Commentary on Ontario Budget 2020
The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing (Trillium Network) welcomes and is encouraged by the manufacturing-related content of the Government of Ontario’s 2020 budget. We are especially optimistic about tax and regulatory changes, funding for investments in industry, infrastructure, and talent, and ongoing efforts to promote and raise awareness of Ontario’s globally competitive advanced manufacturing ecosystem.
We are encouraged by several tax and regulatory changes. These include:
- Reduced Electricity Prices. Reducing electricity prices addresses a persistent concern for manufacturers and an impediment to competitiveness. Doing so while maintaining a focus on generating electricity from low carbon sources is especially laudable.
- Consistency in Property Tax Rates. Assuring competitive and consistent property tax rates throughout the province by adjusting Business Education Tax (BET) rates will provide manufacturers with additional resources to invest in job creation, export development activities, and new production technologies.
We are equally encouraged by funding for investments in industry, infrastructure, and the workforce. Some examples include:
- Automotive Manufacturing. Support for large-scale investments, such as those recently announced by Ford and FCA, is critical to the future of Ontario’s automotive manufacturing industry. As we noted in our recent automotive industry report, support for investments in electrified vehicle production and supply chains is key for future industry success.
- Telecommunications Infrastructure. Investments in broadband infrastructure are essential for manufacturers that are adopting digital production technologies associated with Industry 4.0. The Internet Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program provides valuable support for these initiatives.
- Skilled Trades and Apprenticeships. Addressing the mounting shortage of skilled tradespersons is a priority for manufacturers. Funding for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs and efforts to simplify and modernize the training and governance of the skilled trades included in the budget are valuable for manufacturers.
- Workforce Diversity. Programs that motivate women and youth to pursue high-earning careers in manufacturing are especially welcome. These include supports for child care.
Finally, we commend the province’s support for efforts that promote and raise awareness of Ontario manufacturers and Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem. Some of these efforts include:
- Ontario Made. The CME-led ‘Ontario Made’ initiative provides a searchable database of consumer products manufactured in Ontario. This initiative is supported by the province’s Ontario Together Fund.
- TrilliumGIS. The Trillium Network’s updated TrilliumGIS application, which provides information about more than 6,000 companies that represent over 95% of Ontario manufacturing employment and output. This application is made possible by support from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (OMEDJCT), and will be available to the public later this week.
It is our opinion that the Government of Ontario’s 2020 budget supports the growth and competitiveness of Ontario manufacturers and Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem. More specifically, we believe that the budget provides a foundation for further job creation, investment attraction, export development, and innovation within Ontario’s globally competitive advanced manufacturing ecosystem.
For more information contact:
Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing