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Media Release: Entire Cabinet Has a Role in Making Ontario Open For Business

Ontario’s business advocate outlines key priorities for shared economic prosperity across Ontario

THUNDER BAY, ON, July 17, 2018

THUNDER BAY, July 17, 2018: With the legislative session resuming yesterday, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) wrote to each provincial Cabinet minister, outlining a blueprint to execute over the next four years that will help make Ontario open for business. The OCC’s blueprint includes both policy asks where immediate action is required to support business and foundational recommendations for long-term prosperity.

A key tool to making this province competitive is reducing red tape. The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the OCC believe Premier Ford’s step to create a separate Deputy Minister for Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction is an excellent start in lowering the administrative burden felt by Ontario businesses.

“We are providing all Ministers with a blueprint for steps that can be taken to ensure we are growing Ontario’s economy and building shared prosperity for all,” said Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. “Each ministry has a fundamental role to play in making Ontario open for business and we look forward to working with Premier Ford as well as his cabinet in achieving the policy commitments that support businesses across the province.”

The themes that emerged in the OCC blueprint for making Ontario open for business include:

  • Fiscal balance: fundamental to economic growth is ensuring that the Government of Ontario’s own fiscal house is in order
  • Business competitiveness: the most powerful tool in making this province competitive is reducing red tape; we ask that the government prioritize lowering the administrative burden on business and ensure that regulation is streamlined and effective
  • Investment growth: investing in Ontario through strategic spending is essential to fostering job creation and building healthy and productive communities across the province.
  • Government accountability: Poor implementation of government initiatives in the past has led to resource waste,  mismanagement, and disruption for both businesses and residents.

“To ensure Ontario’s economy has a strong foundation, business and government must work together to support evidence-based policies. As Ontario’s business advocate, the OCC is committed to working with the Ontario government to ensure the public policies introduced contribute to a competitive business environment as well as the economic and social well-being of our province,” added Robinson.

To read the blueprint letters to Cabinet Ministers please click here.

 

A Blueprint for Making Ontario Open for Business: Key Highlights

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) wrote to each provincial Cabinet minister, outlining a blueprint of key policy priorities for the next four years that will help make Ontario open for business.

Some of the key priorities for each cabinet minister include:

The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

  1. Fiscal balance: Fundamental to economic growth is ensuring that the Government of Ontario’s own fiscal house is in order and there is a clear path towards a balanced budget
  2. Business competitiveness: Reducing red tape and lowering the tax burden are the most powerful tools in making this province competitive; we ask that the government prioritize lowering the administrative burden on business and ensure that regulation is streamlined and effective
  3. Investing in Ontario: investing in Ontario through strategic spending is essential to fostering job creation and building healthy and productive communities across the province.
  4. Government transparency and accountability: Restoring transparency and accountability in the Government of Ontario’s policies and finances will ensure Government creates the right circumstances for businesses to succeed.

The Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

  1. Address workforce development and demographic challenges.
  2. Expand natural gas access to make life more affordable in rural Ontario
  3. Connect all Ontarians to high-speed internet
  4. Fix the interest arbitration system for municipalities

The Honourable Caroline Mulroney, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

  1. Responsibly administer
  2. Consider a new approach to combating contraband tobacco

The Honourable Jim Wilson, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

  1. Take swift action on reducing unproductive regulation
  2. Tackle Ontario’s scale-up challenge
  3. Advocate for growth-focused R&D tax reform
  4. Build a ‘one-window’ concierge service to help small business navigate regulation
  5. Advocate for a proportional allocation for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  6. Develop more experiential learning opportunities
  7. Pursue Ontario-US state trade MOUs
  8. Develop a strategic plan to improve Ontario’s export performance
  9. Connect all Ontarians to high-speed internet

The Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education

  1. Promote the skilled trades as a viable career option for young people
  2. Develop a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum
  3. Improve school board accountability

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines

  1. Place a greater emphasis on affordability and flexibility in long-term planning
  2. Increase transparency for electricity consumers
  3. Leverage Ontario’s nuclear sector
  4. Allow industry to purchase surplus electricity
  5. Expand natural gas access to make life more affordable in rural Ontario
  6. Take substantive action on the Ring of Fire
  7. Re-ignite Ontario’s leadership in mining innovation
  8. Establish a standard framework on the duty to consult

