DAILY NEWS Feb 20, 2013 12:18 PM - 0 comments

Manufacturing underrepresented in Ontario throne speech: CME

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Ontario manufacturing should have been more prominently outlined in the provincial government’s throne speech by newly elected premier Kathleen Wynne, the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) association has said.

The CME did, however, applaud the speech’s renewed focus on productivity improvement and affordable energy.

“A resurgent manufacturing sector is our clearest path forward out of the province’s current fiscal dilemma,” said CME Ontario vice president, Ian Howcroft. “It is important the government works alongside industry to address the wide range of issues restraining private sector growth and nurture investment.”

CME also commended Wynne on announcing additional measures to assist the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, including the launch of a $300 million venture capital fund, strengthened employment services for individuals with disabilities, and a commitment to explore the possibility of increasing the employer tax exemption.

Howcroft, however, stressed that manufacturers must be front and centre in developing these policies to ensure they align with business needs. “If we are going to successfully navigate through this very challenging period in our economic history, we need a partner in government to help address our challenges and capitalize on unprecedented opportunity, both here at home and abroad,” says Howcroft. “That starts with the next budget.”

CME will launching the Ontario Council of Manufacturing Executives (oCME) in April 2013. As a precursor to this initiative, CME is currently meeting with stakeholders across the province to develop a manufacturing strategy and action plan for Ontario.

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