Building Ontario Up for Everyone: 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review banner

: Fostering a More Innovative and Dynamic Business Environment

BACKGROUNDER — November 14, 2016

The government is committed to fostering a more innovative and dynamic business environment to support a growing economy, well-paying jobs, a higher standard of living and sustainable public services.

A strong, innovative business climate creates good jobs for Ontarians to support their families and economic growth that helps our communities thrive.

Ontario’s Actions

Announced today:

  • The Financial Services Regulatory Authority, a new independent and flexible regulator of financial services and pensions that, once established, would be more consumer-focused and improve protections for consumers, investors and pension plan beneficiaries.
  • A four-year, $32.4 million scale-up voucher initiative to help high-impact companies overcome barriers to their next stage of growth by funding activities such as developing and recruiting specialized talent, accessing new markets and protecting intellectual property.
  • The Small Business Innovation Challenge pilot program, with an investment of $28.8 million over five years to help Ontario-based small and medium-sized enterprises.

Government action continues to make Ontario an attractive place to start and grow a business by:

  • Improving productivity and market access for Ontario companies and supporting innovative new products, services or method development by providing over $810 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. This has helped leverage private investments of more than $7.4 billion and created or retained 37,500 jobs since January 2013. Some recent investments include almost $86 million to support the Windsor operations of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada and more than $26 million to support General Electric Canada‚Äôs new Welland factory. These investments have created over 1,400 new jobs and retained 4,000 existing jobs.
  • Attracting investments of more than $1.1 billion in venture capital financing for Ontario-based small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in the first nine months of 2016.
  • Committing $25 million to the ScaleUP Ventures Fund to meet the additional capital and mentorship needs of a new generation of Ontario-based startups and entrepreneurs.
  • Encouraging businesses to set a target by the end of 2017 of appointing 30 per cent women to their boards of directors.
  • Allowing fleet insurance to be offered on an interim basis for vehicles that can be hired through online ride sharing services.
  • Partnering with Airbnb to ensure guests and hosts are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Launching the Red Tape Challenge online consultation tool to engage businesses, stakeholders and the broader public in identifying improvements to regulatory and compliance burdens to shorten response times and make it easier for businesses to operate in the province. Consultations with the auto-parts manufacturing sector found 80 opportunities for burden reduction.
  • Landing a number of agreements, partnerships and memoranda of understanding through the Premier’s international business missions, including ones to Mexico, Israel and the West Bank.
  • Working with Canada's Premiers in Whitehorse this past summer to reach an agreement-in-principle on a new Canadian Free Trade Agreement that will remove trade barriers and improve the flow of workers, goods and services across provincial and territorial borders.

The government is delivering on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario by:

  • Passing the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, 2016, which ensures proceeds from the cap-and-trade program will be invested efficiently for cost-effective emissions reduction.
  • Releasing the Climate Change Action Plan, which outlines key provincial actions to combat climate change, create jobs and enable people and businesses to shift to a low-carbon economy.

Going Forward

The government is:

  • Launching the Ontario Investment Office this fall, to provide a one-window approach to investment attraction.
  • Reviewing the regulatory framework related to financial planning and financial advisory services in Ontario.
  • Developing a clean tech sector strategy to support Ontario’s growing clean tech business and create jobs.
  • Investing about $55 billion in public transit and $26 billion in highways over the next 10 years to help move people and goods and support a competitive economy.