3 Market Street West, Suite #1, Brockville, ON, K6V 7L2    phone 613.342.6553   email icon Email Us

facebooklinkedintwitter

March 2018

Ontario Budget 2018

View this email in your browser

Rapid Policy Update:
Ontario Budget 2018

 
 

On March 28, 2018 the Government of Ontario released its 2018 Budget, A Plan for Care and Opportunity. The following is a summary of key highlights from the perspective of Ontario’s business community.

Tax Changes

The Ontario Government is harmonizing with the federal government's eligibility criteria, leaving over 20,000 employers paying $100 million more in Employment Health Tax over the next three years. In addition, businesses will be phased out of the small business deduction if they earn between $50,000 and $150,000 of passive investment income, resulting in an additional $350,000 million in new taxes for Ontario businesses over the next three years.

In an effort to support businesses making significant, long-term investment in research and development (R&D), the provincial government will enhance the Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit (ORDTC). Companies qualifying for the ORDTC will be eligible for an enhanced 5.5 percent exemption (from 3.5 percent) on expenditures over $1 million in a taxation year.

The government is also enhancing the Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC) in an effort to encourage smaller companies to make investments in R&D that will aid growth. If a company qualifies for the OITC and has a ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenues above 20 percent, it will be eligible for an OITC rate of 12 percent.  

OCC Analysis

Budget 2018 has chosen to follow the federal government's lead on changes to the tax code, resulting in a new tax burden on Ontario employers of nearly half a billion dollars over the next three years.

Transportation

In Budget 2018, the government indicates it will focus on providing fare integration across a number of transit systems. The Province will work with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), York Region Transit, Mississauga MiWay, Brampton Transit, and Durham Region Transit to introduce discounts to transit users who transfer between these municipal transit networks. This initiative could save cross]boundary transit commuters up to $1.50 per trip, saving regular commuters about $720 per year.   

Further, PRESTO card users at stations such as Port Credit, Malton, Pickering, Ajax, and Markham will also see fare reductions when taking GO Transit back and forth to Union Station. All GO Transit trips under 10 kilometres will cost PRESTO card users just $3 per trip anywhere on the GO Network.

Continuing the trend of Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) regional transit planning, the Province will explore whether major transit assets, particularly heavy rail, can be optimized with a different ownership model. The Province will begin discussions with the City of Toronto to determine whether Provincial ownership of TTC subway lines could provide better transit services for residents in the GTHA, and allow for a better sharing of costs for transit expansion between the Province and the City of Toronto.

OCC Analysis

The OCC has long advocated for fare integration within the GTHA. The proposed initiative in Budget 2018 is a step in the right direction to ensure transportation connectivity across the GTHA in support of regional economic growth.  

Digital Infrastructure

In Budget 2018, the government is providing $500 million over three years to expand broadband connectivity in rural and northern communities. This will include an investment of up to $71 million towards improving cellular coverage in Eastern Ontario and up to $20 million to Telesat to support a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation project.

OCC Analysis

The OCC has consistently advocated for trade-enabling infrastructure, including both traditional infrastructure and digital infrastructure such as high-speed broadband internet. The OCC is pleased to see this investment in broadband as the province’s competitiveness relies on infrastructure that can connect communities and open access to foreign markets.

Good Jobs and Growth Fund/Skills Development

In Budget 2018, the government has made investments in a variety of areas to expand skills and workforce development and Ontario’s apprenticeships. These investments include $935 million over the next three years for the Good Jobs and Growth Plan and $170 million over three years in the new Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy. Ontario is also investing an additional $12 million to extend the Career Ready Fund to 2020–21, supporting 28,000 more experiential learning opportunities for students and employers.

Other investments include innovative post-secondary programming to match Ontario’s changing labour market, institutional and employer partnerships for experiential learning, bridge training programs for new Ontarians, services to increase access to labour market information, and skills training services for employers.

