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Liberals unveil identical budget post-majority election

Published by Brad Fougere on July 14, 2014

TORONTO – Ontario’s budget, announced today by Finance Minister Charles Sousa, acknowledges a number of the challenges facing the province’s manufacturing sector and includes several positives, according to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Vice President, Ontario Ian Howcroft.    

“While we support efforts to increase retirement income security, we’re very concerned about the costs associated with the proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)," said Howcroft. "These costs will hit small and medium sized manufacturers hardest, the job creators.  It will also impact low income Ontarians that may not have the disposable income to afford mandatory contributions. We will need to work closely with the government to try to stem the damage the ORPP could cause”           

Manufacturers are facing tough economic times and rising energy costs which are hurting their ability to compete globally.

“We continue to give them credit for recognizing a number of our concerns, but, the government falls down on how far they’re going,” said Howcroft.  “Energy still continues to be a real cost and a challenge for manufacturers in these tight economic conditions,” Howcroft said.    

Measures in the budget that will have a positive impact on manufacturers include:

  • $2.5 billion jobs investment fund    
  • New measures to help manufacturers reduce energy costs including lowering the threshold for access to the demand allocation of the global adjustment (ICI Program) and lower rates for businesses expanding (IEI Program)    
  • Regulatory burden reduction

The scant details on how the jobs fund will be spent, the limit of one regulatory reduction per ministry per year is also a concern, said Howcroft.    

CME recently held a series of meetings across Ontario to hear from manufacturers on key challenges and priorities. This culminated in an Action Plan for Ontario that suggests a number of key budget recommendations including targeted stimulus akin to the SMART program and the introduction of refundable tax credits for manufacturing investments, training and innovation.   

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada’s leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. 

The association directly represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME’s members are small and medium-sized enterprises. As Canada’s leading business network, CME touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries. 

CME’s membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada’s exports.  

Found in: Ontario budget

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