Ministry overview


The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade’s (MEDJCT) mandate is to help grow Ontario’s economy by creating a competitive business climate for:

  • Starting and growing a business
  • Retaining and attracting investment
  • Creating jobs
  • Supporting research, science and commercialization; and
  • Seeking out strategic trade opportunities, both domestically and internationally

The ministry is committed to helping businesses of all sizes grow — from large multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Entrepreneurs and small businesses play a critical role in communities across the province by creating jobs, supplying larger companies and contributing new ideas, processes and resources to the economy.

The ministry is involved in key sectors and industries. Ontario’s aerospace, chemical and cleantech industries are leaders in adopting advanced manufacturing technologies. Ontario’s aerospace industry is the second-largest in Canada, and is a recognized leader in aircraft integration, landing gear, electronic systems, satellites and space robotics. Ontario-made aerospace parts are used on virtually every passenger aircraft in the world. Ontario’s chemical industry is the largest in Canada, accounting for about 45% of Canadian chemical shipments. The chemical sector employs over 28,000 people. 2018 exports totalled about $13.1 billion, making it the fourth-largest exporting industry in Ontario’s manufacturing sector. Ontario has the fastest-growing cleantech manufacturing sector in Canada, with $19.8 billion in revenue, 5,000 companies and about 130,000 employees.

Science and research are an important part of the ministry’s work. They fuel Ontario’s economic growth and create a path for our skilled workforce in the competitive global marketplace. The Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board (ORFAB) works with the research community to attract investment, talent and support growth in Ontario’s regional economies. The ministry supports the commercialization of research.

The ministry supports businesses as they innovate and compete in today’s ever-changing global economy. By supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups the ministry can help them translate ideas into products and services. By ensuring businesses have access to a highly skilled workforce, which includes working with Ontario companies to understand their talent needs and promoting Ontario’s economic immigration programs to attract skilled international talent, the ministry’s programs help create a competitive business climate in Ontario.

Promoting and developing the venture capital sector in Ontario is important to help high-potential companies access the capital they need to grow and prosper. The Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC) is the venture capital agency of the Government of Ontario. It was created to promote and develop the venture capital sector in Ontario. OCGC investment activities have resulted in over $300 million invested in high-potential technology companies, including globally recognized Shopify and ecobee.

The ministry is working to ensure that Ontario’s interests are well-represented in all trade matters and negotiations to support the growth of new jobs and attract investment to the province.

The ministry also continuously engages domestic companies and actively pursues foreign investors to make sure they have the necessary tools and business environment to invest and prosper in the province. As part of this work, the ministry actively promotes Ontario’s competitive advantage to the world to show that it is a premier destination for investment and trade.

Ministry programs

The ministry delivers a range of programs, services and tools to support businesses, drive innovation and promote Ontario as a source of high-quality goods and services and as an ideal location to invest in and grow.

There are seven key ministry priority areas:

Job creation

Creating and protecting jobs is at the core of the ministry’s mandate. Supporting a globally competitive business climate, by reducing red tape and unnecessary regulations, makes Ontario an attractive place to invest and create jobs. The ministry provides some business support programs to help companies modernize and create jobs. The ministry works directly with established Ontario small and medium enterprises to understand their unique opportunities and challenges. Regional Senior Business Advisors provide support, expert analysis and advice to businesses in Ontario’s central, eastern, and southwestern regions. Tailored advice and recommendations are geared to help businesses become more productive and competitive. Sector experts with deep industry experience and expertise deliver support and services to high-potential mid-large size businesses, attracting investment opportunities to Ontario and helping existing businesses grow and thrive in strategic sectors such as automotive, aerospace, life sciences, digital technology, advanced manufacturing, chemicals, fintech and cybersecurity.

The ministry helps support economic growth and job creation by helping companies to export goods and services and diversifying sales globally.

The ministry, in partnership with the federal government through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, is also responding to the needs of Ontario’s employers by helping them attract the skilled workers and talent they need. This includes enhancements to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), which allows Ontario to nominate people for permanent residence who have the professional and educational skills needed to contribute to the province’s economy. Through the modernization of the OINP, in tandem with other talent initiatives, the government will continue to ensure that Ontario’s workforce remains among the most highly skilled for the modern economy.

Entrepreneurship and business growth

The ministry is focusing efforts on ways to support businesses that have a direct impact — reducing red tape and regulatory burden and creating an environment where businesses can thrive and create good jobs.

Ontario recently introduced the Open for Jobs Blueprint, designed to modernize the way government works with business. The principles of the blueprint are accessibility, fiscal responsibility, coordination, scalability and effectiveness.

Working with partners across government, the ministry’s business support programs will be focussed on four economic priorities: talent, research and commercialization, entrepreneurship and growth, and investment attraction.

They will be designed with a regional, sectoral and transparency lens to ensure proposals are assessed on their ability to address challenges, leverage opportunities specific to industries and regions that are most impacted and to ensure prosperity and growth are spread equitably and in a way that is open and transparent. The key to this new approach will be establishing improved metrics that are better aligned with the current government’s priorities to measure success that will help further drive accountability, value-for-money and achieve strong outcomes.

Ontario is also dedicated to accelerating the launch and growth of start-ups and supporting entrepreneurs as they work to expand, grow and succeed in the knowledge-based economy. Start-up programs position Ontario businesses to overcome commercialization challenges, help them attract talent, capital and customers to grow and succeed in international markets.

Scaling up SMEs by increasing exports and diversifying export markets is fundamental to the competitiveness and growth of Ontario’s economy. Supporting companies to export goods and services and diversifying sales globally is another way the ministry supports economic growth and job creation.