In order to prioritize investments and growth to help Ontario businesses grow and retain jobs, the Province will renew, enhance, and extend the Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) with an increase of $900 million over the next 10 years. In addition, the Province’s New Economy Fund will help companies stay at the leading edge of innovation and industry to create and retain over 20,000 jobs and attract $5.7 billion in investments.

OCC Analysis

The OCC has consistently emphasized skills and workforce development as a priority for Ontario’s business community, with 77 percent of OCC members stating that the ability to recruit and retain talent is critical to their organizational competitiveness. We commend these commitments from the Province and would welcome further investments and program redesign. For our recommendations with respect to skills and workforce development see the OCC’s report Talent in Transition: Addressing the Skills Mismatch in Ontario.

Regional Economic Development

The Good Jobs and Growth Plan includes an investment in the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and the Eastern Ontario Development Fund to support the needs of all businesses, particularly those in rural and small communities. The Province will invest an additional $100 million in these funds over the next 10 years and will aim to create and retain approximately 19,000 jobs and attract more than $800 million in investments. The government will also create a new Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Fund to invest in and support small- and medium]sized businesses. The government’s $100 million commitment over the next 10 years aims to create and retain approximately 19,000 jobs and attract about $800 million in investments. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) would see an investment of $85 million over the next three years, increasing NOHFC funding to $150 million in 2020–21 and introducing new NOHFC programs.

OCC Analysis

The OCC supports an economic strategy that recognizes and is responsive to the province’s many regional differences. The Ontario Chamber Network looks forward to working with the government and public agencies in ensuring that their investments are well spent.

Health Care and Child Care

The government is prioritizing spending on care in Budget 2018, particularly with regard to expansions to health care and child care.

The Budget includes total health care investments of $5 billion over three years, with $822 million being devoted to hospitals in 2018-9. This investment will support service demands related to growing and aging population, more hospital beds, new patient spaces, and specialty services.

As previously announced, OHIP+ will expand to seniors in August 2019. This program will eliminate the deductible and co-payments for Ontarians aged 65 who already use the Ontario Drug Benefit program. This is estimated it cost $575 million per year by 2020-1.

The Ontario Drug and Dental Program is newly announced in the Budget and will begin in 2019. It will reimburse 80 percent of eligible drug and dental expenses for families without workplace or public health benefits at an expense of $800 million for the first two years of the program.

Finally, the government will spend $2.2 billion over three years to increase child care accessibility and affordability, including free preschool starting in September 2020.

OCC Analysis

While hospital funding has been limited in recent years, this influx of spending does not address the fundamental challenges within the health care system nor is it directed towards the solutions identified by the OCC in our report, Health Transformation: An Action Plan for Ontario. Similarly, the expansion of OHIP+ is not aligned with the principles of an effective pharmacare program outlined in our recent Pharmacare Report. As for investments in child care, the government must find ways to supplement and augment the current market rather than override or replace it.

Debt and Deficit

Budget 2018 forecasts a $600 million surplus for the 2017-18 fiscal year. This is because many new programs announced by this government will only be designed in this fiscal year, with new costs not being realized in a meaningful way for the next one or two years. As such, the government is projecting a $6.7 billion deficit in 2018-19 and further deficits for five more years after that.

With regard to debt repayment, the government has argued that debt repayment has gone from 15 cents per year several years ago to 8 cents, which is the lowest in 25 years. Such an analysis does not take into account that the overall size of the provincial budget has increased exponentially in that time.

OCC Analysis

The OCC is concerned with the precarious fiscal situation that many of the government’s new investments will create. While the near-term deficit is projected to be less than one percent of the GDP, this comes at a time when the economy is relatively strong. The Budget also projects slower GDP growth on the horizon due to global factors.

Government Transparency and Accountability

Budget 2018 indicates that the government is committed to modernizing and transforming public services through cost-saving program improvements, reducing duplication through harmonization, scaling down investments that do not demonstrate value for money, and establishing investment priorities to manage overall sustainability.

