Premier Ford has repeatedly mentioned throughout the past few months that he wants Ontario to be able to be a manufacturing powerhouse again. This was reiterated again on Friday, July 10, 2020 with the launch of the Ontario Made program. The Ford Government is taking the $500,000 Ontario Together Fund program and using it to fund the new proudly Ontario plan. The Ontario Together program was launched in March 2020 to help manufacturing companies in the province that were able to shift from their current operations to produce much needed personal protective equipment (PPE).
The launch and creation of the new investment attraction agency, Invest Ontario, will position the province as a top tier destination for investment, domestic growth, and job creation. The agency’s mandate will be to promote the province as a key investment destination, making Ontario more competitive while sending a strong signal to investors that the province is open for business. It will be a “one stop shop” for businesses and investors. It will move at the speed of business and drive greater economic growth, support strategic domestic firms and attract business from around the world to create good jobs in Ontario. Bill 197 includes the regulations to establish the agency but the legislation around mandate and support ($) will be introduced in the Fall. As of right now, specific details on the agency’s function and operations is unavailable. CHG will continue to liaise with our contacts to provide more details as they become available.
Based on the government’s announcement we do know that the government will initially focus on three important sectors for COVID-19 recovery where Ontario has a globally competitive advantage: advanced manufacturing, life sciences and technology. This is in line with the previous funding allocation announcements made throughout Ontario’s state of emergency, with investments in manufacturing of PPE and the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Invest Ontario will include “greater business development and deal structuring expertise and build on the many benefits of investing in Ontario, including: a good quality of life, a highly skilled talent pool, a strong and growing innovation sector, and a pro-job creation jurisdiction that can help businesses thrive.”
A couple other things to note:
- Mandates have been broadened for TVO and TFO for French second language to support teacher-led online learning
- Appointments of Justices of the Peace in order to address the growing court backlog
- Payday Loans Act will be amended to limit the interest rates
- Overall reduction in regulation processes to streamline standards, appeals, and registrations for agriculture, environment, and planning.
The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 will come into effect once it receives Royal Ascent from the Lieutenant Governor. The Bill passed First Reading on Wednesday, June 8, 2020.