Investment attraction

The ministry works to promote Ontario as a premier destination for investment, providing specialized services for companies looking to come to Ontario and helps those companies make valuable connections. This includes business intelligence, lead generation, trade and investment analysis, site certification, helping businesses navigate government and tailoring the full complement of supports and services Ontario provides to the specific needs of companies investing in Ontario. By working directly with international and domestic businesses, as well as with community and regional partners, the ministry generates, advances and secures investment opportunities across the province in priority sectors.

International representation

In global markets, the ministry raises awareness of the benefits of coming to Ontario – a place where businesses grow and thrive. The ministry works to secure new trade and investment deals; lead and manage Ontario’s network of international offices; drive job creation by facilitating business partnerships with global markets through the delivery of inbound and outbound commercial delegations; and promote and advance Ontario’s economic interests through the delivery of minister-led international missions.

The Washington Office serves as the hub for Ontario’s presence in the U.S. working alongside Ontario’s existing offices in New York and San Francisco to close business deals that create jobs in Ontario.

International and interprovincial trade policy

The ministry ensures that Ontario’s interests are well-represented in all trade matters and negotiations by leading Ontario’s engagement on new and evolving international trade negotiation and other international trade policy issues, including leading the implementation and compliance of international trade and investment agreements for the province.

Given the immense value of Ontario trade with the U.S., the ministry actively advances Ontario’s strategic interests in all U.S. trade-related matters, including the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and “Buy American” policies in U.S. states.

The ministry continues to strengthen Ontario’s trade diversification by implementing and assessing Ontario’s trade strategies to increase exports, increase exporters and diversity markets by leveraging Canada’s strategic international trade and investment agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

The ministry leads international trade dispute management for the province, including representing and supporting the Province’s interests in any international trade disputes, including disputes filed against Ontario.

The ministry advances Ontario’s economic and policy interests in matters concerning interprovincial trade and leads Ontario’s commitment to break down interprovincial trade barriers through various ongoing trade enhancing initiatives, including strengthening the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) and the province’s ongoing efforts to reinforce bilateral trade ties with other provinces.

Regional and sector support

The ministry works to support regional and sector-specific growth through a variety of initiatives and areas of activity. The ministry leads engagement with regional economic stakeholders to better understand priorities, issues and opportunities to influence policy, planning and program development. To further understand regional economic disparities, the ministry is developing a regional lens to ensure that ministry programs reflect and address specific regional economic needs.

The ministry also undertakes sectoral engagement to proactively build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders and companies in the province, closely monitoring global developments to ensure that the government has access to in-depth sectoral expertise and analysis to support the growth and development of anchor companies and key sector strategies. In addition, the ministry leads and develops strategies for priority industries and sectors in partnership with industry, key ministries, and other key stakeholders.

To ensure that businesses across Ontario have the talent they need to grow, the ministry is also focused on working across government and with businesses to identify and address business talent needs.

Technology, research and innovation

The ministry’s current research programs support world-class research excellence in Ontario to build a pipeline for tomorrow’s innovations. This includes research in key priority areas that lead to commercialization, and the highly skilled jobs and talent needed to grow Ontario businesses.

The ministry’s technology, research and innovation programs directly support researchers by retaining highly skilled talent, and helping companies innovate, grow, scale up and prosper in Ontario.

Table 1: Ministry planned expenditures 2019-20 ($M)

Operating Expensefootnote 1752,987,087
Capital Expensefootnote 193,404,000
Total Expense846,391,087
Operating Assets10,001,000
Capital Assets2,000

Highlights of 2018-19 results

Job creation

Demand for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is strong. In 2018, the OINP nominated 6,850 principal applicants, whose applications included 6,721 spouses and dependents for a total of 13,571 new immigrants to Ontario.

The ministry established a dedicated Business Talent Unit in 2018-19, which will work with businesses and key partners to focus on helping businesses in Ontario find the talent they need to succeed and grow.

Entrepreneurship and business growth

There are more than 470,000 SMEs in communities across the province, employing about one-third of Ontario workers.

Through an in-depth understanding of SMEs, the ministry’s Senior Business Advisors provide unbiased, objective and professional advice on business challenges. These advisors work with local organizations and municipalities to understand challenges and opportunities impacting businesses. In 2018-19, Business Advisors worked with over 1,300 Ontario SMEs and will continue to work directly with companies to remove barriers and support their growth.

Working with Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs), Regional Innovation Centres (RICs), as well as community and industry partners, the ministry provides programs and services that offer an array of training, mentoring and support opportunities for “main-street” entrepreneurs, tech and innovation-focused start-ups, and small businesses across Ontario.

The Training Programs Branch within the Business Partnership and Programs Division provides export-capacity building services to new and early-stage exporters in Ontario, with a focus on the following key markets: European Union, United States, Latin America, India, the Middle East and Asia. Export preparation seminars raise SMEs’ level of export proficiency and provide detailed export information and the necessary connections to organizations that support companies entering into new markets. In 2018-19 the Branch delivered 54 export readiness workshops and seminars across Ontario.

The government committed to undertaking a review of all business support programs to determine their effectiveness, value for money and sustainability. The review found that the business support programs were not aligned with current government priorities, were fragmented across multiple ministries and lacked sufficient data and metrics to measure their impact on Ontario’s economy. As a result of the review, the government has introduced Ontario’s Open for Jobs Blueprint (OJB). The OJB is the foundation for Business Supports Transformation and will help to modernize the province’s business supports programs. The OJB will establish a new vision and approach for Ontario’s business support programsto help drive Ontario’s economy and create quality jobs, while increasing accountability and transparency.

