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Ontario budget acknowledges manufacturing as a driving force of the innovation economy

Published by Brad Fougere on February 25, 2016

Manufacturers will benefit from a number of the initiatives and programs Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa released in his 2016 budget today.

The measures, including a $25 million green SMART fund, to be administered by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), $35 million over five years to fund an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium and Industrial Exception permanency, come as the engine of growth for the Canadian economy shifts back to Ontario’s manufacturing heartland.

“The heart of the Ontario innovation economy has always been its manufacturing sector,” said CME Vice President, Ontario Ian Howcroft. “Global economic factors have seen a re-emergence of manufacturing in Canada and an innovation agenda in Ontario serves to strength the impacts of the sector to grow the economy.”

Ontario manufacturers will benefit from $137 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 10 years, including an additional $3 billion earmarked today. A $30 million export strategy program, $15 million for the Centre for Engineering Innovation at the University of Toronto and elimination of the capital tax that will save manufacturing $2.3 billion each year

However, concerns do remain over the impending additional costs both of the province’s planned cap and trade program and the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. As well, a concerted effort toward hastening the regulatory burden, while acknowledged, needs to be implemented.  

“A red tape reduction strategy targeting Ontario’s manufacturing firms will ultimately make Ontario a more competitive jurisdiction,” Howcroft said.

Details on the funding program for energy consumption and greenhouse gas reduction will be released later this year.

“The green SMART fund shows that Ontario acknowledges that advanced technology adoption is key to both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by manufacturers,” said Howcroft.

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