Ontario’s economy is “going through a bit of a renaissance,” but it will take a lot more than the summit’s success to get Ontario back on track.
In fact, Ontario’s growth could be in for a slow, painful recovery, the province’s economic minister said Wednesday.
The Ontario economy grew 0.1 per cent in the three months ended June 30, the slowest pace in six years.
That’s far below the 0.3 per cent growth that the province recorded in the first quarter of 2016, which helped the province become the first province in Canada to surpass a 1-per-cent growth rate in a year.
But even with the recent economic recovery, Ontario is still in the middle of a recession.
That means the province still needs to address a variety of economic issues in order to get back on the economic recovery path it was on a year ago.
Ontario is in the midst of a major economic crisis, which is why the province needs to focus on getting the economy moving again, said Finance Minister Charles Sousa in a speech to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Ontario’s economic situation is extremely challenging and we’re very aware of that, said Sousas.
“We’re doing everything we can to get things moving again,” he said.
Ontario has been in the red for the past year, with its economy contracting by more than $10 billion in 2016.
The province’s unemployment rate was 12.9 per cent at the end of June, down from 16.9 percent at the start of the year.
Unemployment has also dropped to 6.5 per cent from 7.4 per cent.
Ontario will have to do a lot of hard work to get the economy back on its feet.
The provincial government is expecting to need $4 billion from the provincial treasury over the next six months to pay for infrastructure projects and help support the economy.
Ontario currently has more than 100 billion dollars in unfunded pension obligations.
As Ontario gears up for the G20 summit, Soussas said the province is doing its part by investing in infrastructure, education and training, and the government is making sure that there is enough infrastructure to keep the economy growing.
“The most important thing for us is to make sure that the people who are doing the jobs are being paid,” said Souda.
The Ontario government is also working on the $2.2-billion Ontario Skills Challenge, which will fund $150 million worth of skills training to help boost the province. “
I’m going to do everything I can to make Ontario the best place for the future.”
The Ontario government is also working on the $2.2-billion Ontario Skills Challenge, which will fund $150 million worth of skills training to help boost the province.
Sousais said Ontario will invest $300 million in training to give 1,000 new workers access to technology and skills that could be useful in other parts of the country.
Ontario also is investing $500 million to hire 2,500 people across the province to help address the province and other provinces’ challenges.
“Ontario has a lot to learn from the other provinces in how to respond to this challenge,” said David Miller, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Innovation.
“They have the tools to deal with the challenge and we need to build on those tools and that’s the challenge that Ontario is facing.”
Ontario’s unemployment rates are now at 10.9 percentage points higher than the national average, and Ontario is one of the most economically depressed regions in the country, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.
The G20 is also looking at ways to tackle inequality and climate change.
“It’s not just about the G7.
It’s not even about the OECD,” Miller said.
“You’re going after climate change and inequality.”
The OECD has also come out in favour of the G2020 summit.
In a statement Wednesday, OECD chief economist James Q. Wilson said the summit will help the G5 countries prepare for a climate-related crisis in the next few decades.
The OECD’s Climate Action Tracker predicts global warming will cause global temperatures to rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.
“As the world faces the greatest challenge in the history of the planet, it is essential that the G6 and G7 countries commit to the G-20 climate change summit,” said Wilson in a statement.
“To do so, we must commit to a legally binding agreement to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius and achieve a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end to 2030.”