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Windsor/Toronto, December 15, 2022 – Against the backdrop of rising interest rates, inflation, constrained supply chains, labour shortages and fears of a recession, it is critical for governments to focus on creating the right conditions to support competitiveness, productivity, and long-term economic growth. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has identified critical areas that must inform Ontario’s growth strategy outlined in today’s release: Supporting Economic Growth in Uncertain Times.

“Government doesn’t create economic growth on its own, but they do play a central role in creating the right conditions to support competitiveness and growth,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, OCC. “Tackling costly and duplicative regulations, harmful taxes, and fostering public and private sector innovation will be critical to achieving that.”

The brief identifies critical areas that must inform the strategy for economic growth. These include:

  • Foster an inclusive workforce. Ontario needs a more resilient workforce that includes everyone, supported by nimble and coordinated training options that are accessible to all job seekers.
  • Invest in growth-enabling infrastructure. From roads to housing, Ontario’s built environment needs to be climate resilient, energy efficient, and informed by smart planning principles to ensure population and economic growth can be supported for decades to come.
  • Make innovation a priority. Innovation is key to higher productivity. Ontario can achieve this through advancing opportunities in public procurement, technology adoption and commercialization efforts.

“Following a brief period of short-term economic growth driven by pent-up demand and government stimulus, Ontario’s economy is facing a number of headwinds, including softening consumer and business confidence,” said Daniel Safayeni, Vice President, Policy, OCC. “Perhaps now more than ever, Ontario needs a vision for long-term, sustained economic growth driven by prudent investments in greater productive capacity.”

“We are starting to see some of the headwinds of economic uncertainty right now” said Rakesh Naidu, CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Local businesses are already facing pressures from the rising cost of doing business. The areas identified by the Ontario Chamber are going to be essential in easing the pain of any upcoming economic downturn and limiting the impact on our local businesses. It is so important for consumers to support their local businesses as they prepare for the months ahead, especially while navigating the current challenges.”

We would like to thank our partners, Google Canada and Interac Corp., for supporting this project. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the OCC’s Advisory Council, comprised of leaders and subject matter experts, who informed this publication.

Read the brief: Supporting Economic Growth in Uncertain Times.