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McGuinty Government's Open Ontario Plan Helps Province Grow

Archived Backgrounder

McGuinty Government's Open Ontario Plan Helps Province Grow

Office of the Premier

The introduction of many Open Ontario initiatives is helping put Ontario back on track after the global recession. The province is regaining jobs, creating investment opportunities in clean energy and helping families with tax relief. Eighty-seven per cent of the jobs lost during the recession in Ontario have been recovered.

Leading the Economic Recovery

The Ontario government has a plan to not only replace jobs lost during the recession, but to continue growing Ontario's economy and create new, high skilled jobs for the future.

In the first 11 months of 2010, Ontario was up 114,000 jobs over the same period in 2009, putting 2010 on track to be the best year since 2003 for job creation.

During the fall session, Ontario businesses announced the creation and retention of over 3,000 jobs thanks in part to the Open Ontario Plan. The announcements include:

  • 300 jobs in Hamilton at Max Aicher manufacturing steel.
  • 150 jobs at the reopened St. Marys Paper in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Up to 400 jobs at New Food Classics, a new meat production facility in St. Catharines.
  • 60 new jobs at the newly expanded Ready Bake facility in Cobourg.

The Government's Small Business Enterprise Centres also helped 13,600 Ontarians to find a job over the past year.

Attracting High-Tech, Clean Energy Investments and Jobs

The clean energy plan keeps the lights on, cleans the air and creates thousands of good Ontario jobs. Just in the last month, over 2,000 clean energy and manufacturing jobs have been announced:

  • 300 direct and 600 indirect jobs in Tillsonburg with a new wind blade plant
  • 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs in Windsor with the new CS Wind, wind tower plant.
  • 126 jobs in the Essex County for the production of 27 wind towers.
  • 150 jobs in Waterloo with ATS Automation System manufacturing solar panels.
  • 100 jobs in Thunder Bay with their coal plant converting to cleaner power.
  • 16 high skill jobs in Kingston boosting clean energy manufacturing.
  • 60 jobs in Scarborough with Samco, modifying business from auto to solar.

Helping Ontarians with their Household Budgets

To help Ontarians manage their household budgets during leaner times, the government introduced a number of initiatives during the fall session to provide more relief for taxes and energy bills, including:

Children's Activity Tax Credit

Passed the new Children's Activity Tax Credit to help parents with the cost of activities like sports, music or language instruction. Parents and guardians can claim a credit of up to $50 per child or up to $100 for a child with a disability. The credit is refundable so parents and guardians qualify even if they pay no income tax. This will allow more lower-income families to benefit.

The Children's Activity Tax Credit will provide about $75 million for 1.8 million children in about 1.1 million Ontario families each year.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit

Passed the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit to provide relief for the sales tax on energy and for property taxes of up to $1,025 for seniors and up to $900 for families.

The enhanced credit would deliver almost $1.3 billion in annual support, an increase of $525 million compared to the property tax credit provided in 2009.

Ontario Clean Energy Benefit

Passed the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit which would take 10 per cent off electricity bills every month for over 4 million residential consumers and over 400,000 small businesses, farms and other consumers.

Rollback of off-peak hours

Announced the extension two hours of off-peak hours energy -- so families can benefit from off-peak electricity prices starting at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. effective May 2011. This means 10 more hours a week at the lowest energy rates for all Ontarians.

Delivering the Northern Ontario Energy Credit

In November, eligible Northerners received their first instalment of the Northern Ontario Energy Credit. The credit provides up to $130 for single Northerners and up to $200 for families annually to help off-set the higher costs of energy in the North. About 250,000 families and single people, or over half of all Northerners, qualify for the Northern Ontario Energy Credit.

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