Discussing the Challenges Facing Ontario Manufacturers

    Roundtable Meeting with Small and Medium Size Manufacturers Part of
    McGuinty Government Review

    TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - To help Ontario's vital manufacturing industry -
and the communities that depend on them - the McGuinty government is
consulting with small and medium-sized manufacturers about the challenges of
the new global economy.
    Today, MPP David Ramsay, Parliamentary Assistant to Premier McGuinty, and
Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Harinder Takhar held a
roundtable in Toronto to listen directly to the concerns of these vital
    Small and medium-sized manufacturers employ less than 500 employees each.
These firms:

    -   Account for 99.5 per cent of all manufacturing establishments in the
    -   Employ over 450,000 people across the province and
    -   Generate more than $46 billion in revenue annually.

    "The strength of the high dollar, increased global competition, and the
state of the U.S. economy pose significant challenges to Ontario's
manufacturers," said Takhar. "We are working to address some of these
challenges in the short term and also position companies to compete
effectively in the global environment in the long run."
    On November 30, 2007, the Premier asked Ramsay to review the current
competitive challenges of Ontario's small to medium-sized manufacturers.
Ramsay will examine how other jurisdictions have responded to similar
challenges and propose short-term measures to assist manufacturing-based
communities, including smaller and northern communities.
    "Manufacturing is the foundation of our economy," said Ramsay. "Workers,
families, and entire communities depend on the manufacturing sector. We're
committed to helping these vital businesses address the challenges they face."
    In its 2007 Fall Economic Statement, the government eliminated the
Capital Tax for corporations primarily engaged in manufacturing and resource
activities - such as the auto, forestry and mining sectors, effective
January 1, 2008. The government also increased the small business deduction
threshold to $500,000 from $400,000 retroactive to January 1, 2007.


For further information:

For further information: Sarbjit Kaur, Minister's Office, (416)
326-1939; Mark Ingram, Communications Branch, (416) 325-4776

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