Proud of our ac­com­plish­ments

Orleans Star - - LOCAL NEWS -

With nine years in government, On­tar­i­ans can stand back and feel a con­fi­dence our achieve­ments and the path we have set for fu­ture eco­nomic devel­op­ment in On­tario.

De­spite the world­wide re­ces­sion and lo­cal fis­cal chal­lenges, we have made sig­nif­i­cant ad­vances in many sec­tors – ad­vances that lay a solid foun­da­tion for the years to come. The eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors are there and On­tario has man­aged to re­cover, grow and come out on top.

2008 and 2009 were dif­fi­cult years for both Canada and the province of On­tario with job losses in many of our key sec­tors we felt the pain of a se­ri­ous re­ces­sion. Ahead of our coun­ter­parts in the USA and the UK, On­tario has since re­cov­ered 130% of those lost jobs. In 2011 alone, 45% of all new jobs na­tion­ally were cre­ated in our province and RBC pre­dicts that On­tario’s econ­omy will grow faster than the na­tional av­er­age this year. We con­tinue to move for­ward. Our government has been com­mit­ted to grow­ing busi­nesses across the province and in­vest­ing in growth po­ten­tial ar­eas such as youth, clean en­ergy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and we are al­ready see­ing re­sults.

We’ve part­nered with the Cana­dian Youth Busi­ness Foun­da­tion to pro­vide $4M over two years which will help launch 400 new busi­nesses and 2000 jobs for young peo­ple.

Our government’s com­mit­ment to clean en­ergy has seen 25,000 new jobs as a re­sult and we are on track to dou­ble that num­ber in the coming years. On­tario has the fastest grow­ing clean en­ergy sec­tor in Canada and are lead­ers in North Amer­ica – some­thing for which I in par­tic­u­lar am proud of as an ad­vo­cate of con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

We’re ranked in the top 3 in the In­for­ma­tion­Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try in North Amer­ica. We also hold that rank for Agri-Food, Bio­science, and Film, En­ter­tain­ment and Mu­sic – some­thing which all On­tar­i­ans can be proud of.

Not only has our auto sec­tor re­cov­ered from the re­ces­sion in 2009, but achieved a record level of sales in Oc­to­ber. On­tario’s auto com­pa­nies have in­vested $2.3 bil­lion in their as­sem­bly plants and have cre­ated nearly 10,000 new jobs since the re­ces­sion.

Lo­cally, the On­tario government has re­cently in­cluded the East­ern On­tario Devel­op­ment Fund to in­clude the City of Ot­tawa. Pre­vi­ously, the fund only in­cluded ru­ral ar­eas and small-towns, but now Or­léans’ en­trepreneurs are el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for th­ese grants that will help stim­u­late new jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In spite of the chal­lenges we have faced and the chal­lenges ahead, I am con­fi­dent that we are mak­ing the right choices and have laid a solid foun­da­tion. I stand be­hind the work of the government in this re­spect and am very op­ti­mistic that we will con­tinue to see growth and pros­per­ity in On­tario.

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