Ontario’s Long-Term Report on the Economy is the Ontario government’s second long-range assessment of Ontario’s economic future. These reports are designed to highlight the long-term challenges and opportunities that will affect the province over the next 20 years.

This report and the government’s first one, Toward 2025: Assessing Ontario’s Long-Term Outlook, are part of the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability. As part of that commitment, the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act, 2004 requires that the government present a long-range assessment of Ontario’s economic and fiscal environment.

Much has changed since we released our first report in 2005: Ontario’s population has grown by 500,000 people, the oldest baby boomers are approaching age 65, there is heightened competition in an increasingly globalized world, energy costs have increased and the dollar has risen. Most notably, Ontario has been hit by the worst global recession in recent memory.

Governments cannot control the effects of global forces or demographic shifts, but we do have a responsibility to identify challenges and lay the groundwork for future prosperity. The goal of this report is to share publicly what we know about the economic challenges that Ontario may face in the next two decades. Not surprisingly, the province will be grappling with an aging population, increased urbanization and rising global competition. At the same time, Ontario will continue to be vulnerable to changes in the global economy.

The Ontario government is committed to looking beyond the short term by positioning Ontario for long-term success. It is why this government has focused on early childhood education, investments in infrastructure and modernizing Ontario’s tax system. All will have a long-term positive impact on our economy and our families.

This report is not intended to be viewed as a plan, but rather as a long-range assessment of Ontario’s economic future. Its purpose is to provide a context to government policy and decision-making. Those looking for in-depth analysis of current government policy and programs can turn to other government publications including the Ontario Budget, Ontario Public Accounts and Progress Report 2009. In the spring, I will present the 2010 Budget, which will provide an update on Ontario’s fiscal plan.

In producing this report, we consulted many expert reports including work from the Conference Board of Canada, International Monetary Fund, University of Toronto, Statistics Canada, as well as reports from other international governments. In conclusion, I would like to thank all the people and organizations that shared their expertise as well as all those in government who contributed to this report.

In the next 20 years, I am confident that Ontario will rise to the challenges it faces and be bigger, better and stronger.

Signature: Dwight Duncan

The Honourable Dwight Duncan, MPP
Minister of Finance, Chair of Management Board

Table of Contents