Course correction: Charting a new road map for Ontario
For Ontario to close the prosperity gap with its North American peers, it must increase GDP per capita by $8,000. In Course correction: Charting a new road map for Ontario, the Task Force identifies a number of key measures needed in both the public and private sectors to get Ontario’s economy on the right track. The lack of business investment in innovation and productivity enhancing equipment continues to be a problem. Improving labour productivity continues to be a challenge. Without substantial changes in these areas, Ontario will continue to miss its target of eliminating the prosperity gap.
Ontario also needs to do more to ensure those entering the labour force have the right skills to become entrepreneurial and innovative economic agents. Students today need a combination of job preparation and a well-rounded skillset that will help them succeed in the ever-changing workplace. Ontario should also reform its training routes for skilled trades to help increase both the quantity and quality of skilled tradespeople. Ontario’s high youth unemployment – 16.9 percent in 2012 - and lagging labour productivity are prime signals that better human capital development is strongly needed to build the province’s future prosperity.
This year’s Annual Report analyzes other potential areas for growth in Ontario. The province’s agriculture and agri-food sectors have shown impressive employment and production growth this year. By scaling up operations and investing in machinery and equipment, Ontario’s agri-food businesses can help boost exports and expand economic opportunities across the province. Northwestern Ontario is also on the cusp of major development as the discovery of new mineral deposits promises to bring significant job and business growth to the region.
Business leaders can no longer be complacent with the province’s current levels of investment and productivity. Likewise, government must provide the tools and implement the policies necessary for growth. This Annual Report offers a comprehensive guide to achieving these goals.