Imagine my surprise yesterday when I received a news release from Premier Pinocchio announcing that his nine-month old “Next Generation of Jobs Fund” (originally titled "Next Generation Jobs Fund") is now accepting applications.
Now, why would such an announcement need to be made at this time? Could it be because (1) McGuinty is in a bun fight with federal finance minister Jim Flaherty over McGuinty’s crappy management of Ontario’s economy, and (2) next to nothing has happened on this file since the fund was announced last June?
As I wrote last September on the “Election Battle Blog” sponsored by TVO’s “The Agenda (I was the Ontario PC party’s designated blogger):
With the election looming, McGuinty announced something called the “Next Generation Jobs Fund” in June. Here’s what its web page says today: “Program details to follow.”
But there have been a couple of interesting changes to the “fund” since September, all while it was impossible to actually apply to the fund for a grant. Eligible investments were expanded from clean automotive and other “green” technology, to encompass health and biotech R&D, creative industries, and pharmaceutical research and manufacturing. Here's what the web page said last September:
The fund will invest in:
- The manufacture of green cars and auto parts
- The development of clean fuels, and
- The creation of clean technologies and products.
At some point since then, this was expanded. Here's what the site said on February 20:
- Clean automotive and other green technology,
- Health and biotechnology research and development,
- Creative industries (digital media and ICT), and
- Pharmaceutical research and manufacturing.
Now, the eligible industries appear to have expanded yet again, to include:
- financial services that involve global or North American mandates and the establishment of new, discrete operating units
- anchor investments to support cluster development, including in the services sector
- opportunity based or unique investments.
Yup, the McGuintyites really have a handle on this thing.