It similarly notes that the government hopes to harness expertise through consultation, noting that industry leaders, academics, and representatives from the general public will be asked to make recommendations regarding how the government can best achieve its outcomes and improve user experience.

OCC Analysis

Improving government accountability is one of the four pillars of our Vote Prosperity platform. We have long called for improved value-for-money and return on investment assessments of government programs and services as well as more robust consultation with stakeholders

 

Read the OCC's Rapid Policy Update

Read the 2018 Ontario Budget

 
 
 

The Ontario Business Advisory Council is proudly presented by:

 

 

Website

Email

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

YouTube

 
 
 
 

 

Copyright © 2018 Ontario Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or during the new membership joining process.

Our mailing address is:

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

180 Dundas Street West

Suite 1500

Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8

Canada


Add us to your address book



unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

 
 
 
Comments
Login to post comments.

MNP is on the move

 

Opening New Doors to New Opportunities to Serve You


As we continue to expand our local service offering to meet the needs of our clients, we need a space that can match our growth. MNP Brockville is pleased to announce that we are moving to a great new location, effective March 26, 2018. Until this date, you can still find us at 46-48 King Street East, Brockville.

All of our contact information will remain the same except for our new address:


7 King Street West, Suite 200
P.O. Box 459, Stn Main
Brockville, ON K6V 5V6


Our new location is equipped with elevators for easier accessibility.

We look forward to seeing you at our new office!

Contact Michael McMahon, CPA, CA, Partner at:
613.342.8424 or Michael.McMahon@mnp.ca

 
Comments
Login to post comments.

Burnbrae in Brockville are excited to share there own EGG Bakes!!!!!

 This product is manufactured in Brockville and Burnbrae is very excited about the TV adds.  

 

 

We are very excited to share our new EGG Bakes! TV spot with you! Simply click on the links below to watch it.

 

It will be aired on many top TV programs like This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy (in English) and Unite 9 and L’imposteur (in French) over the next 3 months.

 

We really hope you like it, and please feel free to share these links with your family and friends.

 

English:

30 second English link: https://youtu.be/CFqWQioff-k

15 second English link: https://youtu.be/9gGwdCUsjBg

 

French:

30 second French link: https://youtu.be/rYq4yppuUWA

15 second French link: https://youtu.be/gdzOo49ABiU

Comments
Login to post comments.

2018 Throne Speech

View this email in your browser

 
 

 

Rapid Policy Update:
2018 Throne Speech

 
 

On March 19th, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Ontario government’s speech from the throne.

The throne speech, delivered ahead of next week’s budget and just months before the next election, focused on the theme of “care.” The top priorities for the government in lead up to the election include health care, home care, mental health and addictions, child care, and regional investments.

The OCC has provided a synopsis of the throne speech below. Throne speeches provide a general overview of the Government’s policy commitments rather than specific details. We will provide a detailed analysis of the government’s commitments following the release of the upcoming 2018 Budget on March 28th.

Highlights

  1. Health Care: The upcoming 2018 Budget will make significant investments in hospital operating budgets and reduce wait times at hospitals across the province.
  2. Home Care: The government will invest in home care, providing more services for seniors at home as well provide financial relief for families caring for aging loved ones.
  3. Mental Health Care: The upcoming 2018 Budget will expand access to mental health and addictions care and help ensure Ontarians have access to support in communities and schools.
  4. Child Care and Education: The government will continue to address the cost of child care by making additional investments in existing programs. It will also provide free tuition to more post-secondary students through the new OSAP. The government also intends to invest in training more apprentices for the workforce, including in emerging fields.
  5. OHIP+ and Dental Care: The upcoming 2018 Budget will provide more Ontarians with access to prescription drugs and dental care. This will include an expansion of OHIP+.
  6. Economic Growth and Investments:  The throne speech highlighted that the upcoming 2018 Budget will include support for regional investments and job funds. As part of the government’s engagement strategy, it will continue to advocate for Ontario businesses abroad including for the auto, steel, and agriculture sectors. The government will also continue to make significant investments in infrastructure.

