Building Ontario Up Through a Stronger Economy
Proposed Legislation Would Support Ontario Businesses and Grow Economy
Ontario is introducing legislation today that, if passed, would strengthen the province's economy by reducing red tape for business, driving regional economic growth by developing clusters and supporting long-term infrastructure planning.
The Better Business Climate Act, 2014 would help reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and practices that cost businesses time and money. Ontario has set a target of $100 million for reducing burden on business and other stakeholders by 2016-17. The proposed legislation would support this target by requiring the government to report annually on burden reduction activities to ensure efforts remain on track.
This act also would help create jobs and drive innovation by supporting the creation of cluster development plans. In consultation with business, academia, labour and non-profits, the government would identify cluster opportunities that focus on regional competitive strengths. Clusters would help to attract investment and talent in key sectors across Ontario, raising regional capacity for innovation, global competitiveness, business attraction and the creation of well-paid jobs. The legislation would require cluster development plans to be reviewed within five years.
The Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2014 would require the province to regularly table a long-term infrastructure plan in the legislature covering a period of at least 10 years. The proposed legislation includes guiding principles to maximize the value of infrastructure investments and to promote innovation, competitiveness and job creation. It would also require the government to involve apprentices in the construction of certain provincial infrastructure projects.
Ensuring that businesses stay competitive by enabling strategic growth across the province is a key part of the government's economic plan to invest in people, create jobs, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
- The Better Business Climate Act, 2014 would allow Ontario to join British Columbia and Saskatchewan as the only provinces with legislation around regulatory reform.
- Industry Canada estimates that regulatory paperwork compliance cost about $4.76 billion in Canada in 2011, suggesting Ontario represented about $1.77 billion of the national total.
- Since 2008, Ontario has eliminated 17 per cent of all regulatory requirements — or 80,000 regulatory burdens.
- Clusters are concentrations of interconnected sectors, companies and institutions that do business with each other and/or are related in some way.
- Strong Information and Communications Technology (ICT) clusters in the GTA, Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa support Ontario’s top tier North American ranking within this sector, with the province second only to California in terms of number of ICT companies.
- The Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2014 would require the first long-term infrastructure plan to be tabled in the legislature within three years, with subsequent plans tabled at least every five years.
- Ontario has proposed to invest more than $130 billion in public infrastructure over the next 10 years, which would support over 110,000 jobs on average each year in construction and related industries.
“Fostering a dynamic and innovative economic climate that allows businesses to thrive is key to our government’s economic plan. This new legislation will ensure that our infrastructure investments are focused and strategic, which will help build strong communities and create new jobs today and in the future.”