As part of the government’s efforts to reduce and realign available funds to new government priorities, most funding streams under the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, including the New Economy Stream, have been closed. The Forestry Growth Fund and the regional programs (Eastern Ontario Development Fund, Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and Communities in Transition Fund) will be redesigned based on the OJB.

Investment attraction

The ministry generates foreign direct investment leads from strategic markets that are aligned with the ministry’s priority sectors. The ministry does this by providing investment services and valuable connections for investors looking to establish their business in Ontario. By developing and presenting customized business intelligence, site selection expertise and services, the ministry supports investors looking to establish or expand their business in Ontario. In addition, the ministry services incoming FDI inquiries and develops key partnerships with federal counterparts and community partners across the province to advance investment lead generation for Ontario and drives strategic investment and trade analysis and initiatives to support job creation and business growth in Ontario.

Through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018-19, strategic FDI attraction initiatives for the ministry led to more than 900 corporate calls and 125 investment tours to secure more than 2,400 jobs and $300 million in investment for Ontario, with an additional 685 new opportunities currently being advanced. The ministry fielded more than 500 inquiries to the ministry’s 1-800 investment channels requesting investment support services about Ontario.

As part of the Investment Ready: Site Certified Program, seven Certified Sites have been fully or partially sold to investors establishing or expanding their businesses in Ontario, totaling more than 400 acres of investment ready lands in the province.

The ministry is committed to growing Ontario’s SMEs and helping to create and protect Ontario jobs. This helps promote Ontario as Open for Business, as a partner within the province’s investment attraction ecosystem. The ministry is also committed to supporting the work of the government locally, at a regional level across central, eastern and southwestern Ontario.

International representation

The ministry re-focussed its activities in global markets and implemented an integrated delivery model that leverages in-market resources within Ontario’s Trade and Investment Offices (TIO) for the delivery of export business missions, in markets where a TIO is present.

The ministry also re-aligned its international marketing efforts to promote the government’s Open for Business message, showcasing Ontario as a premier jurisdiction for investment and trade partnerships and a place where businesses grow and thrive.

Specific results include:

  • Delivered programming for approximately 50 inbound business missions from 36 countries, including 18 business-to-business sessions facilitating more than 400 meetings for Ontario businesses with their global counterparts. As a result of these initiatives, $5.5 million was reported in estimated potential investment/sales, 50 leads were transferred to various teams within the ministry for further development, and an average satisfaction rating of 97% was reported by international participants on the program quality and overall experience.
  • 790 Ontario companies participated in 96 Export Business Missions to global markets, reporting over $775 million in export sales opportunities identified. Participating companies reported an average 89% satisfaction rating. $138 million in actual sales for Ontario companies was reported during the six, 12- and 18-month follow-ups in 2018-19.
  • Ontario’s network of TIOs reported 60 new investment leads generated and 23 investment deals closed, valued at approximately $50 million, creating over 90 jobs initially and projecting close to 900 jobs created over the next five years.
  • The TIOs also assisted over 150 Ontario companies exploring trade opportunities in their respective markets by connecting them with close to 400 potential foreign buyers and facilitating 15 confirmed trade transactions.
  • The ministry developed a Marketing Framework and visual identity to promote Ontario’s international Open for Business message at over 60 international events, generating an increase in web traffic of over 28% (20,592 pageviews).
  • In domestic marketing, the ministry’s InfoExport email newsletter reached over 14,000 subscribers and generated 40 leads for ministry programs and services such as Export Business Missions, Inbound Missions and Training Programs.
  • Since September 2018, the domestic social media activity resumed and generated a 15.7% increase in total followers on the ministry’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels, generating almost 350,000 impressions and over 4,000 engagements with the total follower count of 6,399.

International and interprovincial trade policy

To deliver on the government’s priorities of advancing Ontario’s interests in international and interprovincial trade to drive business growth and create jobs, the ministry has:

  • Advanced and defended Ontario’s priorities throughout the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through to the signing of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) in November 2018
  • Supported the core outcomes of the recently-signed CUSMA, and its value for Ontario-U.S. trade, noting outcomes preserving tariff‐free trade, an independent trade tribunal, temporary entry provisions, and the exemption for cultural industries
  • Advocated for Ontario’s concerns to the federal government over concessions in CUSMA on market protection for biologic drugs and Ontario’s supply managed agricultural sectors.
  • Advocated with the federal government and with U.S. federal and state-level political leadership to remove U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs facing Ontario
  • Led a robust and comprehensive implementation plan to ensure Ontario was ready to implement and capitalize on the benefits of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Since implementation, Ontario’s January exports to CPTPP countries have grown from $550 million to $614 million in CAD
  • Led Ontario’s engagements with Canada and the European Union to ensure the first year of the Canada - European Union Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement’s (CETA) provisional implementation was beneficial to both Ontario and European businesses. Since CETA’s implementation, Ontario exports to the EU have grown - from 2017 to 2018, Ontario’s non-gold exports to the EU grew 15.8%, the fastest growth since 2009
  • Advanced and defended Ontario’s strategic interests in international trade disputes to advocate for the province’s interests in key sectors, including Australia’s World Trade Organization dispute on Canadian and provincial alcohol policies and practices, including Ontario’s
  • Advanced Ontario’s commitment to break down interprovincial trade barriers by working to strengthen the CFTA and reinforcing bilateral trade ties with Saskatchewan and Quebec

Regional and sector support

Over 2018-19 the ministry engaged key sectoral stakeholders (ICT, Automotive, Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Cleantech, Life Sciences, Financial and Business Services) including outreach and engagement with over 600 companies. With a lens of ensuring continued growth, the ministry produced and maintained detailed and informed understanding of Ontario’s critical and emerging sectors to provide robust analysis and advice on issues affecting key sectors and companies. Examples include the impact of Section 232 tariffs on the Automotive and Steel industries, and federal changes to the Patented Medicines Pricing Review Board.

