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Ontario’s fall economic statement contains positives for manufacturers

Published by Brad Fougere on November 26, 2015

A number of significant initiatives outlined in the Ontario Fall Economic Statement will have impacts for the province’s manufacturers.

The province announced its commitment to easing regulation and removing red tape, signaled the permanent retention of the Industrial Exception under the Professional Engineers of Ontario Act, provided details on temporary solvency relief measures for Single Employer Defined Benefit plan sponsors and provided clarity around emergency leave.

“The red tape challenge and commitment to regulatory burden reduction are going to be critical for manufacturers.  Given the governments strong commitment and majority status, we're optimistic that this could succeed where similar efforts have failed,” said CME Division Vice President, Ontario Ian Howcroft.

CME has argued the importance of retaining the industrial exception.  Eliminating the Industrial Exception had no rationale and would have been detrimental to the economy.  CME is pleased with the commitment to retain the industrial exception permanently.  Regarding the Single Employer Defined Benefit plan sponsors, CME welcomes the temporary solvency relief measures with a commitment to start consultation on longer-term reforms on an expedited basis. 

CME looks forward to working with the government to develop the more permanent solution that will benefit plan members by ensuring the long-term viability of the plan sponsor.

The inappropriate use of emergency leave has created significant absenteeism problems and unnecessary costs for manufacturers. Commitment to resolve these issues will reduce abuses and unintended consequences associated with this leave provision.

Ontario manufacturers continue to grapple with high electricity rates.  The commitment to Eliminating the Debt Retirement Charge by April 1, 2018 provides some additional certainty that some relief is ahead.  CME continues to call for further measures to reduce electricity rates and eliminate the DRC more quickly if possible.  

CME remains concerned with potential new costs and administration of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) and Cap & Trade. We will continue to work with government on these important issues to manage these risks and maximize opportunities for manufacturers.

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