Sunday, May 19, 2024

Here’s what Ottawa needs for a better economy

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Ottawa Board of Trade (OBOT) says businesses in Ottawa are still dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, warning that this could negatively impact economic growth.

The trade board wants Ontario’s budget for 2024 to address this issue.

“Budget 2024 must lay the groundwork for strong economic growth, building the infrastructure and workforce of the future, and modernizing regulation to ensure Ontario can attract investment and nurture entrepreneurship,” said Sueling Ching, CEO of OBOT in a news release on Thursday.

Meanwhile, president of Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Daniel Tisch, says productivity must be the province’s top priority.

“Capital will flow where productive capacity is highest, and we want it to flow to Ontario. That’s why the budget must focus on policies that support immediate growth while investing in an educated workforce, long-term infrastructure and healthy and sustainable communities,” said Tisch.

Here are some of OBOT and OCC’s key recommendations:

  • Empowering Ontario’s workforce and addressing labour shortages by supporting a financially sustainable post-secondary education sector, advancing upskilling and reskilling initiatives and scaling evidence-based interventions to support the participation of equity-deserving groups in the labour market.

  • Cultivating business competitiveness and sustainable growth by improving access to private capital and credit for small businesses, removing barriers to interprovincial and international trade and supporting key sectors such as clean energy, cannabis and tourism.

  • Investing in resilient, healthy communities by tackling primary care and broader health human resource crises, combating growing rates of mental health and addiction challenges, and expediting the implementation of Ontario’s life sciences strategy.

  • Building strong foundations through infrastructure by leveraging partnerships to build and preserve affordable housing along the continuum, investing in energy generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure and continuing to accelerate broadband rollout across the province.

Budget 2024 will be discussed on March 26.

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