Vic Fedeli declares Ontario open for business

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli.

Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s new finance minister, appeared on BNN Bloomberg on Wednesday to talk about the changes that are coming. Fedeli said that he has been receiving calls from business leaders talking about their renewed confidence for the business climate under the new Ford administration.

After living under a government that only wanted taxes to go up, it is refreshing to hear about taxes going down.

“We are lowering corporate taxes, we are lowering small business taxes, we are lowering hydro costs, eliminating cap-and-trade,” Fedeli told BNN Bloomberg. “Those are all key signals to the business community that Ontario is open for business.”

“We’re fixing all of the other materials that were necessary to be fixed in Ontario to prepare the business community to be able to grow and expand.”

On the specific issue of tariffs on autos, something that my friend and former TV colleague Anita Sharma pressed Fedeli on, the new finance minister said Premier Doug Ford would be reaching out to American governors that are key trading partners with Ontario.

“He is going to be meeting face-to-face with many men and women of our team to be able to work with the governors. I think the premier will play a pivotal role in this,” Fedeli said.

As for claims by opponents that cutting taxes would lead to economic hardship for the province, Fedeli said he doesn’t buy that line of thinking.

“Lower taxes create jobs,” Fedeli said noting that for 15 years Ontario has faced rising tax bills and deficits under the Liberals.

Scrap the cap!

One tax, by another name, that the PC government is chopping is the Liberal cap and trade program. Fedeli described as a slush fund that did little for Ontario and saw 80% of the money raised go to Quebec and California, the other two jurisdictions in the cap and trade system.

“This was – to be a little bit crude – it was more a slush fund in terms of the dollars. Let’s just be clear about that: That very little accrued towards any improvement in our environment. We will have a methodical wind-down of the program, we’ll honour commitments and it will be a respectful wind-down of that program that will happen, starting now,” Fedeli said.

Watch the full interview here.