Business challenges also offer opportunities

Growing the economy and spurring job creation are the main focus of the 2016 Emerging Stronger document. The fifth and final economic agenda under the Emerging Stronger brand and released by the Peterborough and Ontario Chambers of Commerce (OCC) identifies 25 recommendations. These recommendations are designed to inform the government and the private sector on how to enhance Ontario’s economic competitiveness. 

“This is a critical point for Ontario’s economy with a number of major legislative changes on the horizon for the business community. It's also an opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together to set the framework for future growth,” says Jason Becker, BDO Canada LLP and Chair of the Board of Directors, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. 

Emerging Stronger's recommendations are grouped under five headings: 

  1. Fostering a culture of innovation and smart risk-taking in order to become a productivity leader 
  2. Building a 21st century workforce 
  3. Restoring fiscal balance by improving the way government works 
  4. Taking advantage of new opportunities in the global economy 
  5. Identifying, championing, and strategically investing in our competitive advantages in the global economy. 

Over the past five years, Emerging Stronger has identified a course of action aimed at making Ontario the best place in which to live, work, and invest and progress has been made in several areas including: 


  • Ontario remaining the North American leader in attracting foreign investment 
  • The provincial and federal governments are reinvesting in infrastructure 
  • The new Business Growth Initiative is committed to reducing the growing cost burden on business 


However, there are still some challenges that remain: 


  • Electricity rates 
  • Skills Shortage
  • Employment insurance
  • Labour productivity 
  • Labour market information 
  • Immigration 
  • Ontario Retirement Pension Plan 


“Ontario businesses are looking for stability and economic certainty,” says Allan O’Dette, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “It is important that public policy address the concerns of the business community.” 

The OCC's Business Confidence Index is the most comprehensive survey of business opinion in the province. It serves as the second informative piece of the Emerging Stronger document and shows that business confidence is at a five-year low. Ontario business leaders are increasingly concerned with the state of the Ontario economy, with only about 30 percent of businesses confident in the provincial economy. Their worries centre around uncertainty throughout the global economy, the financial state of the province and the growing cost of doing business in Ontario. 

However, businesses also recognize that a brighter future can be had by continuing to build a skilled workforce, supporting innovation and taking advantage of global opportunities. 

Full Emerging Stronger report

Media News Release on Emerging Stronger 2016

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