Ontario’s economy is thriving: Liberals | GUEST COLUMN | Columnists

The Fraser Institute has done it again – this time attacking the hard work and important achievements of Ontario’s workers and businesses with a badly skewed report that ignores key facts.

Here’s the truth: The Ontario economy is growing, and is creating thousands of full-time, private-sector, above-average-wage jobs. Ontario’s GDP grew by 2.6% in 2016, which is a faster rate of growth than the United States and all other G7 countries.

This last year alone, Ontario added 137,900 net new jobs. Since the depths of the recession, Ontario’s economy has added 728,700 net new jobs. More than 90% of these jobs are full-time, and almost three-quarters of these jobs are in industries that pay above-average wages. Ontario’s unemployment rate has been below the Canadian national average for more than two years, and there’s more good news ahead – BMO predicts that Ontario’s unemployment rate will continue to fall for the rest of this year and through 2018.

Ontario’s strong economic fundamentals are attracting international attention — and more importantly, international investment. Ontario is currently ranked first in Canada for foreign direct investment (FDI), and third in North America, behind only New York and California. Among many other reasons, businesses are attracted to Ontario’s low corporate tax burden—Ontario’s corporate income tax rate is almost 13% lower than the average combined federal-state corporate income tax rate in the United States.

Fearmongering is easy. Building a robust, vibrant and resilient economy takes a lot of work. This government is committed to helping Ontario workers and businesses compete and win, not just nationally but globally. In just the last eighteen months, this government has partnered with many firms, including Cyclone Manufacturing, Legend 3D, Ford, Honda, GE, Mitsui High-Tec, and Huawei Canada, to create thousands of high-quality jobs for Ontario workers. The Ontario Investment Office—a one-window business-investment concierge service created by this government—is working with hundreds of private-sector stakeholders across the province and internationally to drive their growth and success in Ontario, and to position them to succeed in sectors that are being rapidly transformed by new technologies.

Though Ontario’s economy is strong, there is much to do, especially in ensuring that our economic growth improves the lives of all Ontarians, and in helping our workers adapt to the changing economy. We won’t let the naysayers or reports like this one from the Fraser Institute -distract us from achieving these crucial goals.

— Brad Duguid is the Liberals’ Minister of Economic Development and Growth 

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