The revitalization of manufacturing in Ontario hinges upon manufacturers across the province having access to skilled workers and reliable investment incentives they can access, CME states. PHOTO courtesy Lincoln Electric.
As the Ontario government prepares to deliver its Fall Economic Statement on November 2nd, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on the province to continue to offer broad supports to the manufacturing sector.
“While substantial progress has been made in paving the way for a net-zero transition that helps offset additional costs, our competitive position remains challenging,” said Dennis Darby, President & CEO of CME. “Manufacturers continue to struggle with the task of reconciling the path to net-zero with the incentives currently available to them.”
Over the past year, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), has greatly increased the amount of federal funding for manufacturing companies in the U.S., sparking a factory-building boom as a result. As of July 2023, private manufacturing construction in the U.S. was up an impressive 76.5% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2022. In contrast, Canada’s investment in factories and plants was up a more moderate 35.6%.
In a concerted effort to compete with other jurisdictions, Darby emphasized, “The revitalization of manufacturing in Ontario hinges upon manufacturers across the province having access to skilled workers and reliable investment incentives they can access. When the Fall Economic Statement is released, every manufacturer across the province will be asking the same question, ‘Is my company better off?’”
As the backbone of the province’s economy, Ontario manufacturers seek greater government support in two critical areas:
Get Manufacturers the Workers We Need
- Complement the Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit with a new tax credit for on-the-job training related to technology adoption and integration.
- Preserve and further augment funding available for the upskilling of manufacturing workers and the attraction of fresh talent through the Skills Development Fund.
- Support a provincial roll-out for Regional Industry Councils to bring together employers, government, and educators to coordinate skills training and education programs based on regional needs.
Introduce More Competitive Incentives to Reduce Carbon, Lower Costs, and Increase Technology Adoption
- Make the Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit tax free and expand it to cover more companies with a strong local footprint.
- Increase access to affordable low carbon energy.
- Boost the competitiveness of tax and pension rules by implementing strategic measures such as eliminating solvency funding for single employer sponsored benefit plans. This will increase cash flow for manufacturers at no cost to taxpayers.
- Progressively increase the Ontario Innovation Tax Credit to rates of 15%, 20% and 25%.
“Ontario-based businesses, especially manufacturers, can’t continue to wait for the government to address these key competitiveness issues that have a real impact on investment decisions. Other countries are heavily investing in their industrial sectors and their workforce of the future. Without action, we risk losing manufacturing investments and jobs,” concluded Darby.