The Doug Ford government is proposing a new tax credit to help manufacturers “grow, innovate, become more competitive and create jobs.”

The announcement was made a day before the Progressive Conservatives are set to table their 2023 budget.

The new legislation would create a 10 per cent refundable corporate income tax credit of up to $2 million a year for Canadian-controlled private corporations.

The tax credit would apply to “qualifying investments in buildings, machinery and equipment,” officials said, and would provide about $780 million over the next three years in support to businesses.

Speaking at a news conference held Wednesday, Ford said the tax credit was part of his government’s plan to rebuild the manufacturing sector.

“As we navigate global economic uncertainty, and as we face new challenges like protectionist legislation in the United States, we know there's more to do to help our manufacturing companies remain competitive,” the premier said.

“And this is just one of the many initiatives we're taking to grow or manufacturing sectors across the province.”

Ford made the announcement alongside Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, who said Ontario’s manufacturing sector saw a decline in employment of over 300,000 workers between 2004 and 2018.

“In 2022, our government secured more than 150 investment deals from a wide range of sectors. including automotive technology, manufacturing and life sciences,” he said.

“As part of tomorrow's budget, our plan will continue to attract investments, create jobs and drive economic growth during a time of uncertainty.”

The tax credit is the newest of a series of business-friendly announcements made over the last few weeks. On Tuesday, the government said it would spend $224 million to build and upgrade training centres.

NDP Leader Marit Stiles criticized the government for spending money on corporations instead of people.

“I really want to see from this government is some measures that are going to actually help real Ontarians who are really struggling right now all across this province,” she said.

“I hope that we'll see that tomorrow.”

The government has been silent about what else Ontarians can expect in the budget. When asked by reporters if there would be targeted supports for individuals struggling with high inflation and interest rates, Bethlenfalvy instead touted the PC’s 2022 budget commitments.

This included a $15.50 minimum wage, an increase to the low income individual family tax credit, and the doubling of the guaranteed annual income for low income seniors.

“We've done a lot of things and we're going to continue going because we know that things have been tough in this province and we'll talk about it some more tomorrow.”

Ford added that other initiatives, such as providing refunds for licence plate stickers, getting rid of tolls on Highways 412 and 417, and the gas tax credit helped “put money back into people’s pockets.”