Archive | Ontario Economy

Economic Statement ignores Highway 69: Fedeli promises: ‘We’re going to deal directly with the First Nations communities to unleash the wealth in the Ring of Fire’ – by Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles (Sudbury Star – November 16, 2018)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

A new mining working group to streamline the regulatory approvals process and attract new investment to Northern Ontario is one of the projects highlighted in Thursday’s Fall Economic Statement to benefit Northern Ontario.

Finance Minister and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli notes the statement includes a few pages that address Northern issues directly. Four sections of the 155-page document relate to the Ring of Fire, Review of the Far North Act 2010, the mining working group and Northern transportation improvements.

Fedeli says the previous government delayed development of the Ring of Fire for 10 years, “and now we’re saying, ‘no more.’ “There isn’t going to be any more delays and putting things off, as we’re going to deal directly with the First Nations communities to unleash the wealth in the Ring of Fire,” he says. Continue Reading →

Will Ford keep his promise to lower hydro costs? He’d better – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – October 30, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s boast, like that of U.S. President Donald Trump’s, is “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” Trump’s strict adherence to keeping his promises — he has kept two-thirds of his 334 promises to date and broken none of any significance — explains the intense loyalty of his base, his rising popularity and the likelihood of his re-election.

Ford has, like Trump, broken out of the gate upon assuming office by fulfilling an impressive number of election promises, among them scrapping the carbon tax and repealing the Green Energy Act.

But the single most important one for super-charging the provincial economy — lowering electricity rates toward free-market prices by cancelling the above-market renewable energy contracts the past Liberal government handed out to friends and benefactors — seems on course to be broken. Continue Reading →

Make Ontario hydro great again by reviving the Common Sense Revolution – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – June 29, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Ontario was once known as the engine of Canada’s economy. Today that engine is sputtering after a decade and a half of anemic growth. The province faces a deteriorating credit rating and its runaway $325-billion debt, the highest of any subnational jurisdiction in the Western world, will balloon to $400 billion in six years.

Ontario’s power plants were once called the province’s crown jewels, lauded as the single biggest symbols of the province’s success.

Today, the power sector is the single biggest reason for the province’s fall, the victim of a politically correct Green Energy Act that scrapped high-performing plants in favour of renewable-energy losers that forced Ontarians to pay some of the continent’s highest electricity rates, leading to an exodus of some 300,000 manufacturing jobs and to suffering in much of the provincial economy outside the Greater Toronto Area. Continue Reading →

Canada’s Biggest Steelmaker Sees Layoffs From U.S. Tariffs – by Greg Quinn (Bloomberg News – June 26, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The head of Canada’s biggest steelmaker says he may have to lay off 1,000 workers and review $750 million (US$564 million) of investment if the government doesn’t fight back against U.S. tariffs.

Canada shouldn’t waver in its plan to retaliate against the 25 per cent tariff the U.S. has imposed on steel imports, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Chief Executive Officer Sean Donnelly told lawmakers Tuesday in Ottawa. The government should also seek the permanent elimination of the U.S. tariff, he said.

“This combined impact could result in reduced production, potential shutdown of operating lines impacting over 1,000 direct jobs and over 4,000 indirect jobs in Ontario, in Quebec, with significant implications” to future investment, he said. Continue Reading →

Ignore the green lobby, Doug Ford. Ontarians voted for affordable energy this time – by Peter Shawn Taylor (Financial Post – June 12, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Peter Shawn Taylor is a journalist, policy research analyst and a contributing writer for Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Elections are often considered to be referendums on the economy. When the economy is performing well, incumbent governments are supposed to benefit from a contented electorate. That’s not what happened in Ontario.

By most measures, the Ontario economy is doing just fine. Unemployment, one of the most important indicators for voters, is the lowest it’s been in several decades. GDP growth is in the two-per-cent range — decent, if not spectacular. Housing starts and other measures of consumer spending seem reasonably strong as well.

