Leaning into the wind
In Leaning into the wind, the Task Force reports that Ontario’s GDP per capita is now $6,500, or 13 percent, behind the median of the 16 jurisdictions, down slightly from the 2007 gap of $6,800 in constant dollars (2007). The Task Force notes some positive developments on the investment front. Public investment in education in Ontario has been increasing since 2003, after a period of little growth – led by investments of the Ontario government in post-secondary education. And businesses have narrowed the gap in technology investments, as the strengthened Canadian dollar has made such investments in imported information and communications technology more affordable. The Report also concluded that the quality of management in Ontario’s manufacturing sector at the plant level is among the best in the world. But, while in the right direction, these are small steps.
The Task Force proposes a series of initiatives for realizing our economic potential. Among the new initiatives being recommended by the Task Force is that Ontario consider a carbon tax as part of its approach to reducing Green House Gases (GHG). The Task Force’s proposal is for consideration of a revenue neutral carbon tax; if implemented, it would replace other taxes that work against our prosperity.
According to the Task Force, this eco-system includes healthy attitudes towards innovation, risk taking, and competition; ongoing investments in education, machinery, and R&D; an innovative tax system that provides the motivations for hiring, working, and upgrading; and structures of markets and institutions that encourage upgrading and innovation.