In response to the provincial government’s budget for 2023, Building a Strong Ontario, OCC President and CEO Rocco Rossi issued the following statement.
According to Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, “we appreciate the government’s focus on fiscal responsibility while maintaining growth-enabling investments that support greater productivity.” We particularly applaud the Ontario government’s ongoing efforts to address labor shortages, including in the skilled trades and health care, and to encourage business investment in crucial industries like mining and manufacturing.
The business community in Ontario welcomes a number of the measures announced in the budget. These include:
- Further steps to address labour market challenges by boosting immigration through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program and removing barriers to foreign credential recognition through the Ontario Bridge Training Program.
- Creation of additional pathways into health care jobs through the expansion of the dual credit program which will provide secondary students with opportunities to start their careers as nurses, personal support workers, medical laboratory technicians and paramedics sooner.
- Introduction of the Ontario made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit to support local manufacturing companies in investing and expanding in Ontario, strengthening provincial supply chains.
- Investments in mental health through an additional $425 million over three years for mental health and addictions, including a five per cent increase in the base funding of community‐based mental health and addiction service providers funded by the Ministry of Health.
The OCC is eager to continue collaborating with the Ontario Government on other issues that are important to its members, such as:
- A comprehensive health human resource strategy and integrated health data system to improve health care capacity and outcomes.
- Additional supports for small businesses through scaling digitization funding and training programs and improving access to private capital and credit.
- Climate adaptation and mitigation strategies with clear targets, measures to strengthen communities’ climate emergency preparedness, and support for businesses in the transition to net-zero.
- Removing interprovincial barriers to trade and labour mobility by signing mutual recognition agreements and/or unilaterally recognizing standards in other parts of the country, where appropriate.
- Taking further action on Ontario’s supply chain vulnerabilities through trade-enabling infrastructure investments and programs to help small and medium-sized enterprises adopt risk management and diversification strategies and supporting modernization.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Premier and Government of Ontario to advance business prosperity on behalf of our members,” added Rossi.