personalized medicine in partnership with the Ontario Genomics Institute.

Mining

Top 10 world producer of nickel and platinum metals.

Providing incentives and special deductions through the mining tax system to encourage investment.

Entertainment and Creative Cluster

Largest in Canada and 3rd largest in North America.

Growing Ontario’s music production and distribution through the new Ontario Music Fund and providing support to the film industry to ensure that Ontario remains a top location for film production.

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