Spending on health in Ontario consumes nearly half of the provincial budget; approximately $54 billion in 2016. Concern for the sustainability of the public health care system is high among both OCC members and the general public. Only 14% of OCC members are confident that the system will be able to fund a consistently high level of care in the future.
As demonstrated in our 2016 Health Transformation Initiative, the OCC’s approach to health care reform is not merely about addressing the challenge of fiscal sustainability, but about acknowledging that the public system can be an economic driver. Health is a growing sector world-wide, with incredible expansion in both demand and innovation. Ontario, with its world-class talent and top-notch research facilities, sits at a crossroads of this opportunity. Our health care system should be able to tap into that potential to deliver both positive health and fiscal outcomes for all Ontarians.
For more information about getting involved in the health transformation file contact our health policy lead.
Skills & Workforce Development
On the surface, Ontario’s workforce appears to be in good standing: more than 600,000 net new jobs have been created since the depths of the recession, and government is projecting the creation of an additional 323,000 jobs between 2016 and 2019. Ontario’s unemployment rate of 6.7% is below the national average.
However, the experience of Ontario business is telling a different story. Sixty-two percent of OCC members have attempted to recruit staff in the last six months but only 14% of those did not experience a challenge in hiring. The top challenge (cited by 60% of members) is finding individuals with the proper qualifications.
The OCC occupies a unique position as an intermediary among employer groups in over 135 communities across the province. Our policy objective is to ensure that all regions across Ontario have access to the skilled workforce required to compete in the global economy. To get involved on this file, please contact our skills & workforce development policy lead.
Environment and Infrastructure
Infrastructure forms the backbone of our economy and society. As infrastructure ages and the demands of our population evolve, continual investments to renew and expand infrastructure are essential to sustaining economic growth in Ontario: $1 billion in new investment generates and supports $16.3 billion in GDP and creates an additional 85,000 jobs year over the long term. Underinvestment in infrastructure has a real cost to Ontarians, estimated at $425,000 for an individual entering the labour force today until they retire.
The federal and provincial governments will continue to move ahead with their plans to incentivize a transition to a low-carbon economy. How infrastructure investments are made over the next decade will be an important determinant of our ability to meet climate change objectives. If targeted effectively, these investments have the potential to drive significant emissions reductions and minimize the direct cost to Ontario businesses and consumers.
To get involved in this file please contact our environment and infrastructure policy lead.