The ministry advances emerging sectors through targeted actions such as convening the sector during cybersecurity month to discuss important issues for their sector, namely – Privacy by Design, artificial intelligence, emerging trends, talent, quantum and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As a result of the GM Oshawa closure announcement in November 2018, the ministry determined the impact on the Ontario automotive supply chain and led the engagement with GM’s impacted supply base. Working with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the ministry engaged with the affected suppliers to understand the impact and assist with training/other supports during the transition.

In February 2019 the government launched Phase 1 of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector, a 10-year plan for how the industry, the research and education sector, and all three levels of government can work together so Ontario’s auto sector reaches its full potential. The plan sets a vision for the future of mobility, and details key action items, including continuing to cut red tape, reducing business costs, helping companies innovate and develop new technologies, investing in skills, and positioning the sector for future growth and competitiveness. Phase 2, which will be released in 2019-20, will build on this work and address longer-term challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) was a $10 million initiative to assist small- and medium-sized automotive suppliers to innovate by adopting advanced manufacturing technologies and processes. The program received high demand and positive feedback from industry and is credited with the creation and/or retention of more than 1,300 jobs. Building on ASCIP’s success, in February 2019 the government announced a $10 million investment over three years toward the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP). O-AMP is part of the government’s Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector plan to boost competitiveness in the auto and manufacturing sectors.

Also, under the Ontario government’s Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector plan and in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the government has increased its investment in the Autonomous Vehicles Innovation Network (AVIN) by $5 million, to a total of $85 million to reinforce Ontario’s advantage in the highly competitive and evolving auto sector. Through resources such as R&D funding, talent development, technology acceleration, business and technical supports, and demonstration grounds, AVIN provides critical support to help Ontario-based connected and autonomous vehicle (C/AV) companies gain a foothold in the marketplace. It allows innovative Ontario firms to leverage large corporate partners to develop globally competitive, made-in-Ontario technologies to shape the future of transportation and mobility while developing talent for jobs of the future.

The Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) makes it easier for businesses to access world-class equipment and expertise to solve factory floor and production line challenges. Composed of three Ontario universities — McMaster, Waterloo, and Western — the consortium collaborates with industry partners on industrial innovation projects to support Ontario’s leadership in advanced manufacturing. From July to December 2018, AMC infrastructure was accessed more than 700 times by more than 170 companies. This helps businesses prototype new products and product advances, diagnose and solve large-scale factory floor challenges and build a skilled workforce by training workers on next-generation manufacturing processes.

The ministry engaged with regional economic stakeholders across the province to better understand regional priorities and issues, including partnering with regional leadership groups to support the development, refinement and identification of opportunities to support regional strategy documents within government.

Technology, research and innovation

In the April 2019 Budget, the Province reinforced its focus on creating the conditions for growth and outlined research and commercialization as one of its four key economic priorities.

To support the upcoming Broadband and Cellular Strategy and Action Plan, Ontario is investing in two complementary initiatives that will form the backbone infrastructure for the next phase of Ontario’s digital economy. The first, Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation (ENCQOR) is a $400 million initiative delivered in partnership with the province of Quebec and the Government of Canada, as well as five global digital technology multinationals (Ericsson, Ciena, Thales, IBM-Bromont, CGI). MEDJCT is providing $66.7 million in funding for this initiative to build the world’s first pre-commercial 5G test corridor.

The second, Next Generation Networks (CENGN) are software-controlled platforms that significantly improve bandwidth and allow for seamless connectivity between all communications technologies. MEDJCT is providing $63.3 million for this initiative. Including matching industry and partner contributions, this program represents a five-year investment of more than $115 million. Together, these innovative initiatives will connect cars to the roads they’re on, doctors to the personal medical devices of their patients, and learners to augmented-reality classrooms.

Through the Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence program, the ministry disbursed 180 payments to 105 projects and committed $91.4 million to 47 new contracts related to support the research related operational costs. Additionally, through the Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure program, the ministry disbursed 380 payments to 362 projects and committed $18.6 million to 81 new projects to help support infrastructure needs. The Early Researcher Award program committed $10.4 million to 74 projects to help promising, recently appointed Ontario Researchers build their research teams.

