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Photo: James Morgan

Ontario government reacts to employment figures, defends economic response to pandemic

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement regarding Thursday’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada:

“Employment in Ontario increased by 36,600 in November, including 1,700 in the manufacturing sector, marking the sixth straight month of overall employment gains. During this period, employment increased by more than 905,000, including 13,200 more men and women working in the manufacturing sector than pre-COVID. However, we know that people all across this province continue to struggle during this challenging period, and that not every worker is back on the job. Now more than ever, we must continue to support small business and families as we plan for our economic recovery.

Our government knows there is still much work to be done to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, and its economic challenges. That is why in our 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, our government is planning to invest $13.5 billion to help individuals, families and workers who need it most to navigate the second wave of COVID 19 and beyond. This funding includes $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures, doubling its initial commitment.

In addition, our government is providing tax relief for small businesses, including a proposal to provide municipalities with the ability to cut property taxes for small businesses, reducing business education taxes and permanently increasing the Employer Health Tax payroll exemption to $1 million. This would mean 90 per cent of employers would pay no EHT.

The people of this province have continued to step up and demonstrate the best of the Ontario Spirit throughout the course of this pandemic. They have supported one another, demonstrated incredible resilience, and brought forward innovative ideas, products and solutions that have helped in the fight against this virus. It is this spirit that will inspire us during the holiday season, the second wave of the pandemic, and into our economic recovery. Our government will continue to support all Ontarians as we work together to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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