Part of that is partnering with business to create and protect jobs for Ontario families, and to strengthen local economies.
To help guide Ontario in the right direction, we have created a new Jobs and Prosperity Council, a 14 member council led by Gordon Nixon, president and chief executive officer of RBC. The council, made up of leaders from business, labour and the research community from across the province, will report directly to the Premier.
The council includes Bonnie Brooks, President, Hudson's Bay Company; George Cope , President and CEO, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada; Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of the Linamar Corporation; Nitin Kawale – President of Cisco Systems Canada; Genevieve Knauff, owner of gck Consulting Ltd. and hme Enterprises Ltd.; Darryl Lake, founder and former CEO of the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology; Mike Lazaridis, founder and vice-chair of the Board of Directors for Research in Motion Limited; Kevin Lynch, vice-chair of BMO Financial Group; Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods Inc.; Joe Repovs, founder and CEO of Samco Machinery; entrepreneur Reza Satchu; economist Jim Stanford; and Jeff Westeinde, Chair of the Windmill Development Group.
The council will look at consolidating and refocusing our existing business support and skills training programs as we move forward with the proposed Jobs and Prosperity Fund. It will also host a summit to bring together experts and the broader public sector to share knowledge and best practices; and generate new ideas and approaches for improving Ontario’s long-term productivity and competitiveness.
The new council is just one example of how the McGuinty government is working hard to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy.
We’ve proposed the creation of the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, which will build on the strengths of the region and help address local economic development challenges in a time of global uncertainty. And we are making the Eastern Ontario Development Fund permanent to further strengthen the local economy. This fund has already created and protected over 12,000 jobs and leveraged over $495 million in investment across Eastern Ontario. Unfortunately, these proposals are being blocked by the opposition in the Legislature, preventing the passage of the legislation necessary to make this happen.
And the 2012 Ontario Budget includes the Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit, which provides supports for seniors who want to stay in their homes, while helping to create jobs by creating additional demand in the construction sector and for products that improve mobility around the home. It would support about $800 million in home renovation activity and around 10,500 jobs every year.
Providing the right climate to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy is part of our plan to create a vibrant economy.
For more information on what we are doing to create jobs and grow the Ontario economy, contact my constituency office at 416.630.0080