Ministry organization chart

  • Minister, Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade - Hon. Todd A. Smith
    • Chief of Staff, Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade - Mark Lawson
    • Deputy Minister, Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade - Shirley Phillips
      • Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister - Jean Abou-Saab
      • Director, Legal Services - Maud Murray
      • Director, Communications - Valerie Hopper
      • Chief Administrative Officer & Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services - Todd Kilpatrick
        • Director, Strategic Human Resources - Christina Critelli
        • Director, Business Planning & Finance - Lawrence Wagner
        • Director, Service Mgt. & Facilities - Nelson Janicas
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic Development Policy - Jennifer Block
        • Director, Strategic & Corp. Policy - Sirad Mohamoud
        • Director, Economic Data Analytics - Richard Kikuta
        • Director, Economic Development Policy - Vacant
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry & Sector Strategy - Trevor Dauphinee
        • Director, Automotive Industry - Joe Veloce
        • Director, Advanced Manufacturing Industries - Brian Love
        • Director, Advanced Technologies - Andrew Guy
        • Director, Sector Strategy - stephanie Appave
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Trade & Investment - David Barnes
        • Director, Foreign Direct Investment Services - Carla Tsambourlianos
        • Director, Internal Trade Engagement - Matthew Gordon
        • Director, Int’l Trade & Investment Strategy - Rakhi Lad
        • Executive Director, Int’l Trade Engagement - Hugo Cameron
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Marketing & International Representation - Alexandra Sutton
        • Director, Int’l Business Development - Corie McDougall
        • Director, Marketing & Creative Services - Alisa Mackay
        • Director, Int’l Representation - Sharanjeet Kaur
        • Director, Export Business Services - Enrico Di Nino
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Regional Development & Job Creation - Michael Reid
        • Director, Talent & Entrepreneurship - Julia Gallo
        • Director, Regional Economic Development - David Meyer
        • Director, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program - Suzanne Hastie
        • Director, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Business Services - Ken Nakahara
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Research, Science & Commercialization - Rachel Simeon
        • Director, Scale-Up Services - George Cadete
        • CEO, Ontario Capital Growth Corp. - Steve Romanyshyn
        • Director, Science & Research - Katherine Kelly-Gatten
        • Director, Commercialization & Scale-Up Networks - Dolly Goyette
      • Assistant Deputy Minister, Business Partnerships & Programs - Nadia Cornacchia
        • Director, Program Transformation - Kathryn Royal
        • Director, Funding Administration - Clara Chan
        • Director, Training Programs - Vacant
        • Director, Business Services - Joanne Anderson

Agencies, boards and commissions

Ontario Capital Growth Corporation

The Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC) was established to receive, hold, administer and otherwise deal with the interest of the Government of Ontario in the limited partnership known as the Ontario Venture Capital Fund LP. As manager of the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund, OCGC is responsible for acquiring, managing and otherwise dealing with a portfolio of investments in businesses that the corporation considers to be emerging technology businesses. Additionally, OCGC can participate in the formation of funds, acquire interests in the funds, and to hold, administer and otherwise deal with those interests, where each fund meets the following criteria:

  • Receives funding directly or indirectly from, among others, one or more of the following; the Government of Canada, the corporation, and private sector entities
  • Goals include promoting the creation of a globally competitive venture capital industry, increasing the supply and effective deployment of early-stage investment capital and increasing the supply of top-performing fund managers to manage venture capital investment in Ontario and Canada
  • Invests in one or both of the following; other funds that supply venture capital to companies, and innovative companies that require venture capital
  • Managed by a private sector fund manager and perform any additional objectives specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council

OCGC has purchased limited partnership interests in the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund LP, ScaleUP Venture Fund I LP, Yaletown Innovation Growth LP, and is committing funds towards expected limited partnership investments through a Life Sciences Venture Fund initiative.

Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation

The Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation (OIIC) was established in 1999 to invest the funds received under the federal Immigrant Investor Program to support economic development and job creation. The federal program has been terminated. OIIC continued to manage its funds and will wind down once its repayment obligations are satisfied.

Ontario Investment and Trade Advisory Council

The Ontario Investment and Trade Advisory Council was established to provide strategic advice and support to the government on promoting Ontario to the world as a premier location for business investment and business immigration.

The agency has not been active since 2010 and does not receive any funding. The agency has no budget and no employees and will wind down in the upcoming fiscal year.

Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board

The Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board reviews and assesses Ontario Research Fund and Early Researcher Award funding proposals and makes recommendations to the Minister. The board also provides strategic advice to the Minister on the research agenda to keep Ontario competitive and prosperous.

Detailed financial information

Table 2: Combined operating and capital summary by vote

Change from Estimates
2018-19footnote 2

Interim Actuals
2018-19footnote 2
2017-18footnote 2

Operating Expense - Ministry Administration Program22,169,600(3,869,900)(14.9)26,039,50026,039,50025,298,280
Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Program730,310,300(212,114,600)(22.5)942,424,900858,119,230922,186,995
Less: Special Warrants
Total Operating Expense to be Voted
Special Warrantsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Statutory Appropriations507,187(111,855)(18.1)619,042619,04215,330,448
Ministry Total Operating Expense752,987,087(216,096,355)(22.3)969,083,442884,777,772962,815,723
Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation 222,200 (907,800)(80.3)1,130,0001,064,7004,089,339
Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Hospitals(14,994,000) (345,000)n/a(14,649,000) (14,289,900)(13,515,519)
Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Ontario Capital Growth Corporation(30,321,200)6,201,700n/a(36,522,900) (26,627,800)(85,597,852)
Operating Expense Adjustment – Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account Reclassificationn/a(51,000,000)(100.0)51,000,00051,000,00068,391,813
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments707,894,087(262,147,455)(27.0)970,041,542895,924,772936,183,504
Operating Assets - Ministry Administration Program1,000n/an/a1,000n/an/a
Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Program10,000,000(30,001,000)(75.0)40,001,000n/a3,730,273
Less: Special Warrants - Total Operating Assets to be Voted10,001,000(30,001,000)(75.0)40,002,000n/a3,730,273
Special Warrantsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Statutory Appropriationsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Ministry Total Operating Assets10,001,000(30,001,000)(75.0)40,002,000n/a3,730,273
Capital Expense - Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Program93,403,000(6,800,000)n/a100,203,000101,174,00082,090,665
Less: Special Warrantsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Total Capital Expense to be Voted93,403,000(6,800,000)(6.8)100,203,000101,174,00082,090,665
Special Warrantsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Statutory Appropriations1,000n/an/a1,0001,000n/a
Ministry Total Capital Expense93,404,000(6,800,000)(6.8)100,204,000101,175,00082,090,665
Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Hospitals(15,886,000)5,245,400n/a(21,131,400) (26,630,100)(11,463,880)
Consolidation & Other Adjustments - Colleges(3,178,000)(1,181,400)n/a(1,996,600) (2,401,400)(2,259,962)
Total Including Consolidation & Other Adjustments74,340,000(2,736,000)(3.5)77,076,00072,143,50068,366,823
Capital Assets - Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Program2,000n/an/a2,000n/an/a
Less: Special Warrantsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Total Capital Assets to be Voted2,000n/an/a2,000n/an/a
Special Warrantsn/an/an/an/an/an/a
Ministry Total Capital Assets2,000n/an/a2,000n/an/a
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)782,234,087(264,883,455)(25.3)1,047,117,542968,068,2721,004,550,327

For additional financial information, see:

Expenditure Estimates

Public Accounts of Ontario 2013-2014

2019 Ontario Budget


For information please contact:

Business Planning and Finance Branch
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Tel: 416-325-6421


Statutes administered by The Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Community Small Business Investment Funds Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 18 in respect of Part III.2 and in the application of the provisions of Part I, Part IV and the regulations to or in respect of an investment corporation registered or previously registered under Part III.2

Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.27

Ontario Capital Growth Corporation Act, 2008, S.O. 2008, c. 19, Schedule O

Burden Reduction Reporting Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 12, Sched. 1

Development Corporations Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D. 10

Partnerships for Jobs and Growth Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 12, Sched. 2

Reducing Regulatory Costs for Business Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 20, Sched. 4

Water Opportunities Act, 2010, S.O. 2010, c. 19, Schedule 1, in respect of Part II

Attracting Investment and Creating Jobs Act, 2012, S.O. 2012, c. 10

Ontario Immigration Act, 2015, S.O. 2015, c. 8 except sections 2 and 3 of Part 1 as they relate to matters other than the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program; except Part III; and except section 21 of Part IV as it relates to matters other than the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Appendix: 2018-19 annual report

2018-19 achievements

The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) supports a strong, innovative economy that can provide jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all Ontarians.

Internal efficiency measures

  • As part of the government’s new Cabinet on June 29th, MEDJCT was created by merging three ministries into one. As a result of this merger, the ministry was able to achieve efficiencies by combining four former Minister’s Offices into one. Further, the ministry reorganized its branches and divisions to better align with the current government’s priorities, which resulted in efficiencies in staffing and administration with no involuntary job loss.
  • The ministry’s call centre service for 1-800-GOTRADE was phased out after a value-for-money review. All calls are now handled in-house.
  • As an alternative to providing sponsorship funding to large-scale events and conferences taking place in Ontario, the ministry has implemented an in-kind contribution model that enables cost-control and direct delivery of site tours, business-to-business meetings and information sessions that effectively showcase Ontario’s key industries and sectors. Where possible, the ministry uses the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre to reduce overhead costs.
  • Cost-sharing agreements with industry and government partners are brokered on a case-by-case basis for international engagements where it is a matter of protocol to offer hospitality.

Modernizing business supports

  • The government committed to undertaking a review of all business support programs to determine their effectiveness, value-for-money and sustainability. The review found that the business support programs were not aligned with the priorities of the current government, were fragmented across multiple ministries, and lacked sufficient evidence to measure their value.
    • In response to this review, the government has introduced the Open for Jobs Blueprint (OJB), which establishes a new vision and approach for Ontario’s business supports programs. The OJB will be focused on the following four principles:
      • Accessibility
      • Fiscal Responsibility
      • Coordination and Scalability
      • Outcomes-Focused
  • As part of the government’s efforts to reduce spending, most funding streams under the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, including the New Economy Stream, have been closed. The ministry is modernizing its programs by assessing their relevance in driving economic growth in areas of investment attraction, research and commercialization, and entrepreneurship and talent, with a focus on supporting job creation and business growth.
  • Existing business support contracts approved prior to June 2018 are being honoured. MEDJCT disbursed over $190 million in business support program funding in 2018-19. Performance requirements, such as a specific number of jobs created, and a specific amount of private money invested, are in place to make sure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely.

Technology adoption seminars for SMEs

  • The ministry played a key role in planning and delivering Technology Adoption Seminars to help SME manufacturers adopt digital manufacturing technologies. More than 200 people attended three different events:
    • October 2018 in Barrie with 89 attendees
    • January 2018 in Windsor with 61 attendees
    • March 2019 in Scarborough with 85 attendees
  • Most attendees were senior management from manufacturing companies. At each of these events, 80% or more of the attendees reported that they would pursue a smart manufacturing strategy/project in 12 months or less as a result of what they learned at the seminar. All event funding was provided by ministry partners.

Economic development and competitiveness policy

  • The ministry provides strategic policy advice to internal and external partners, including:
    • Developing the Open for Jobs Blueprint, a plan that will modernize Ontario’s business support programs and make sure that they help create good jobs and grow the economy
    • Advancing work on building a demand-driven skills and talent ecosystem through an inter-ministerial talent and skills committee, established in May 2018 and co-chaired in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (TCU)
    • Contributing policy and data input to TCU in the development of new economic impact metrics for TCU’s 2020-25 Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMAs) with the province’s 45 publicly funded universities and colleges to ensure the prioritization of economic development and job creation by postsecondary institutions
    • Delivering strategic policy advice and economic development expertise on the government’s Data Strategy to ensure that data is being used for the province’s economic benefit, while protecting privacy and security
  • The ministry has also supported the following activities related to economic development and competitiveness policy:
    • Identifying current and future economic development issues
    • Relaunching a strategic framework to proactively evaluate economic competitiveness gaps and opportunities
    • Monitoring and identifying trends and factors with the potential to impact economic competitiveness and growth by working with other ministries and external partners to assess, evaluate and recommend policy options that advance the ministry’s mandate. Examples include support to transforming business supports, the Open for Jobs Blueprint and an assessment of the use of alternate business support tools that contribute to making Ontario a leading jurisdiction to invest and grow a business
    • Providing economic development (encompassing domestic, trade, and advanced technology) advice, research, and data analysis, and ministry access to commercial intelligence and statistical information. These resources are used by the ministry to enable evidence-based decision-making and support the ministry’s key priorities

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

  • OINP achieved its 2018 nomination allocation, with a total of 6,850 nominations issued to successful applicants across all program streams.
    • The OINP met its full 2018 nomination allocation in early November. In December, the federal government granted Ontario an additional 250 nominations, which were allocated before year end.
    • This brought the total number of nominations in 2018 to 6,850 principal applicants. Those applications included 6,721 spouses and dependents for a total of 13,571 new immigrants to Ontario.
    • In 2018, the OINP saw a high number of nominations in technology-related occupations. Approximately 25% of all nominations were to individuals citing work experience or a job offer in a high-tech occupation, including software engineers and designers, computer programmers, interactive media developers, IT systems analysts and technology consultants.
    • The program also surpassed its 5% target for Francophone immigration, reaching a program high of 7.7% or 526 Francophone nominees. Most applicants received nominations under the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream and the Human Capital Priorities Stream.
    • Nominees in 2018 came from over 140 different countries, with applicants from India and China receiving the highest number of nominations.
    • At least 36% of nominees already had a job offer in Ontario prior to nomination. More than 94% held a postsecondary degree and at least 60% had high language skills (Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or above) in at least one of Canada’s official languages.
2018 OINP Nominations by Stream
StreamNumber of Nominations
Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream1,254
Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream35
Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream934
PhD Graduate Stream175
Masters Graduate Stream1,215
Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream648
Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream2,190
Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream387
Business Streams12
Grand Total6,850


  • The Entrepreneurship Support Unit developed a Performance Measurement Framework for Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) Core Services, Starter Company Plus and Summer Company initiatives. The framework will strengthen data accountability and reliability to provide the ministry with the necessary information to effectively evaluate program performance, policies and expected outcomes. As a result, program data can support future evidence-based decision-making.  

Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs

  • The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs is aimed to support Ontario’s businesses seeking to start, grow or scale. Through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Ontario offers a range of province-wide programs and supports to assist entrepreneurs starting and growing new companies — from local businesses to technology-based companies aspiring to become global leaders.
  • ONE member organizations include: 17 funded Regional Innovation Centres (RICs), 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres, Ontario Centres of Excellence, MaRS and Communitech.
  • While full year 2018-19 results are not yet available the ONE focused on helping Ontario’s innovators and entrepreneurs to:
    • Create new jobs
    • Leverage investments
    • Serve clients through training, expert advice and mentorship

Investment Accelerator Fund

  • By industry standard measures, the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) is achieving best-in-class performance. As of 2018-19, the IAF’s portfolio has increased to over 140 firms, or about three times the size of a comparable private firm. Every $1 invested by the IAF leverages another $17 for its portfolio firms, leading to over $1 billion in capital invested in Ontario companies.

 Ontario Capital Growth Corporation

  • OCGC’s investments continued to perform well in 2018-19 on all measures: returns on investment, leveraging additional funds, and generating jobs and R&D. The most recent estimate of the value of OCGC’s portfolio shows an increase in value of 28 percent over originally invested capital. The OCGC was positively reviewed by the Agency Review Task Force and the ministry’s EY Business Support Program Review. The agency continues work on a life sciences venture capital fund initiative, and an initiative whereby OCGC will select and invest in several more venture capital funds.

Vector Institute

  • Vector continues to attract world-class researchers and implement activities for students, researchers and companies to learn and collaborate. Since its launch in March 2017, it has generated $45 million over five years in industry commitments from 35 partners. In 2018, it awarded 66 scholarships to students from nine universities, and for the 2019 cohort, 79 students from 11 universities studying in AI-related programs have received scholarship offers. Additionally, it has been among a series of catalysts for over $1 billion of announced AI- and tech-related investments, including, in 2018 and 2019, from leading companies such as Etsy, Samsung, Microsoft and Uber.

Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence

  • Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence provides researchers with the support to undertake cutting-edge research and promotes research excellence in Ontario by supporting transformative, internationally significant research of strategic value to the province. The fund focuses on scientific excellence and strong commercialization potential and targets new, leading edge research initiatives.
  • Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence program disbursed 180 payments to 105 projects and committed $91.4 million to 47 new contracts.

Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure

· Supports the modernization, development and acquisition of new research infrastructure. The fund ensures researchers have the funds to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and facilities which enable research institutions to attract the best talent and create capacity to conduct world-leading research.

  • The ORF-RI program supports research and technology development through:
    • Large Infrastructure Fund - helps cover the costs of building/renovating and equipping facilities to conduct large-scale, collaborative academic research
    • Small Infrastructure Fund - helps cover the costs of acquiring/renewing research equipment (e.g., specimens, scientific collections, computer software, information databases)
    • College Industry Innovation Fund - provides colleges with state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to foster partnerships with the private sector and support business innovation
  • Ontario Research Fund - Research Infrastructure program disbursed 380 payments to 362 projects and committed $18.6 million to 81 new projects.

Early Researcher Awards

  • The Early Researcher Award program helps promising, recently appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams. The goal of the program is to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent.
  • The program funded Canada’s newest Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Donna Strickland, from the University of Waterloo.
  • The Early Researcher Award program committed $10.4 million to 74 new contracts.

IBM Innovation Incubator Project

  • I3 provides Ontario companies with technological resources such as supercomputing and big data analytics tools, physical space and specialized expertise to be more competitive, access skilled talent and grow their businesses.
  • The project is on track to benefit more than 500 companies and create more than 2,600 jobs in Ontario by 2020.

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Program

  • ASCIP assisted small- and medium-sized auto parts companies to adopt industry-leading software, hardware and/or provide training to improve processes and boost competitiveness.
  • In 2018-19, ASCIP approved 59 projects with $4.32 million government funding that leveraged $6.57 million of industry investment.
  • The program is now fully committed and closed for new applications. ASCIP invested $10 million over three years to support process improvements at 114 companies. Ontario’s investment levered private-sector funding of $17.9 million and created or retained 1,331 jobs.

Autonomous Vehicles Innovation Network

The Autonomous Vehicles Innovation Network’s (AVIN) support for start-ups and SMEs in Ontario’s growing connected and autonomous vehicle sector includes project funding requiring matching from private-sector sources. Matching contribution levels under the original program guidelines allowed program funding to cover up to 50% of eligible project costs up to $1 million. Following the announcement of the Driving Prosperity automotive plan, program contributions toward projects were adjusted to 33% of eligible project costs for the Autonomous Vehicle R&D and the new Wintertech program streams, which increased value for money for the investment of public funds. Matching levels for the Talent Development program stream remain unchanged.

In 2018-19, AVIN achieved the following milestones:

  • Funded 12 AV R&D partnership projects between SMEs and large organizations, with $6.8 million and leveraged $8.2 million in industry-matching contributions
  • Sponsored 26 talent development projects, supporting 30 interns and 11 fellows with $1.3 million, and leveraged $1.7 million in industry-matching contributions
  • Established six regional technology development sites (RTDSs) in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo and Windsor and onboarded over 50 SMEs for access to facilities and support to develop, test and validate their technologies. Early successes for the RTDS network include Windsor being selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the three cities to participate in a year-long pilot study for integrated mobility systems to improve citizens’ lives
  • Launched first call for technology for the Demonstration Zone at Stratford to support vehicle integration and demonstration. Technology applications are open and reviewed in an ongoing basis moving forward

Advanced Manufacturing Consortium

  • Industry has accessed the Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (AMC) infrastructure more than 700 times, with over 170 companies contributing over $4 million in cash towards 307 projects (from July to December 2018); 176 highly qualified persons (HQPs) were trained, with 21 of these HQPs newly hired within the participating companies.

Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation

  • ENCQOR is foundational to the upcoming Broadband and Cellular Strategy and Action Plan, helping to ensure that Ontario will remain open for business for generations to come. In 2018-19, ENCQOR met or exceeded its key targets and milestones. Testbeds are now in service at Invest Ottawa, Communitech and MaRS hub sites and communicating between all five Ontario and Quebec hubs. Anchor firms have exceeded employee targets by 50% with over 130 demonstration projects in the pipeline and/or in the application process.

Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks

  • CENGN has engaged 284 Ontario small businesses and supported the design and implementation of 25 new demonstration or proof-of-concept projects. Twenty-eight new partnerships were created, which resulted in $15 million in venture capital raised, $5 million in new revenue, and the creation of 66 new jobs for partner companies. CENGN also began the rural and Northern broadband programs as well as the Smart Mining and Smart Agriculture initiatives.

Table 3: Ministry interim actual expenditures 2018-19

n/aMinistry Interim Actual Expenditures ($M) 2018-19footnote 3
Staff Strengthfootnote 4 (as of March 31, 2019)526.95

Glossary of terms

AMC – Advanced Manufacturing Consortium

ASCIP – Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program

AVIN – Autonomous Vehicles Innovation Network

C/AV – Connected and Autonomous Vehicle

CENGN – Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks

CLB – Canadian Language Benchmark

CPTPP – Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans–Pacific Partnership

CUSMA – Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement

ENCQOR – Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation

EPDP – Economic Development Policy Division

FDI – Foreign Direct Investment

FOI – Freedom of information

GSIC – Government Services Integration Cluster

HQP – Highly Qualified Persons

I3 – IBM Innovation Incubator Project

IAF – Investment Accelerator Fund

IO – Infrastructure Ontario

KPI – Key Performance Indicators

MEDJCT – Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

MTO – Ministry of Transportation

NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement

O-AMP – Ontario Automotive Modernization Program

OCGC – Ontario Capital Growth Corporation

ODOE – Other Direct Operating Expenses

OIIC – Ontario Immigrant Investor Corporation

OINP – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

OJB – Open for Jobs Blueprint

ONE – Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs

OPCD – Office of the Provincial Controller Division

ORF – Ontario Research Fund

ORF-RE – Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence

ORF-RI – Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure

R&D – Research and Development

RIC – Regional Innovation Centres

RTDS – Regional Technology Development Sites

SBEC – Small Business Enterprise Centres

SHRB – Strategic Human Resources Branch

SMA – Strategic Mandate Agreements

SME – Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

TCU – Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

T&ID – Trade and Investment Division

TIO – Ontario’s Trade and Investment Offices