A push for growth: The time is now

Released November 2012

Now is the time for Ontario’s business leaders to step up and take the actions necessary to enhance long-term competitiveness and prosperity.

Ontario has a strong base from which to foster a strong recovery from the 2009 recession. Canada as a whole is faring better than the United States in overcoming the economic downturn, and this has positive implications for the country’s competitiveness. However, there are still many areas in which Ontario businesses must continue to improve to achieve this growth, and public policy can assist by creating a stable and sustainable economic and political environment.

The Task Force provides recommendations for both businesses and government to enable a strong recovery and sustainable growth:

For businesses:

• Consider alternatives to holding larger cash balances and address the dead cash conundrum.
• Encourage private sector investment in ICT, skilled workers, and research and development.
• Scale up operations in Ontario firms and invest the appropriate resources in R&D.
• Improve management capability.
• Boost investment in machinery and equipment when the Canadian dollar is high to capitalize on the benefit of strong purchasing power.

For Government:

• Maintain investments in education in line with that of peer jurisdictions as efforts to balance the budget are made.
• Concentrate efforts to upgrade the skills and literacy of workers, particularly in service occupations and high value added manufacturing.
• Remove barriers that prevent robust trade with the global economy.
• Reinforce Ontario’s structures of specialized support and competitive pressure for businesses.
• Ensure that provincial and municipal governments are investing adequately in urban infrastructure to facilitate and support the inevitable growth of urban populations.

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Topics: Economic policy, growth, and strategy, Government investment and innovation, Business growth and innovation, Clusters, Social policy