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: Building Tomorrow’s Infrastructure

Backgrounder
November 26, 2015

2015 Budget Commitment

Ontario is making the largest public infrastructure investment in the province’s history — more than $134 billion over 10 years in highways, transit, schools, hospitals and other local infrastructure projects. This is supported by $5.7 billion in dedicated funds for infrastructure investment from asset optimization initiatives, including broadening the ownership of Hydro One.

Impact

Building and revitalizing public infrastructure will create jobs, spur economic growth, help reduce congestion, increase productivity and support public services. Ontario’s infrastructure investments are expected to support an average of more than 110,000 jobs per year. Recent research shows that, on average, one dollar of public infrastructure spending in Canada raises GDP by $1.43 in the short term and up to $3.83 in the long term.

By unlocking value from key assets, the amounts raised allow the Province to help fund priority infrastructure projects without corresponding increases in borrowing and taxes or reductions to public services. These investments are essential to strengthening Ontario’s economic growth.

Progress Report

Since April, Ontario has committed support for more than 200 infrastructure projects in communities across the province that will create jobs, keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve the lives of Ontarians where they live, work and play.

Unlocking Value to Invest in Infrastructure

  • As a result of the November Hydro One initial public offering, it is anticipated that $2.7 billion in dedicated funds will be made available for infrastructure — $1.1 billion over the 2015 Budget asset optimization target for 2015–16.

Priority Infrastructure Projects

  • Focus areas include widening key highways, repaving and rehabilitation across Ontario.
  • The Connecting Links program will provide $15 million annually to help smaller municipalities maintain and build roads connecting provincial highways.
  • Ontario is investing $25 million over three years to improve routes for cyclists across the province, including $15 million for routes that provide key connections and linkages on provincial highways. In July, the Province launched the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program, making available $10 million in dedicated funds.

Priority Transit Projects

  • Major sections of the Confederation Line, Ottawa’s 12.5-km light rail transit (LRT) project, are expected to be ready by the summer of 2017. The project is supported by a provincial funding commitment of up to $600 million.
  • To prepare for Regional Express Rail (RER), GO Transit is in the process of providing additional weekday rail trips. The RER will increase weekly GO train trips across the network to nearly 6,000 over 10 years.
  • In May, the Province announced up to $1 billion in funding for the Hamilton LRT project, covering the capital costs. Planning is also underway on the LRT line in Peel Region, running along the Hurontario corridor.
  • The Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, with a provincial investment of $5.3 billion in capital costs, is expected to be in service by September 2021.

Supporting Community Infrastructure

  • The Province is moving forward on its 10-year commitment to provide more than $11 billion in capital grants to school boards, with approximately 170 major capital school projects in planning or underway.
  • In October, Ontario opened Humber River Hospital, North America’s first fully digital hospital. Nearly 40 major hospital projects are in planning or under construction as part of the Province’s 10-year commitment to provide more than $11 billion in hospital capital grants.
  • The Province helped deliver landmark facilities for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, including the Athletes’ Village and Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium (Tim Hortons Field), which will leave a lasting legacy for Ontario communities. Work has begun to transform Toronto’s Athletes’ Village into the Canary District, providing a range of affordable housing options, including accessible units, along with a new YMCA and a residence for George Brown College students.

For more information, refer to the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review
Chapter I, Section C: Building Tomorrow’s Infrastructure and Asset Optimization