Ontario’s economy continues to show strong growth, as highlighted in the province’s newly released Economic Accounts for the first quarter of 2017.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne discussed the province’s Q1 results prior to her departure to the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island. Ontario’s economic growth outpaced all G7 countries from 2014-16 and again in the first quarter of 2017, showing that the province is delivering on its plan to create good jobs and economic growth. Attending the NGA meeting is a key part of the Premier’s work to secure Ontario’s relationships with the U.S., protect the province’s economic gains and build momentum.
To strengthen the trading relationships that fuel growth and job creation on both sides of the border, Premier Wynne will continue to connect with U.S. governors to discuss partnership opportunities and reinforce the importance of free trade and open borders to our shared economic growth.
Ontario’s real GDP grew one per cent in the first quarter of 2017, outperforming Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries. “We are taking steps to make life more affordable, secure, and fair for everyone in Ontario,” Wynne said. This builds on a 0.5 per cent boost to real GDP posted in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Increased business investment and consumer spending were the primary drivers behind the overall GDP increase. Business investment grew 5.5 per cent, with residential construction rising by nearly eight per cent. Consumer spending increased by one per cent, while household disposable income rose by 0.5 per cent.
Wynne Gathers Input for Minimum Wage hike
The Wynne government is also gathering input for its labour reform package. Hearings began Monday on the government’s plan to raise the wage to $15/hr.
The Ontario business community is opposed to this. A coalition of groups including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce have sent her a letter fearing the move would hurt business. “Many Ontario employers, especially small business are now considering closing their business because they do not have the capacity to successfully manage such reforms,” they said according to the CBC.
The province’s legislative committee is in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Kingston, Ottawa, and Windsor. It’ll be in Toronto, London, Kitchener, Niagara Falls, Hamilton and Toronto next week. The proposed wage increase is part of a package of labour reforms that include mandatory sick time, and paid vacation.