2023 Ontario Budget Keeps Ontario Moving

·3 min read

Mississauga, Ont., March 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ontario Road Builders’ Association congratulates and thanks the Ontario Government’s significant increase in transportation infrastructure investments announced yesterday in the 2023 provincial budget. The budget’s title, “Building a Strong Ontario,” does just that with an almost $100 billion capital plan for highways, bridges and public transit over the next decade. Ministers Bethlenfalvy and Mulroney have clearly heard the needs of the Ontario Road Builders Association and backed up those needs with increased funding.

Yesterday’s budget announcement of $27.9 billion over the next decade for highways rehabilitation and expansion represents an increase of $2.8 billion from the projections in last year’s budget. This includes $3.2 billion for the 2023-24 fiscal year, an increase of over $300 million from 2022.

This robust funding will support much-needed projects such as Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph, enabling the future widening of Highway 401 in Eastern Ontario, the twinning of the QEW Garden City Skyway Bridge and an increase in winter road maintenance, primarily for roads servicing northern communities. Investing in important projects such as these will significantly contribute to Ontario’s economy through the creation of jobs during construction, connecting people to major employment areas and attracting more businesses to the province.

The $70.5 billion announced for transit over the next 10 years is an increase of $9 billion over 2022 projections, including $7.5 billion this fiscal year. These critical investments will further enable the expansion and service enhancements of this Ontario Government’s muscular transit plan, including GO rail, subway and light rapid transit improvements necessary to ensure the continued success of communities within the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

“Ontario’s population is expected to grow by over 37% or 5.6 million people over the next 25 years, and in order to move these people and goods across the province it is imperative that the Government invest in transportation infrastructure” said Michael McSweeney, CEO of ORBA. “These robust budget investments will support much-needed projects such as Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass and critical transit improvements which are crucial to preparing Ontario for that growth, ensuring people and goods can move more freely, enhancing communities and our economy.”

As Ontario’s population and economy grows, so too must its construction workforce. According to Buildforce, 72,000 additional construction workers will be needed to build these important projects and other aspects of this government’s infrastructure capital plan.

ORBA is pleased to see significant investments in recruitment and training, including $224 million for a new capital stream of the Skills Development Fund and enhancing the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program with an additional $25 million. Coupled with the recent announcements on mandatory technical courses in our schools and enhanced apprenticeship opportunities, these investments will help position the province’s construction workforce to build the critical infrastructure necessary for the continued success of Ontario.

“We thank this government for the unprecedented transportation infrastructure funding announced in yesterday’s budget. ORBA members look forward to doing our part to help keep Ontario Moving,” said Michael McSweeney on behalf of all ORBA Members.

Background on ORBA: The Ontario Road Builders’ Association is proud to represent the transportation infrastructure sector in Ontario. Our members build the majority of provincial and municipal roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure across the province. The road building sector directly and indirectly supports 56,000 workers and generates over $5.5 billion in annual GDP.

CONTACT: Andrew Hurd Ontario Road Builders' Association 416-804-7391 andrew.hurd@orba.org