Consulting Engineers of Ontario says it applauds the passage in early June of Bill 6, the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act.
“We have been working with government on this legislation for quite some time and we are pleased to see it pass the legislature,” said Barry Steinberg, the organization’s chief executive officer
The passage of the legislation sees Ontario join Québec as the only other provincial jurisdiction requiring its government to have a long-term infrastructure plan. The province will have three years to table its first plan from the date the legislation receives royal assent, and then must renew the plan at least once every five years.
The government intends to use its new strategic plan to align its infrastructure investments with its economic development and job creation priorities, while emphasizing design and planning.
“Professional engineers play an integral role in bringing the government’s infrastructure plans to life, we are very pleased this legislation recognizes our public duty,” Steinberg said. “The draft Bill was of great concern to us; it made no mention of the role of engineers while prescribing a specific role for architects,” said Steinberg. “Given the stipulations of the Professional Engineers Act, this had to change; the legislation had to maintain balance. We are happy with the solution we developed with Minister Duguid’s staff and officials.”
Also heavily emphasized in the Bill is the role of asset management plans. “CEO has consistently supported infrastructure investment as a result of sound planning. By requiring these plans and mandating they be consistent in their form, content and timing, government will be able to make sound, and accurate decisions to prioritize projects and manage their full lifecycle cost. This is what is necessary to provide innovation, value and public safety for Ontarians,” said Steinberg.