Read the Ontario Government's News Release

 
 

NDP Five-Point Policy Plan


On March 17th, Ontario New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath announced the NDP’s five-point policy plan, a preview of their platform for the upcoming election which will be released in the coming weeks. Below is a high-level synopsis of their major policy initiatives.

Highlights

1. The NDP is proposing an end to funding cuts and freezes, as well as greater supports for nurses, personal support workers, and those who require long-term care.

2. The NDP intends to convert student loans into grants that do not have to be repaid and pledges to create thousands of student co-op jobs across the province.  

3. In an attempt to gain more control over the energy system, the NDP plans to de-privatize Hydro One by bringing it back to full public oversight, including the buyback of shares.

4. Their major policy announcement is extending dental coverage to all Ontarians, under a program called Ontario Benefits. Two-thirds of employees already have coverage from their employers. The NDP estimates, based on analysis from a C.D. Howe report, that the cost of this plan to employers not currently offering dental coverage would be 1 percent of payroll.

As announced last year, the NDP would also implement a universal pharmacare plan, Pharmacare for Everyone.

5. The NDP will raise both the corporate tax rate and taxes for Ontarians in the highest tax brackets.

We expect to see more detailed information on these initiatives in the NDP’s official platform. Implementation details for many of these programs—such as the pharmaceutical and dental coverage plans—will be developed in conjunction with stakeholders should the NDP form government.

 

Vote Prosperity


In October, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released Vote Prosperity, a platform for the 2018 provincial election campaign on June 7th. The release of our platform nine months prior to the election was intended to ensure all parties have an opportunity to address the most important issues to business within their own platforms.

Upon its release, we will provide an analysis of the NDP platform with comparisons to recommendations in Vote Prosperity.

We are encouraging Ontarians to send a letter to their local candidates, asking them to support the Ontario Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity platform

Read the OCC's Rapid Policy Update

 

 

 
 

The Ontario Business Advisory Council is proudly presented by:

 

 

Website

Email

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

YouTube

Copyright © 2018 Ontario Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website or during the new membership joining process.

Our mailing address is:

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

180 Dundas Street West

Suite 1500

Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8

Canada

 

 
 
 
Comments
Login to post comments.

Temporary Exemption from U.S. Tariffs Should be Permanent


 

Temporary Exemption From U.S. Tariffs Should be Permanent


For Immediate Release

Ottawa, March 8, 2018 — While the Canadian Chamber welcomes the temporary exemption extended to Canada today on U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs by the U.S. Administration, the waiver must be made permanent and not be linked to the outcome of the NAFTA negotiations.
 
“Canada should be exempt from these tariffs, fully and without condition. We are a partner of the United States in NATO and NORAD, and Canada’s steel and aluminum industries provide a critical source of supply for American businesses and for American defence needs. Far from being a problem for the U.S., we are their ally, their supplier and their customer,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Holding any threat over Canada’s head does nothing to address the real issue of dumping.”
 
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce applauds the Government of Canada’s ongoing work to obtain a Canadian exemption, and we are grateful for the strong support provided by so many U.S. political and business leaders.
 
“It’s in everyone’s interest to reach a fair and workable agreement on NAFTA. Linking the steel and aluminum issue to the trade agreement negotiations will only serve as a distraction, making it more difficult to achieve our shared objective of a modernized NAFTA,” said Mr. Beatty.
 
The Canadian Chamber remains concerned that these new U.S. tariffs will result in diversion of steel and aluminum from affected countries into Canada. We encourage the Government of Canada to ensure that steel and aluminum are not dumped into Canada, and that the Canadian Border Security Agency is appropriately staffed, resourced and financed to deal with this issue.
 
--

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom

 


Contact:
 
Guillaum W. Dubreuil
Senior Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613.797.1860
gdubreuil@chamber.ca


Please find the online version of the release here.

For further information on this alert, contact Mark Agnew, Director, International Policy, magnew@chamber.ca, 613 238 4000, ext 230.

Comments
Login to post comments.