Ontario offers incentives to kick start green tech revolution

Tax breaks and grant aid could await environmental companies prepared to set up shop in Canada's most prosperous province.

Ontario, home to the country's biggest city Toronto, is trying to encourage overseas investors to plough cash into the province's growing green tech sector and also providing incentives to start-ups willing to set up shop within its borders.

The next four years will also see a fall of over 4% in corporate taxes , for example, while according to the province's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the cost of doing business in Ontario is already relatively low - particularly when compared with the economic powerhouses of Europe - and its competitive advantage is on a par with Singapore.

When it comes to funding green-tech start ups or providing major investment to what is already there the ministry offers to pick up 15% of the bill for projects investing $25m or creating 100 jobs or more over a five year period, smallprint aside.

Ivan Krmpotic, senior advisor of the department's Next Generation of Jobs Fund, said: "The government feels that Ontario is strong in the manufacturing and service sector and in order to remain strong and competitive we need to introduce that green aspect to it. That's an aspect this government is prepared to invest in."

The fund aims to keep Ontario at the cutting edge of clean technology design and manufacture in North America.

Government analysis sees the sector as an increasingly important area and policies have been put in place to try to secure a generous slice of the commercial cake for Ontario.

At the launch of the fund, Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, said: "We're stepping up because Ontario is not going to let others steal our future out from under us - we will produce the next wave of clean technologies that create jobs and clean up the environment."

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra Pupatello added: "We're sending the message to companies around the world that if you've got a project that will grow your business and create jobs, we'll make it happen in Ontario."

Sam Bond



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