WINDSOR — The Ontario government has announced further actions to help create and protect jobs in the auto sector. In February, the government launched its Driving Prosperity auto plan aimed at addressing challenges in the sector around competitiveness, innovation and talent. The government made it a priority to reduce red tape and restore Ontario's competitive advantage. Today, it is delivering on that promise.
"Every piece of red tape we get rid of is another dollar saved and another job created," said Todd Smith, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden. "Our government is reducing red tape because when our job creators spend less time filling out paperwork, they spend more time creating and protecting jobs for Ontario families."
Ontario is making a series of regulatory changes to get government out of the way of job creators in the auto sector — and other manufacturing sectors across the province, including the Bay of Quinte. This includes tackling a costly and burdensome regulatory irritant in the auto sector. Currently, automakers who put a few litres of gas into a vehicle fresh off the assembly line to drive it to a distribution centre must apply for an exemption from having their plant regulated as if it were a gas station. The proposed change would exempt all auto plants from this unnecessary requirement.
"We're making it faster, easier and cheaper for companies to comply with the regulations that we do need, while at the same time removing regulations that do nothing to protect workers' health and safety," said Smith. "With less red tape, Ontario will see more investment. That means we need shovel-ready land to help attract the next Honda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, GM or Ford. And that's why our government announced a Job Site Challenge to identify job sites ready for the next auto assembler."
The government will launch the Job Site Challenge later this summer, outlining site criteria and inviting municipalities and private land developers to bring forward site proposals. These sites will be evaluated, and those that are deemed workable will be internationally certified by site-selection professionals. The first certified sites should be available to investors in Fall 2020. They will then go through a rapid approvals process for the licences, permits and environmental approvals required to build or expand a plant.
-The auto sector employs over 100,000 people directly in Ontario in auto assembly and parts manufacturing, providing well-paying jobs across all skill levels. It contributes almost $14 billion to Ontario’s economy.
-The manufacturing sector, including the auto sector, accounts for $91 billion in GDP in Ontario and directly employs over 760,000 workers in the province.
-The government is working to reverse the serious erosion in Ontario’s industrial base. From 2003 to 2009, Ontario lost 320,000 manufacturing jobs, and it has had no net gain since then.
“The steps being taken today by Ontario will reduce duplicative and inefficient regulation, while at the same time introducing certain amendments that more accurately reflect the current business environment in which the auto industry operates. These actions will help manufacturing become more cost-effective and competitive in a global market.”
President, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association
“The Canadian Propane Association is pleased to see the government moving swiftly to update outdated and costly regulations in our industry. The current requirements pose an undue burden on our members, and we welcome and encourage changes that bring common sense to our industry.”
President & CEO, Canadian Propane Association
“We welcome today’s announcement by the Government of Ontario, which will further reduce the regulatory burden for manufacturers. Specifically, we were pleased with measures to modernize environmental compliance practices, modernize workplace health and safety requirements, and provide employers with free and instant access to employee training verification. We look forward to working with the Government of Ontario towards achieving a world-class, agile regulatory system that supports innovation and investment, while protecting the environment, and the health and safety of Ontarians.”
Dennis A. Darby
President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2019
Bay of Quinte – Today, MPP Todd Smith, also Ontario’s Government House Leader and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, joined with his colleagues in government to celebrate an accomplishment-filled first year on the anniversary of their election.
Since taking office, the Ontario PC team has shown its commitment to respecting taxpayers, encouraging job creation, and putting people first through the implementation of over 250 initiatives. Those actions chart a reasonable and responsible path to a balanced budget protecting core services the people of Ontario depend on every day.
“It has been an unbelievable year in Ontario. We have accomplished so many things,” said Smith. “We’ve passed 20 pieces of legislation, putting money back into the pockets of the people of Ontario, something that we promised we would do. We’re continuing to fulfill our promises. As of this week, we will have either fulfilled or are on the way to fulfilling 50 of the 59 election promises that we made – and we’re not done yet.”
Smith stated the government has worked hard to reduce red tape, undo the job-killing policies of the previous government, invest in health-care and education, and make Ontario more attractive to businesses and job creators. He also was pleased to share news that Ontario has seen over 190,000 jobs created in the past year.
Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP and Government Caucus Chair Daryl Kramp added that by a conducting a line-by-line review of expenditures and seeking responsible efficiencies, the government has begun to restore the public’s faith in the Province’s finances.
“The positive indicators are clear: employment is up, the deficit has been shrinking and Ontario is again open for business,” said Kramp. “Our Government for the People has been both active and impatient. We want to put Ontario back on track as fast as possible and we are working hard to do so.”
Just last month, the government received a favourable credit outlook upgrade from Fitch which illustrated the ratings agency’s confidence in the government’s five-year path to balance and the early steps it has taken toward fiscal sustainability.
Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP, echoed Smith and Kramp in their assessments and in a commitment to continue the course.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments we have made as a government over the past year for the people of Ontario and those I represent. We have kept our promises to make life more affordable, create good-paying jobs and put our province on a responsible path to balance to protect vital public services like health care and education,” said Clark. “But we know the job is not finished and if there’s one thing this government has province, it’s that we’ll work hard on behalf of all Ontarians until it’s done.”
