2016 Ontario budget targets manufacturing sector
Ontario’s finance Minister Charles Souza has unveiled the province’s budget for 2016, a document intended to give manufacturers the benefit of a number of initiatives and programs.
The measures include a $25 million green SMART fund, to be administered by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), and $35 million over five years to fund an Advanced Manufacturing Consortium, including three Ontario universities: McMaster, Waterloo and Western. This second measure is intended to help traditional manufacturers transform into more innovative, dynamic, and productive companies.
The budget also establishes a three-year, $20 million fund that connects colleges and private-sector employers on applied innovation projects that could possibly result in breakthrough products and services for sale at home and abroad.
And the budget launches the so-called Red Tape Challenge, an online consultation tool designed to identify and eliminate duplication, lessen compliance burdens, shorten response times, and make it easier for businesses to interact with the government.
Ontario manufacturers will also benefit from $137 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 10 years, the provincial Liberal government said, including an additional $3 billion earmarked in the new budget. The budget also includes a $30 million export strategy program, $15 million for the Centre for Engineering Innovation at the University of Toronto, and elimination of the capital tax that will save manufacturing an estimated $2.3 billion each year.
This year’s budget has forecast a provincial deficit of $5.7 billion, which is down from the last estimate of $7.5 billion. The deficit for the 2017 budget is projected to come in at $4.6 billion.