Addressing Regional Imbalances Critical to Ontario’s FutureSeptember 12, 2019
(Toronto – September 12, 2019) – Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released a new report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies. The report outlines how government of all levels can work with industry to unleash the potential of Ontario’s regional economies and reinforce the competitiveness of the province as a whole.
“We are only as strong as our weakest link and our ability to prosper depends on the strength of our different regions. Economic and population growth rates in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Ottawa have far surpassed those in other areas of the province,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Our communities – and the province as a whole – risk falling behind if we do not leverage the rich and diverse competitive advantages of our local economies.”
The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies examines the opportunities and challenges faced by different communities across the province and offers a framework for thinking about the present and future of Ontario’s regional economies.
“We urge policymakers to take a modern and comprehensive approach to economic development by leveraging the existing competitive advantages of Ontario’s regions, and implement deliberate strategies to support long-term growth in communities across the province,” added Rossi.
The OCC’s report makes 17 recommendations to strengthen the well-being of Ontario’s regions. Key takeaways include:
- The most cost-effective way to drive economic development is to cultivate talent, trade, and infrastructure. Governments should make it a priority to upgrade transportation and energy networks, modernize their regulations and business supports, offer dynamic education and training opportunities, and encourage labour mobility.
- Building regional capacity for innovation is fundamental to productivity and growth. This means improving commercialization and technology adoption, strengthening regional innovation centres, expanding broadband internet access, and facilitating cluster development.
- Modern governance of economic development should empower a wide range of stakeholders including businesses, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations outside government. Regional collaboration, economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and the use of data are all critical to mobilizing local assets.
“In the face of technological transformation and globalization, there is no question that Ontario has what it takes to succeed. We are optimistic that the province can successfully navigate the modern economy if we work together to unlock the economic potential of our communities,” added Rossi.
- Read the OCC’s report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies here.
- Read full list of recommendations from the report here.
“This report is an important reminder of the vital role played by Ontario’s universities and colleges in driving innovation in partnership with governments and businesses. The University of Toronto and post-secondary institutions across the province make a major economic impact in our local and regional economies. Most importantly, we produce the talent and ideas that give Ontario a competitive advantage around the world.” — Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto
“Safe and reliable power is essential to unlocking economic development opportunities across the province. Hydro One is committed to working closely with customers, municipalities and other stakeholders across Ontario to understand their regional economic development priorities so we can ensure our grid supports the unique needs of their local businesses, industries and communities.” — Mark Poweska, President and CEO, Hydro One
“Meridian is proud to support this new blueprint for regional economic development in Ontario. Any policy or discussion that advances the economy of Ontario and contributes to building prosperity in every corner of the province, is a policy or discussion we and our Members are pleased to support.” — Wade Stayzer, Senior VP of Member Experience, Meridian
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For more information please contact:
Ceara Copps – Edwards
Senior Communications Advisor
Ontario Chamber of Commerce