Nevertheless, Ontario’s long-governing Liberals were just shown the door in spectacular fashion. Voters were willing to look past the Liberals’ ugly scandals in previous elections for the sake of predictability. But when voters looked at the economy this time, they plainly could not get past one aspect of it that was actually in horrible shape: Energy affordability. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Northern Ontario being strangled [Part 1 of 5] – by Stan Sudol (Sudbury Star – June 2, 2018)

http://www.thesudburystar.com/

On June 7, the people of Ontario will be going to the polls in one of the most pivotal elections in the province’s history. While Northern Ontario – north of the French and Mattawa rivers, as I have never recognized the Parry Sound and Muskoka ridings as being part of the North – encompasses roughly 90 per cent of the province’s land mass, its population has been steadily declining to slightly over five per cent of Ontario’s total.

Unfortunately, our impact on provincial policies is almost negligible.

A buck a beer, cheaper gas, tax breaks combined with unaffordable infrastructure and social commitments, twinning the trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, buying back Hydro One and jumping on a bulldozer to start building the road into the Ring of Fire are part of a bevy of mostly worthy but unsustainable promises Conservative Doug Ford, Liberal Kathleen Wynne and NDP Andrea Horwath have made.

However, I seldom hear any actual policy initiatives to grow the economy and create wealth so we can afford all these election initiatives and perhaps, just perhaps, put a little money on our provincial debt, which has more than doubled during the past 15 years under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal era, from about $138 billion in 2003-04 to $325 billion today and growing. Continue Reading →

How Doug Ford can end Ontario’s suffering from expensive electricity — instantly – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – May 4, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

By all accounts, Doug Ford, a bruiser who polls predict will be Ontario’s next premier, lacks a deep understanding of the intricacies of energy policy. The result for Ontarians, if he follows through on his election campaign’s unsophisticated themes, will be basic, and beneficial: an end to the esoteric policies that have brought the province to ruin.

Ford vows to stop taxing carbon by scrapping the Wynne government’s cap-and trade system, which currently costs a typical Ontario household $500 a year, projected to rise to $2,500 a year by 2022. Doing so would pit Ford against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government, which threatens to carbon-tax Ontarians if Ford refuses to.

But that seems an empty threat — the federal Liberals would be reluctant to impose a carbon tax on Ontarians when running for re-election next year. Even if the federal government does impose a carbon tax on Ontario, the Supreme Court may strike it down as unconstitutional — some legal scholars believe Trudeau has improperly intruded into an area of provincial jurisdiction. Continue Reading →

Forestry exemption extended under ESA – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 4, 2018)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – An exemption under the Endangered Species Act that allowing forestry to maintain current operations has been extended by the province for another two years.

Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Nathalie Des Rosiers, who was in Timmins briefly this week, said she is encouraged by that. She said the effort will now be made to achieving a balance — protecting the habitat of woodland caribou while continuing to provide wood fibre to the forest industry.

Des Rosier did not offer any specific solution to that, but said a newly-formed roundtable is charged with finding several solutions.  “Yesterday (Tuesday), I had a really good roundtable in Hearst with different partners in the forestry industry,” Des Rosiers said in a brief interview with The Daily Press this week. Continue Reading →

Congrats Doug Ford. You might get to fix Ontario’s economic trainwreck – by Jack Mintz (Financial Post – March 14, 2018)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Rather than balancing the budget, Ontario plans to have an $8 billion deficit in the coming year

The surprise victory of Doug Ford winning the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party over the weekend had the unfortunate effect of distracting voters from another one of last week’s big announcements.

The Wynne government signaled that it would be unveiling a spending spree on social programs in its March 28th budget. And the question Ontarians need to worry about is whether that splurge is even fiscally sustainable. The way things look now, it most certainly isn’t.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced last Wednesday that his government has decided to backtrack on its promise to balance its budgets, with plans for an irresponsible $8 billion deficit in the coming year. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Input Costs Soar as Confidence and Projected Profits Fall: Ontario Economic Report 2018 – Ontario Chamber of Commerce reveals consequences of a climate that discourages growth (February 7, 2018)

TORONTO, February 7, 2018 – Today the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and other Chambers across the province released the second annual Ontario Economic Report (OER), a comprehensive analysis of data and emerging trends on the economic health of the province.

Original economic research from the report reveals that 77 per cent of Ontario businesses say access to talent remains the largest impact on their competitiveness and nearly half report a lack of confidence in the province’s economy. Meanwhile, a lack of confidence in their own ability to sustain profits continues to decline.