Over the past year, the government has delivered on campaign commitments to put more money back in people’s pockets, including:
- Cancelling the punishing cap-and-trade carbon tax, saving the average family $260 a year and 4.3-cents-a-litre at the gas pumps;
- Ensuring minimum wage workers pay no personal income tax in Ontario, saving them up to $800 a year;
- Introducing one of the most flexible childcare tax credits for low- and middle-income families in Ontario’s history;
- Scrapping the outdated Drive Clean program and freezing driver and vehicle fees.
- Improving choice and convenience for consumers by expanding the sale of beer and wine to corner stores, big-box stores, and more grocery stores, and;
- Scrapping the Green Energy Act, which ignored the voices of local communities and cancelling expensive future renewable energy projects that would create excess power.
The government continues to work on delivering effective patient-focused health care. It has committed to $17 billion in investments over 10 years to modernize and increase capacities in Ontario’s hospitals and has allocated 7,000 new long-term care spaces in the past year – fulfilling nearly half of its commitment to add 15,000 beds in five years. It also will be investing $3.8 billion in a comprehensive mental health strategy with the first $174 million flowing this year. The provision of publicly funded dental care for low-income seniors will also ease emergency room visits, while treating 100 million seniors with the respect and dignity they deserve. In Bay of Quinte alone, $1.2 million will go toward a new residential hospice facility in Bayside.
After consulting with over 72,000 stakeholders – the largest such consultation in the Province’s history – the government created a new vision that puts students and parents first and prepares students for the new economy. The vision priorities skilled trades and STEM education, while broadening career education that identifies transferrable skills and introduces financial literacy training. It has increased overall education funding and committed to invest a further $13 billion over the next decade to repair and build schools. The government will continue to ensure a bright future for Ontario students.
In support of job growth and public safety in Eastern Ontario, the government has also announced it will be committing $71 million to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network project to strengthen cellular communications networks across the region. Through a $213-million public-private partnership, it is expected 3,000 new jobs will be created over the next decade.
The government has also announced it will create a new hotline to help military families moving to Ontario connect with community services and resources.
- Since taking office, the government has implemented over 250 initiatives to date.
- The government is implementing a plan to achieve a balanced budget by 2023–2024.
- Ontario’s economy is expected to grow at a steady pace from 2019 to 2024.
- Ontario’s employment is forecast to rise at an average annual pace of 1.1 per cent over the same period.
2019 Ontario budget – budget.ontario.ca/2019/
Nearly 300 new beverage alcohol retail outlets planned
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2019
Bay of Quinte – Todd Smith, Bay of Quinte MPP and Ontario’s Government House Leader and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade announced that rural communities in and near his riding will benefit from the Province’s effort to expand choice and convenience in beverage alcohol sales.
Today, Smith revealed that Bay of Quinte communities Bayside and Carrying Place, as well as neighbouring areas like Foxboro, Roslin, Shannonville, and Wooler, have been named eligible to host some of the nearly 300 new retail locations planned across the province.
“This is good news for consumers looking to purchase their favourite drinks closer to home,” Smith said. “It also provides an opportunity for economic development in our rural communities and greater reach and visibility for craft beer, wine and cider producers across Ontario and right in our backyard.”
Smith said the government’s Open for Business, Open for Jobs approach focuses on promoting competition and establishing fairness for everyone from those small craft producers to large beer and wine producers.
The communities are among approximately 200 underserviced communities identified by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) as it expands its agency store program. The programs stores have been rebranded as LCBO Convenience Outlets. Under the process, the LCBO will release a request for proposals in each new community and all businesses applicants that meet requirements for authorization will be entered into a lottery to win the local authorization. Up to 60 stores are expected to open in August, up to 150 are expected to open by December and the additional stores are slated to open in spring 2020.
Also today, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli announced that 87 more grocery stores will also be authorized to sell wine, beer, and cider, bringing the total number to 450. Interested grocers can apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to enter a lottery process for authorization. Successful grocers entering into a wholesale supply agreement with the LCBO will be expected to start selling beverage alcohol in September.
Fedeli said today’s announcements are the first step in expanding the range of choices available to adult consumers, allowing them to make the responsible choices that work for them.
“Whether driving to the cottage or running errands, consumers across Ontario will now have more places to pick up beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages,” Fedeli said. “Our government is committed to delivering greater choice and convenience to individuals and families, and this expansion is just the beginning.”
- Ken Hughes, Special Advisor for the Beverage Alcohol Review, recently released a report detailing the inconvenience and unfairness of the current system for everyday Ontario consumers. A key recommendation was to allow more businesses to provide choice and convenience by expanding the number of LCBO agency stores and allowing alcohol to be sold in more grocery stores.
- Ontario has fewer stores that can sell alcohol than any other province when compared against population size. There are over 8,000 retail stores in Quebec selling alcohol, but less than 3,000 in Ontario.
- To date, the government has increased choice and convenience and saved consumers money by:
o Letting sports fans drink alcohol at tailgating parties at eligible sporting events.
o Enabling municipalities to make rules about alcohol consumption in public spaces like parks.
o Extending hours of alcohol service at licensed establishments, allowing them to start serving alcohol at 9 a.m.
o Letting the Beer Store, LCBO and other authorized retailers, such as grocery stores and agency stores, sell alcohol from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
o Changing advertising rules to allow for “happy hour” in Ontario.
o Providing flexibility for wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries to promote their products at manufacturing sites by removing the prescribed serving sizes for “by the glass” licences.
o Pausing beer and wine tax hikes initiated by the previous government.
o Lowering the price floor to allow brewers to sell beer for $1 (Buck-a-beer).
List of new communities eligible to host LCBO Convenience Outlets: