“This is good news for our company, but bad news for Ontario.”
-Byron Nelson, Founder and CEO
TORONTO — A Toronto-based manufacturer of fasteners says it is opening its new manufacturing facility in the United States because rising energy costs have made Ontario uncompetitive for investment.
Leland Industries has about 220 employees at its plants in Toronto and Waterloo, Ontario. Nelson says Leland’s business is increasing and expanding, but Ontario’s high electricity costs make it hard for the company to compete globally. “We’ve prided ourselves that a Canadian manufacturer with the right people, processes, and technologies, can compete with anyone in the world,” he said. “But, we can no longer compete with the escalating energy costs we are seeing here in Ontario.” Leland is staying away from investments in Ontario moving forward because “the costs are just out of sight.” However, Illinois is an opportunity for major expansion in production capacity.
Jocelyn Williams Bamford — vice president of Automatic Coating Limited and spokeswoman for the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers in Ontario — said Leland isn’t the only one moving out of Ontario. Smaller and medium-sized manufacturers that are looking to grow are investing outside of Ontario. “Higher energy costs leave us less money for investment. And, if manufacturers can’t invest in Ontario, it’s not good for the economy or for jobs in this province. Ultimately, it’s not good for the environment either,” she said. Competitiveness has been able to reduce emissions because they have invested in new technologies. Ontario Economic Development and Growth Minister Brad Duguid believes government doesn’t understand just yet and lacks “controlling the costs” of upgrading energy.
The Canadian government is trying, but they’re not trying hard enough. Although small and medium sized businesses will be coming across an energy cost reduction of by eight per cent, it isn’t offsetting the energy and transportation cost increases.Fasteners, News