4 April 2023

Building a Strong Ontario

March 2023

The new Ontario Economic Plan was released by the Ministry of Finance on March 23, 2023, following the speech by the Finance Minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy.

Through the 2023-2024 budget, the re-elect Ontario government continues its approach from the past years to build a strong fiscal foundation, while supporting people and businesses. This year’s measures revolve around five major areas: the economy, infrastructure, jobs, affordable living, and services while aiming to eliminate the deficit for the years to come.

FI Group provides an overview of the main elements related to R&D and innovation in connection with this new economic plan.

1.  No modifications to the SR&ED program

The new economic plan did not lead to major changes in the methods for allocating tax credits for SR&ED. The rules during the previous year, therefore, remain in force regarding the obtaining and monitoring of these tax credits.

The SR&ED tax measures at the provincial level continue to consist of the OITC (8% of eligible R&D expenditures for qualifying corporations), ORDTC (3.5% of eligible R&D expenditures) and OBRITC (20% of qualified expenditures).

2. Creating Ontario’s Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

The government’s commitment to supporting homegrown automotive innovation is paving the way towards a greener and more sustainable future while creating new job opportunities and stimulating economic growth in Canada.

  • The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), launched with a $56.4 million investment in the 2021 Budget, fosters collaboration and innovation in electric vehicle and battery-related technologies. The network brings together academia, the auto industry, SMEs, and the battery sector to promote critical minerals development in Northern Ontario.
  • Through partnerships with OVIN, the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, and their predecessor, over 470 SMEs have been supported, and 2,980 jobs have been created. Private-sector investments have also been leveraged, totaling over $400 million.

3. Building the future of the Life Science Sector

Ontario is focusing on growing its life sciences sector, which has attracted nearly $3 billion in investments by global biomanufacturers over the past two and a half years.

  • The Life Sciences Innovation Fund was launched in November 2022 to provide $15 million in early-stage funding to help entrepreneurs and innovators scale their health solutions.
  • The fund is being delivered by the Ontario Centre of Innovation, and eligible companies will receive up to $500,000 to scale their made‐in‐Ontario health solutions. The government is also creating an industry-led Life Science Council to provide advice and increase competitiveness.

4. Driving Business and Job Growth by Investing in Critical Technologies

The government is focused on investing in critical technologies to create jobs and help businesses in Ontario. The initiatives aim at six technologies: 5G, AI, quantum, robotics, blockchain, and cybersecurity. To achieve that, the government is investing $107 million in critical technology initiatives to drive commercialization and support job growth.

5. Promoting Regional Innovation Centre Hubs

Regional Innovation Centre hubs are crucial in providing support and resources for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. The government aims to promote collaboration between Regional Innovation Centres and other innovation organizations in the area, enabling entrepreneurs to access the support they need to fuel their businesses. With continued growth and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, this expansion is expected to spur economic growth and create new job opportunities. To achieve this, the government is providing Invest Ottawa with an additional $1 million per year for three years, starting in 2023-24, to expand into a Regional Innovation Centre hub for Eastern Ontario.

6. Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

The manufacturing sector in Ontario has seen a decline in employment, but the government has attracted investments in auto and clean steel manufacturing since 2018. To further support local businesses, the government is proposing the Ontario Made Manufacturing (OMM) Investment Tax Credit.

  • OMM offers a 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax credit on qualifying investments in manufacturing or processing in the province, up to $2 million a year per corporation.
  • The tax credit could provide up to $780 million in income tax support over the next three years to qualifying Canadian-controlled private corporations.
  • Eligible investments include certain capital property for manufacturing or processing purposes in Ontario, with a limit of $20 million in a taxation year.

7. Advancing Ontario’s Critical Minerals Strategy

The Ontario government is investing in the Critical Minerals Strategy via the Ontario Junior Exploration Program. This program, launched in 2021, finances early exploration projects of up to $200,000 of eligible costs for critical and precious mineral exploration and development.

  • To boost this program, the government is providing an additional $3 million for both 2023-24 and 2024-25, totaling $13 million each year, which includes $4 million per year for a Critical Minerals Stream.
  • The introduction of the federal Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit is expected to provide an extra $25 million per year to support investment and create jobs in a competitive mining sector.
The FI Group team is available for any further information you may have.
Feel free to Contact US!