The Government of Ontario has released its new plan detailing a commitment to “build Ontario up” through continued investments in public infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges. Building Better Lives: Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan 2017 confirms that the government’s record investment in public infrastructure—about $190 billion over 13 years—is on track, and includes new measures designed to respond to the changing needs of communities.
“Infrastructure is much more than bricks and mortar,” said Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure. “It is the schools our children attend, the water we drink, the hospitals where we welcome new life and the roads that carry us home to our loved ones each day. Infrastructure is about people, and that is why it is fitting that our Long-Term Infrastructure Plan focuses on building better lives.”
The plan highlights how Ontario is:
• Integrating climate change considerations into infrastructure planning to ensure environmental sustainability
• Building resilient and substantive infrastructure in an era of accelerated change and disruptive technologies
• Better linking public infrastructure investments to social policy initiatives, such as community benefits projects and apprenticeships that support more jobs and training opportunities
• Improving access to critical infrastructure such as broadband connectivity for communities across Ontario, whether in rural, Northern or urban areas
• Ensuring broader community need is taken into consideration in infrastructure planning and public property decision-making through the implementation of a Social Purpose Real Estate strategy
• Informing people about new infrastructure being built in their neighbourhoods through an interactive online map of over 3,500 projects across the province
The plan also includes Ontario’s first-ever asset inventory describing the condition, age and value of provincial infrastructure assets by sector.
“Infrastructure plays a crucial role in building a prosperous Ontario, as it supports growth and helps our province better compete in the global economy,” said Richard Koroscil, Interim President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan puts into action a strategy that will empower businesses and families to create a cohesive society that is attractive to investment. Transit, hospitals, schools, broadband technology and affordable energy are all essential to a vision that will enable inclusive economic development in Ontario.”
• A study by the Centre for Spatial Economics found that, over the long term, real GDP in Ontario rises up to $6 on average per dollar of public infrastructure spending.
• Ontario’s infrastructure investments are supporting, on average, more than 125,000 jobs each year and helping create vibrant, sustainable communities where families and businesses can thrive.
• The government will allocate up to $400 million this year from the Trillium Trust to support investments in public transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure projects.