Premier Doug Ford’s Speech at the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association 2023

January 23, 2023

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — Premier Ford delivered the following remarks at the 2023 Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference.

“Well, good morning.

Thank you, Jeyan, for your introduction.

And thank you to the Rural Ontario Municipal Association and all its members for having me here today.

And isn’t it great to be here, together in person, for the first time in two years.

Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic was a once-in-a-century challenge especially for small and rural communities.

I’m so proud of how Team Ontario responded.

From our heroes on the frontlines to every one of Ontario’s 444 municipalities, we came together to keep our province safe.

I want to thank you all for the work you did and continue to do to help keep our communities safe and healthy.

As I’ve said before the small communities and townships of Ontario are the lifeblood of this province and our government will always have your backs.

Because we know that if our rural communities are successful and prosperous then all of Ontario is successful and prosperous.

My friends, our government has a plan that’s building all of Ontario.

Whether you live in Downtown Toronto, Sudbury, Thunder Bay or Goderich and everywhere in between, we’re making sure every inch of Ontario, every person and community benefits from our investments to support economic growth and protect jobs.

Our plan to build Ontario starts with building a stronger economy.

As you all know under the previous government, Ontario saw over 300,000 jobs vanish, as businesses fled to other jurisdictions.

Skyrocketing energy costs and over-regulation made it impossible for businesses here to compete.

They left in the thousands.

Each of you know best…how devastating it can be…on smaller towns and communities when companies leave.

Families struggle.

Other businesses are just as hurt.

But those days are over.

They’re done.

We’re making electricity more affordable and cutting red tape.

We’ve kept taxes and fees low.

And the result is we have reduced the cost of doing business in Ontario by seven-billion dollars a year.

That’s right. $7 billion…with a B…each and every year.

And, since our government took office in 2018, we have created over 500,000 new jobs all over the province.

These jobs…these investments…that’s money that goes back to the businesses in your community so they can invest in growth and create new jobs.

Our government is also revitalizing our auto sector helping to make Ontario an auto-manufacturing powerhouse once again.

We’re securing billions of dollars in new investments including Honda’s $1.4 billion investment to retool its Alliston assembly plant and Stellantis and LG’s historic, $5 billion investment to build Canada’s first ever electric vehicle battery plant.

I was thrilled to be on hand at General Motors last December in Ingersoll…

As the first full scale electric vehicle plant opened and trucks came off the production line.

But friends the real opportunity for Ontario…for all of Ontario…is realizing the full value of the electric vehicle supply chain.

From start to finish…from mining to manufacturing…we’re going to build the cars of the future right here in Ontario, across Ontario.

Last year in Thunder Bay, I had the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with some amazing miners as our government launched Ontario’s first-ever critical minerals strategy.

A five-year roadmap to better connect the industries, resources and workers in our province