Ontario’s 2017 budget needs to strengthen the province’s competitive business environment to attract investments

In advance of drafting the 2017 Ontario Budget, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) has been actively engaged in key advocacy initiatives on behalf of its members. On January 20th, Don Fusco, CIAC Director, Government and Stakeholder Relations – Ontario, had the opportunity to address the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The full submission can be found here.  

In his remarks, Don reinforced the chemistry sector’s current investment activity occurring elsewhere in North America and acknowledged that only a competitive business environment will attract new chemical investments and create long-term sustainable jobs in Ontario. For the province to attract its fair share of new investments being made in North America, CIAC recommended: 

  1. Taxation 
    • Maintain the corporate tax rate for manufacturing at 10%. 
    • Advocate for, and match, federal government actions to: 
      • Make the 10-year extension of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (ACCA) permanent for manufacturing and processing. 
      • Introduce an investment tax credit or 100 per cent ACCA for a minimum of 10 years to specifically apply to upgrading natural resources into manufactured products. 
  2. Environmental Regulation 
    • Ensure that the Cap and Trade program does not impair Ontario’s competitiveness relative to other jurisdictions, particularly the U.S.
    • Address uncertainty beyond 2020. 
    • Reduce the time taken to receive Environmental Compliance Approvals. 
  3. Investment Attraction and Burden Reduction Efforts 
    • Maintain the chemistry sector as a priority sector within the Province’s economic development strategy and its eligibility for investment support within the Jobs and Prosperity Fund and other investment attraction initiatives. 
    • Modernize Ontario’s regulatory system to reduce compliance costs and eliminate duplication.  
  4. Integrity of Industrial Lands 
    • Develop and apply a buffer zone regulation to Municipalities which would explicitly enshrine public safety practices and Ontario’s manufacturing heritage. 
  5. Industrial Electricity Rates and Feedstock
    • Put the province on a path toward having industrial electricity rates that are more competitive with other jurisdictions.
    • Introduce industrial electricity policy that incentivizes plant expansions and new investments.
    • Ensure Ontario manufacturers continue to maintain long-term, unimpeded access to abundant, cost-advantaged natural gas and natural gas liquids feedstock supplies. 

There is an urgent need for Ontario to create a sound strategy to revitalize manufacturing in the province, and CIAC looks forward to working with government and industry stakeholders to strengthen the province’s manufacturing sector.