There's a new report about the Ontario economy which the big three Ontario political party leaders are likely to selectively grab hold of to support their election campaign messages.
The Conference Board of Canada says that despite considerable challenges, the provincial economy scores a solid "B."
When it comes to employment growth, Ontario gets an "A" -- largely because of the economic rebound in the US; Ontario's largest trading partner.
The Board stresses, however, that chronically high government deficits "have made it difficult for the province to invest in education and innovation and Ontario is experiencing a long-term shift toward a more service-oriented economy."
It recommends the province specialize in new technologies.
Chief economist Glen Hodgson says in doing so, "Ontario could be a leader, instead of a laggard."
"Ontario remains a relatively healthy economy compared to its international peers," he says.
Hodgson's B-rating puts Ontario in the company of countries such as Germany, Sweden, and Austria.
Long term, the Conference Board says Ontario faces the prospects of a steady erosion of its prosperity, for a few reasons:
Most important: a decline in labour productivity. Also problematic are chronically high fiscal deficits and rising debt levels of the Ontario Government, which restricts its ability to invest in innovation and education.