TORONTO, April 28, 2022 – Today, the Toronto Region Board of Trade issued the following statement regarding the Ontario budget tabled by Ontario Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy:
The upcoming provincial election provides an opportunity for Ontario to pivot from a two-year COVID-19 pandemic to a forward-looking agenda that focuses on how we grow our economy and compete.
The Board of Trade reviewed the pre-election budget released by the Government of Ontario today, paying particular attention to policies and proposals that impact long-standing regional pain points for businesses in our region. These include the number one issue for our members, the shortage of skilled workers and talent, which prevents us from reaching our full economic potential.
The Board of Trade is pleased to see an additional $300 million invested in a range of programs that grow urgently needed skills and match workers to on-demand jobs in growth sectors. These programs are buttressed by a range of investments in transit, including four new subway lines and progress on an ambitious GO Rail expansion program to connect our region.
Increased investments in talent, transportation and housing are critical to support a string of recent announcements by both the provincial and federal government to retool the auto sector with electric vehicle and battery production, green steel production and advanced manufacturing.
Also welcomed is the new $107 million investment in sustaining Ontario’s internationally recognized strengths in new critical technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
The Board of Trade applauds recent investments in electric vehicle infrastructure and energy rate reductions, but we would like to see greater focus on supporting Ontario’s transition to a low carbon economy, critical to our global competitiveness. This includes expansion of our low-carbon electricity grid.