The Honourable Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

  1. Responsibly wind-down the cap and trade program by mitigating financial loss and investment uncertainty
  2. Take concrete action to reduce Ontario-produced greenhouse gas emissions while protecting business competitiveness
  3. Fix inefficient and ineffective recycling and waste management policies

The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Minister of Finance and Chair of Cabinet

  1. Improve Ontario’s tax competitiveness
  2. Take swift action to balance the Budget and begin reducing the debt
  3. Adopt sound quantitative measurement and evaluation practices
  4. Demonstrate accountability to Ontario taxpayers
  5. Review municipal revenue and taxation tools

The Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Government and Consumer Services & Government House Leader

  1. Build a ‘one-window’ concierge service to help small business navigate regulation
  2. Put taxpayers at the centre of government service delivery
  3. Reform government procurement to emphasize value and innovation

The Honourable Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

  1. Create efficiencies through value-based health care
  2. Prioritize the integration of Ontario innovations into the healthcare system
  3. Strike a Health Cabinet to better understand health spending across government
  4. Ensure government drug coverage programs are strategically designed and fiscally sustainable
  5. Shine a light on mental health in the workplace

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs

  1. Support Indigenous peoples’ participation in the Ontario economy
  2. Establish a standard framework on the duty to consult
  3. Develop a strategy to mitigate the loss of winter roads

The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure

  1. Support communities in building resilient and adaptable infrastructure
  2. Prioritize the use of asset management planning by municipalities
  3. Expand the use of alternative financing and procurement models
  4. Improve transparency and accountability for infrastructure spending
  5. Ensure the Canada Infrastructure Bank is an effective tool for Ontario
  6. Connect all Ontarians to high-speed internet
  7. Expand natural gas access to make life more affordable in rural Ontario

The Honourable Doug Ford, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

  1. Ensure the Canada Infrastructure Bank is an effective tool for Ontario
  2. Pursue Ontario-U.S. state trade MOUs
  3. Advocate for greater immigration resources
  4. Negotiate the best pharmacare solution for Ontario

The Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour

  1. Bring balance back to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act
  2. Build a ready workforce
  3. Modernize the journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio
  4. Support fiscal sustainability at the municipal level
  5. Improve employer engagement in closing the gender pay gap

The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

  1. Confront the housing availability and affordability challenge by increasing supply
  2.  Fix the interest arbitration system for municipalities
  3. Review municipal revenue and taxation tools
  4. Connect all Ontarians to high-speed internet

The Honourable Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

  1. Establish a standard framework on the duty to consult
  2. Develop a provincial forestry strategy
  3. Support Ontario’s forestry industry in trade negotiations

The Honourable Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

  1. Actively manage Ontario’s aging population
  2. Shine a light on mental health in the workplace
  3. Prioritize routing individuals suffering from mental illness away from the criminal justice system

The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

  1. Implement a strategic plan for the tourism sector
  2. Establish a Tourism Industry Table as part of the Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy
  3.  Lower taxes that disproportionately impact the tourism sector
  4. Leverage the potential of the sharing economy by promoting consistent rules across Ontario.
  5. Create greater consistency and predictability in provincial tourism marketing funding

The Honourable Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

  1. Create more experiential learning opportunities, particularly with SMEs
  2. Modernize the apprenticeship system
  3. Reform the Ontario College of Trades
  4. Take an outcomes-based approach to Employment Ontario
  5. Actively manage Ontario’s aging workforce

The Honourable John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation

  1. Develop a long-range transportation plan
  2. Improve regional fare integration to get the GTHA moving
  3. Strengthen the competitiveness of the aviation industry

The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board

  1. Demonstrate accountability to Ontario taxpayers
  2. Lead the government in adopting sound quantitative measurement and evaluation practices
  3. Strike a Health Cabinet to better understand health spending across government

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce' advocacy work is made possible thanks to the generous support of our

Cornerstone Members:

                              

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