Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the government is planning to build a seamless and integrated transportation network across the Canadian province with its "Moving Ontario Forward" plan, which will create jobs, boost productivity and help Ontario grow and prosper.
The plan would put in place dedicated and substantial funding for public transit and transportation infrastructure. It would make nearly CA$29 billion (US$26.4 billion) available over the next 10 years for investments in priority infrastructure projects across the province, such as public transit, roads, bridges and highways. The province would create two dedicated funds, one for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) with up to CA$15 billion (US$13.6 billion) available for investment in transit and one for the rest of the province with nearly CA$14 billion (US$12.7 billion) available for investment in roads, bridges, transit and other critical infrastructure.
Funding sources for “Moving Ontario Forward” would include new revenue measures, repurposed revenues and a responsible level of debt financing, when needed. Measures would include:
• Repurposing the existing Harmonized Sales Tax that is charged on the current provincial taxes on gasoline and road diesel.
• Redirecting 7.5 cents of the existing gas tax. This would be over and above the permanent two cents that goes directly to municipalities to fund transit infrastructure.
• The value resulting from a review of key government assets would go to the proposed Trillium Trust and be directed towards this plan, as would;
• Proceeds from the previously announced Green Bonds program.
“Infrastructure is the backbone to our economy,” said Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure. “Providing two new dedicated funds for public transit and transportation infrastructure projects, both inside and outside the GTHA, would help advance our communities as we know them. The planned investments announced today by the premier would better serve Ontario tomorrow and well into the future.”
The province also released its Infrastructure and Transit Progress Report this week, highlighting how the government’s investments of nearly CA$100 billion (US$91 billion) to modernize public infrastructure since 2003 has helped create jobs, support businesses and improve everyday life for the people of Ontario.
Key accomplishments since 2003 include investing more than CA$9.1 billion (US$8.2 billion) in GO Transit to help provide a more affordable, reliable and comfortable alternative to driving; helping GO Transit add 10 new stations, 30,000 parking spots and 208 new rail cars and expanding PRESTO, an electronic transit fare system that allows riders to travel across multiple transit systems.
For a full list of accomplishments, click here.