MPP JOURNAL for the week of October 15, 2021


Strengthening of Ontario's Security and Economy

This past week Premier Harris announced his commitment to strengthen Ontario's security and the economy, in light of the terrorist attracts on September 11th. In a televised address to the Province, the premier detailed the additional actions our government is taking to protect our families and ensure that our economy grows and continues to create jobs.

The Premier has appointed Norman Inkster, retired commissioner of the RCMP and retired general major-general Lewis MacKenzie as security advisors to the provincial government. Starting immediately, they will be making recommendations for further improvements to how the province deals with terrorist threats. They will be suggesting ways we can co-operate with other governments and law enforcement agencies inside Canada and around the world.

We have also initiated a comprehensive review of Ontario's capacity to handle emergencies. All municipalities will be required to maintain emergency response plans and to train their employees. We will work with owners and operators of large buildings and public facilities to develop appropriate emergency response plans.

The other aspect of September 11 we must not ignore is the effect it is having on our economy. Our business sector relies heavily on trade with our neighbours to the South. Changes at our borders have already lead to delivery and production delays in our Ontario economy. Our government must continue on the track of tax cuts and prudent fiscal planning in order to ensure the people of Ontario continue to create jobs and economic growth.

The Minister of Finance was on track to introduce a number of additional tax cuts in January 1, 2002. In light of recent events, our government has decided to accelerate those tax cuts to help stimulate the economy. Effective October 1st, we will cut personal income taxes again. Our government has been cutting personal income tax since we were voted into office. Experience has shown that these cuts put money back in people's pockets and let's them decide how to use it by spending, investing or paying down debts.

We will also accelerate our planned capital and corporate tax cuts, including cutting the small business tax rate to six per cent effective October 1st. The general corporate income tax rate would be cut from 14 per cent to 12.5 per cent. The manufacturing and processing rate would be cut from 12 per cent to 11 per cent and the small business rate would be cut from 6.5 per cent to 6 per cent.

Again, our experience has shown that tax cuts stimulate investment and spending, creating jobs and producing increased revenues for the province. Since we started cutting taxes, Ontario's tax revenues have increased by more than $15 billion. These accelerated cuts will free up about $115 million in saved taxes for businesses to invest and keep workers on the payroll.

Under the leadership of our government, Ontario is open for business. When business owners are allowed to keep more of what they earn, they expand their business and hire more people. Thanks to the tax cuts already in place, Ontario has had much stronger rates of job creation than the rest of Canada over the past five years. Accelerating tax cuts that had been planned for January 1, 2021 would reinforce these positive results.

Since September of 1995, the Ontario economy has created 836,000 jobs, accounting for almost half of the national total, even though Ontario has less that 40 per cent of Canada's population.

I am pleased that our government is proactively responding to the actions of September tragedy and not waiting for action from other levels of government. Ontarians can expect their Ontario government to monitor these changes, and implement more if they are necessary to protect our quality of life and economic well-being.


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