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Infrastructure, skills and free trade: business leaders offer suggestions for Ontario’s budget

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Date: March 2, 2017

Related Issues Macroeconomic and Fiscal

In a pre-budget letter to Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa, The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada, commended the province for its commitment to balancing the budget by 2017-2018.

Growing at 2.6 per cent last year, Ontario’s economy is one of the strongest in Canada – but one of the most susceptible to changes in the global economic environment.

Currently, Ontario pays some $12 billion a year servicing its debt – rivaling the amount spent on all provincial post-secondary and training programs and the justice sector combined. And with 49 per cent of the province’s GDP dependent on U.S. trade,  an era of American protectionism poses a major potential threat to continued growth. Given this uncertain environment, the Business Council urges the government to focus on five priorities:

  1. Targeted spending on infrastructure projects
  2. Lowering the cost of doing business
  3. Implementing the Canadian Free Trade Agreement
  4. Using revenues from cap-and-trade to support competitiveness
  5. Strengthening skills training for workers and recent graduates

To read the letter in full, click here.

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