Ontario is looking to make critical investments in support of manufacturing. Premier Kathleen Wynne addressed the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Industrie 2030 summit, where she discussed the province's $400 million Business Growth Initiative (BGI). CME is Canada's largest trade and industry association.
The BGI strategy supports Ontario's shift towards a high-growth innovation economy with initiatives such as a five-year, $35-million investment in the Advanced Manufacturing Consortium and a 10-year, $5-million investment to establish the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing. Both programs will provide support to traditional manufacturers as they look to embrace new technologies and approaches.
The government has also created the Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy Expert Panel to help Ontario adapt. The panel will assess how well the workforce is positioned to meet the needs of Ontario's economy and will recommend an integrated approach for the government to bridge education, training and skills development.
Supporting the manufacturing sector is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills and developing a low-carbon economy driven by export-oriented businesses. Part of this evolution can be seen in a new partnership with Mitsui High-tec to build the company’s first manufacturing facility in North America producing motor cores for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Ontario will invest up to $2 million through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund to support Mitsu High-tec's new facility in Brantford, leveraging an overall project investment of about $38 million. The Japanese company chose Ontario because of the highly-skilled workforce and strong auto sector. The greenfield facility is expected to begin production in early 2017 and will feature Mitsui's advanced manufacturing techniques.
Initially, the Ontario plant will export the motor cores to the United States with longer-term plans to grow the company's market share with Ontario-based vehicle assembly plants. Some additional facts about Ontario’s automotive sector include:
- It is the only sub-national jurisdiction to have five major global automotive assemblers: Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota, as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
- The auto industry contributes around $16 billion annually to Ontario’s GDP.
- As part of their Business Growth Initiative, Ontario announced the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Program to help smaller auto parts companies adopt the latest technologies.