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Ontario to deliver provincial budget this week

Ontario's Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan will deliver the 2008 Ontario Budget on Tuesday. In the lead up to the ...


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March 24, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

Ontario’s Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan will deliver the 2008 Ontario Budget on Tuesday. In the lead up to the unveiling of this year’s budget, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has engaged in a war of words with the province.

Flaherty has criticized the province’s business tax regime as a major deterring factor for new investments, and gone on to say that Ontario is on its way to becoming a “have not” province. But the Canadian Plastics Industry Association‘s Serge Lavoie notes that Flaherty’s charges may be a bit exaggerated.

“We haven’t heard about [business taxes] to that extent,” he explained. “Obviously companies are looking for a jurisdiction of low taxation, but I think what we have been hearing from our federal minister is Draconian…the basic corporate tax, in the grand scheme of things, is not the biggest thing.”

The forthcoming budget could offer relief to manufacturers working out of the province. On the eve of the budget, Lavoie highlighted some of the provincial priorities he has previously discussed with Member of Provincial Parliament David Ramsay.

CPIA has called for tax programs that address capital investments in equipment and technology, and recommended a tax credit program for employer-financed training and retraining.

“We also stressed the need for career promotions in the trades,” added Lavoie. “All the trades are saying the same thing; we can’t get enough young people to show interest in manufacturing. We thought that there was a direct need to tell young people that there is a good future in trades.”

Additionally, Lavoie sees a major role for the provincial government similar to that of the federal Program for Export Market Development (PEMD). PEMD has traditionally helped associations and companies reach out to export markets.

“The federal program has diminished to the point where there is a modest amount of money available for associations, but no money for the companies themselves,” he said.

On the whole, Lavoie would also like to see Ontario address the issue of duplicative regulations, noting that combined provincial and federal interventions can get in the way of innovation.

“We just find that there is a lot of duplicative effort when it comes to legislation,” said Lavoie. “At a time where we are trying to bring more innovative products to the market, we need a legislative regime that is very streamlined and very transparent.”

Canadian Plastics will update the website with details from the budget, as well as opinions on the Ontario budget, as soon as the information becomes available.