An expanded Jobs and Prosperity Fund, removing barriers that keep women from benefiting equally in our economy and helping newcomers get the training they need to find jobs
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Today, Ontario’s economy is doing well. Our unemployment rate has declined from 9.6 per cent in June 2009 to a 17-year low of 5.5 per cent in February 2018. It has remained below the national average for 34 straight months. Ontario’s economic growth is exceeding that of Canada and is leading the world’s strongest economic powers, including the US and Europe.
Since the recession, Ontario’s economy has created over 800,000 net new jobs. The majority of the jobs were full-time and were created in the private sector and in industries that pay above‐average wages.
The Ontario Liberal government has invested in regional economic growth and reduced the small business corporate income tax (CIT) rate from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent. Our combined federal-Ontario CIT rate that is the lowest in Canada. We’ve helped people train for new and better jobs and made college and university more affordable.
But we are hearing from people that we need to do more. Companies are facing challenges as a result of rapid technological change, increased global competition and uncertainty surrounding trade negotiations. Ontario needs a highly skilled workforce to stay competitive. Businesses need support to innovate and adopt new technologies. Businesses are facing an uncertain trade environment. Newcomers to Ontario need supports to succeed. And many women still face systemic barriers to getting ahead, including the 30 per cent pay gap between men and women.
That’s why the Ontario Liberals have a plan to create jobs and growth by building the skills and talent of our people, making strategic investments so our companies can adopt game-changing technology and making historic investments in the critical infrastructure that keeps our economy moving. The Good Jobs and Growth Plan will increase funding of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund by $900 million over the next decade, for a total of $3.2 billion in support since 2014-15. Our plan will:
- Build Ontario’s talent through improvements to postsecondary education, apprenticeship, employment and training
- Help newcomers to Ontario get the recognition and training they need to find jobs
- Invest in regional economic development in Northern, Eastern and Southwestern Ontario and in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- See the province partner with businesses to increase their productivity and competitiveness in key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology, life sciences, cleantech, forestry and food and beverages
- Enhance supports for innovative companies as they start up and scale up, including $85 million over 10 years through the Venture Technologies Fund
- Reduce electricity costs for businesses
- Increase both of Ontario’s R&D tax credits to encourage investment and commercialization
- Continue our commitment to stable film, television, and interactive digital media tax credits and work to further improve the sector
- Work with film and television sector partners to design a program to support the construction of new studio space
- Stand up for Ontario businesses and workers on trade
- Expand and diversify international trade
- Build and upgrade transit, hospitals, schools and digital infrastructure, creating good jobs
- Advance women’s economic empowerment by helping to close the gender pay gap, supporting their access to good jobs and removing barriers to women’s leadership as entrepreneurs, on boards and in senior management positions
- Review, in consultation with the business community, the Arthur Wishart Act franchise legislation, to ensure that these businesses support their workers and thrive