Ontario’s confidence in the government has plummeted over the past year.

The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index has been released, which shows the number has fallen by 40%.

That means only 29% of businesses are confident in the province’s economy.

Timmins Chamber President Al Thorne says skyrocketing energy rates and the provincial debt take part of the blame.

The index laid out a number of steps to help, including looking at the obstacles holding up the Ring of Fire.

*Full press release from the Chamber*

Ontario business confidence down, says Chamber report

• The Ontario Business Confidence Index is the most comprehensive annual survey of business

opinion in the province

• After two years of growing confidence, only 29 percent of Ontario’s businesses are confident in

the provincial economic climate

• 58 percent of businesses are confident in their own organization’s economic outlook

TIMMINS, February 6, 2015: A new report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Timmins

Chamber of Commerce shows that only 29 percent of Ontario’s businesses are confident in the province’s

economy, representing a 40 percent decline over last year.

The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index also shows that only 58 percent of businesses in the

province are confident in their own organization’s outlook, a decrease of 22 percent compared to last year.

When it comes to growing their business, 54 percent say they plan to expand within the next five years.

“While there are some good signs on the horizon, there continue to be some major challenges for Ontario

businesses,” said Al Thorne, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

“These include skyrocketing energy rates, regulatory duplication, and the province’s critical debt and

deficit levels. When you consider these issues alongside the impact of a possible downturn in the national

and global economies, it’s perhaps unsurprising that businesses are more hesitant about the direction that

Ontario’s economy is taking.”

The index is a survey of almost 1,500 businesses across Ontario and was conducted as part of Emerging

Stronger 2015, a business-driven economic agenda for Ontario. It was released this week by the Ontario

Chamber of Commerce and the Timmins Chamber, along with their research partners, the Mowat Centre

at the University of Toronto and Leger Marketing.

The report identifies the immediate steps that government and the private sector must take to enhance

Ontario’s economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province.

This includes building a stronger provincial workforce by addressing apprenticeship ratios and

strengthening educational support for Aboriginal students both on and off-reserve. The report’s

recommendations also address resource development in Northern Ontario: the province should focus on

the obstacles holding up development in the Ring of Fire, much as it should provide the forestry sector

with consistent access to sustainable wood.

“With employment growth projected to stagnate in northeastern Ontario in the coming years, it’s important

that we begin working on collaborative solutions to begin addressing some of these issues in a meaningful

way,” said Thorne.

This sentiment is shared by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, according to Allan O’Dette, president and

CEO.

“We have identified what needs to be done to ensure that Ontario remains the best place in the world to

live, invest, and build a business,” said O’Dette. “Over the next year, we will continue to work with our

partners in the private and public sectors to keep Ontario on its path from recovery to growth.”

To learn more about the Ontario Business Confidence Index and Emerging Stronger 2015,

CLICK HERE