Our vision is about making choices that generate and sustain us in a way that benefits everyone. We can take advantage of the opportunities around us to transition our economy to one that is efficient and sustainable, based on principles of fairness and resilience, with respect for people, communities and the climate.
The economy is not a stand alone system. We depend on the world around us to create the wealth, goods and services that provide us with our standard of living. We must take into consideration not only what we create, but what we leave behind.
Our Green vision for Ontario points us in the direction of a sustainable, renewable and equitable Ontario economy.
Build and Support a Strong Green Workforce
Ontario desperately needs a bold plan to create jobs for the 21st century. We need to replace the 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost in the last decade.
Ontario must embrace the clean tech and low carbon economy to create the next generation of green middle class jobs – just as so many industrialized countries, states and provinces are already doing. Already in Canada more people work in renewable energy than in the oilsands. In fact, 274,000 Canadians have cleantech jobs with an average salary of $92,000 per year.
Investing in the clean economy is essential to remain competitive and to create a vibrant green middle class.
We can kick start these industries by building on our robust system of skills development and apprenticeships, and by supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs and makers from all parts of society who will power the new green economy.
- Support for a Green Building Program to create jobs while helping homeowners, renters and businesses save money by reducing their energy use.
- Implement the most efficient and effective carbon pricing mechanism to create market incentives for low carbon products, services and businesses.
- Provide incentives for businesses investing in energy efficient and low carbon equipment, buildings and vehicle fleets.
- Implement incentives for businesses that participate in training and certification programs in job growth areas such as green building, biomedical technology, renewable energy and sustainable transportation.
- Redirect existing business support programs to target the scale up of cleantech companies and innovation. Change criteria of business development programs to eliminate supports for proposals that contribute to an increase in Ontario’s greenhouse gas pollution.
- Invest in the most cost effective, flexible, modern renewable energy sources.
- Review government regulations to ensure the regulatory environment does not create barriers to the adoption of green technologies, practices and businesses.
- Establish government procurement rules with criteria to purchase low carbon products and services.
- Support public funding of research and development in order to incubate innovation, particularly in clean technology and knowledge services.
- Establish provincial government procurement rules to support made in Ontario cleantech products to facilitate commercialization of Ontario innovation.
- Provide incentives to commercialize new clean economy products.
- Create investment tools, such as Community Bonds for local innovators that are RRSP and TFSA eligible.
- Support businesses focusing on the triple bottom line (people, planet, profits) by amending the Ontario Business Corporations Act to add provisions authorizing incorporation of benefit corporations.
- Modernize the Co-operative Corporations Act to reflect current business conditions and to help co-op businesses thrive.
- Set up a social enterprise foundation to foster the development of triple bottom line businesses. The fund will provide grants and loans for young people in post-secondary education settings and in the workforce to develop their innovative ideas and bring socially impactful products and services to market.
- Create a non-profit sector workforce development strategy and modernized, stable funding model for the non-profit sector to make operations more efficient.
- Help new businesses scale up and sustain their growth by supporting the development of new programs that help foster ‘intra-preneurial’ skills encouraging and developing new ideas from within, in a low-risk/high-reward environment.
- Support small business development opportunities for ‘senior-preneurs’ both online and through existing Regional Innovation Centres across the province.
- Provide an option for employers to receive up-front subsidies when hiring co-op students as an alternative to the Co-operative Education Tax Credits.
- Modernize the apprenticeship application process by leveraging the Ontario College Application Service to provide candidates with an electronic, single-entry access to the apprenticeship application and registration process.
- Expand and invest in apprenticeship and training programs, including incentives for businesses to participate in apprenticeship, mentoring and co-op programs.
- Reduce the ratio of journey people to apprentices to one to one in order to open more jobs and training opportunities for our youth and workers seeking new career options.
- Establish a progressive fee schedule based on the earnings opportunities for each trade.
- Work with manufacturers to support re-tooling the Ontario manufacturing cluster and adapt to powerful new advances, in robotics, 3D materials printing and laser cutting.
- Use incentives to support the rapid prototyping of new products that will enhance the competitiveness of Ontario manufacturers and attract new business opportunities.
- Support workers through the implementation of the Basic Income Guarantee (see below), to help people adjust to a fast-changing work environment by upgrading their knowledge.
- Require Community Benefits Agreements for major infrastructure projects to ensure that public investment brings extensive social and economic benefits, including fair wage jobs, to local communities and businesses.
- Conduct a census of vulnerable jobs and economic sectors in the transition to a low carbon, clean economy in order to develop strategies to help those workers and businesses successfully transition to the new economy.
- Develop a strategy to ensure that the transition to a low carbon, clean economy benefits workers through retraining, living wages, benefits plans and career opportunities.
- Implement border adjustments for carbon pricing to create an even playing field for energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries and their workers.
- Establish an Ontario Youth Green Corps to provide summer job experience and foster a culture of stewardship and enterprise in the next generation of young Ontarians, helping young people learn job skills, introducing them to rewarding careers in trades, and fostering leadership.
- Offer meaningful incentives for businesses involved with green retrofit, reforestation, and other forms of green economic activity to provide Ontario youth with valuable job experience.
- Provide support for young entrepreneurs to start green businesses through online entrepreneurial courses, business modelling workshops and start up capital.
- Implement a Well-being Measurements Act to identify indicators of the economic, social and environmental well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Ontario.
- Develop a provincial inventory of mining resources to measure the availability of our natural wealth and track the depletion of our natural assets.
- Continuously update the provincial soil database to better track and protect the province’s prime farmland, a critical economic resource.