The OER includes data from the OCC’s Business Confidence Survey conducted by Fresh Intelligence, a Business Prosperity Index developed by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), and a 2018 Economic Outlook prepared by BMO Financial Group. Continue Reading →

MEDIA RELEASE: Alliance Between First Nations, Municipal Leaders, and Industry Formed to Defend a Way of Life

Welcomes Nathalie Des Rosiers as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

January 18, 2018 – An Alliance of First Nation and non-First Nation leaders representing rights holders,  stakeholders, municipal leaders, unions, and Ontario’s forest sector has been formed to defend our way of life, with a mandate to grow the responsible use of natural resources in northern and rural Ontario.

Chief Thomas Johnson Jr., Seine River First Nation, said, “In light of reconciliation and economic sustainability, we as First Nations and non-First Nations must rally in support of one another to defend our shared forestry interests and lands unique to northern and rural Ontario through a working alliance, forged on the principles of unity, strength and prosperity.

Our collective action reaches beyond today by working to secure a sustainable future for the generations to come. As the Chief of Seine River, I stand in solidarity with The Alliance. I am calling all treaty partners to join and support us in moving the reconciliation agenda forward.” Continue Reading →

Northern urban centres see net job losses – by Antonella Artuso (Timmins Daily Press – November 3, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – Northern Ontario has not shared in the province’s job growth since the 2008 recession, a new report says. In fact, the Fraser Institute report says almost all the job growth in Ontario over the past nine years has been confined to the Toronto and Ottawa areas.

The study finds that 11 of the province’s 23 urban areas actually experienced net job losses from 2008 to 2016. including every major city in Northern Ontario.

Uneven Recovery, by Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen, reports that while huge swaths of the province have lost jobs since the recession, their economic pain is hidden in Ontario-wide statistics because of the over-sized impact of the City of Toronto. Continue Reading →

75,000 manufacturing jobs lost — that’s the price of Ontario’s electricity disaster – by Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliakbari (Financial Post – October 19, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Global factors cannot explain Ontario’s performance. Clearly electricity prices are to blame

In the 1990s and into the 2000s, Ontario was a low-electricity-cost jurisdiction. This was a competitive advantage for the province, helping attract business and foster economic growth.

Of course, in recent years, due largely to the Green Energy Act and its inefficiencies, Ontario electricity prices have soared, hurting industrial competitiveness, especially in the manufacturing sector where electricity is a major cost.

The results have been devastating. Between 2005 and 2015, Ontario’s manufacturing output fell by 18 per cent and manufacturing employment fell by 28 per cent. More specifically, from 2008 to 2015, Ontario’s manufacturing job levels fell from 805,170 to 688,735. Continue Reading →

No One Wants To Talk About Ontario’s Disappearing Blue-Collar Communities – by Robert Waite (Huffington Post – October 16, 2017)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

A lot can happen to a city or town in 35 years. Take Toronto — in 1982 the city still sported nicknames like “Toronto the Good” and “Hog Town.”  Visitors from New York and Montreal had another word for it: “Boring.”

Several decades (and several million more people) later, Toronto has transformed into one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

But this story isn’t about Toronto. It is about a town in Northern Ontario, Kapuskasing, located a good 10-hour drive (about 800 kilometres) away. It is about the fact that even in an age of global warming, life in Canada north of 45 degrees latitude (49.4, to be exact) can be precarious. Continue Reading →

Move more civil service jobs out of Toronto – it worked in Peterborough – by Rosemary Ganley (Peterborough Examiner – August 31, 2017)

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/

Coming back from a Northern Ontario Business conference one day in 1986, Premier David Peterson asked his fellow passengers, including me, in the government aircraft: “Is there anything tangible that we can do to help northern and other regional communities that are suffering economically?”

I was at the time deputy minister of Northern Development and Mines and I said, “We could help them by transferring a lot of government jobs out of Toronto, which is booming, and into places that need them.” This prompted a series of meetings with him and senior Queen’s Park staff, the result of which was a decision to proceed with a number of transfers, including my ministry (to Sudbury).

Two years later I had moved to the Ministry of Natural Resources. I was informed that the MNR head office was also to be transferred and we should decide quickly on our preferred destination. The following day, my executives and I selected Peterborough and our recommendation went to the Premier and cabinet. Continue Reading →