Allan O'Dette
February 27, 2018

Canadians are so modest. Why is that? Notwithstanding some tough challenges, we live in the best country – and the best province – in the world!

Whenever I think about my children, I know their future is here in Ontario. At the heart of my work as the province's Chief Investment Officer is a passion for helping Ontario flourish, in part, so it's a place that my kids will want to stay to live and work.

I believe, without question, that this is the best place in the world to build a life. But in characteristically Canadian fashion, we don't regularly shout from the CN Tower about just how phenomenal a place this is to live. The world is taking notice of all the reasons the province is a great place to do business, so Ontarians should shed some of their humility and join the rally cry.

We are the modern, 21st century jurisdiction that international entrepreneurs and business leaders are looking for to grow their companies and raise their families. We are also deeply committed to protecting our quality of life. The mix is unstoppable. Here are a few reasons why Ontario's softer side is taking the spotlight.

We're committed to diversity

Ontario has a vibrant culture that's second-to-none. The heart of our success is our ability to accept and leverage our diverse interests and experience.

Ontario is the most diverse province in Canada, with more than 200 languages spoken within our borders and more than 100,000 newcomers joining us every year. That means our province can supply the world with ideas, products and innovations that are truly unique.

We're attracting the best talent from around the globe, and our immigration policy makes it easier for businesses to hire the best and brightest from here or abroad. A recent Canadian government initiative now issues work permits or temporary visas in two weeks – rather than two years – making it faster for businesses to secure the talent they need to succeed.

Taking learning seriously

Both of my sons attend university in Ontario and I'm proud of the way our education system molds the minds of tomorrow.

We take learning seriously, from junior kindergarten, to our leading colleges and universities. We even have a special focus at the elementary level on the growing STEM fields, further preparing our kids for a future being disrupted by innovation.

We have one of the most educated workforces in the world – 68 per cent of adults have completed post-secondary education.

Strength in community

A healthy business ecosystem is one that is diverse, with a balance of startups, medium-sized companies and large enterprises. We need firms from all levels to contribute to Ontario's success.

Why? Because the world is paying attention.

The Economist ranked Toronto as the fourth most livable city in the world in 2016. The Mercer Index, meanwhile, ranked Ottawa and Toronto higher than Silicon Valley, Boston and New York for their quality of life.

The province has a flourishing arts and culture scene, and we're home to world-class baseball, basketball, hockey and more. In other words, there's a little something for everyone.

But most importantly, business leaders in fields from traditional manufacturing to emerging tech are discovering what Ontario has to offer. New products and innovations are churned out across the province every day, and people are finding happiness and stability here.

We are not without issues to solve to remain competitive, but let's no longer be too polite to brag about our success – because Ontario is something to talk about and it's where amazing lives!

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