Multi-year investment plan would add to stability, growth
Special to the Ontario Construction Report
The Construction and Design Alliance of Ontario (CDAO) applauds the provincial government for renewing its commitment to rebuilding Ontario’s crumbling infrastructure.
“It is clear from Minister Sousa’s economic statement that infrastructure remains a top priority in Ontario,” says CDAO chair Clive Thurston. “We agree modern infrastructure is key to driving economic growth in the province.”
To ensure Ontario’s economy continues to provide the growth and opportunities that Ontarians have come to enjoy, investment must focus on both bringing core infrastructure up to current standards while putting in place that which is needed to support growth, says Thurston.
Core infrastructure includes such basics as roads, bridges, public transportation, water treatment and distribution, electrical power and telecommunications infrastructure. Education and health care infrastructure, as well as municipal and provincial service buildings would also fit the definition of ‘core’ as it directly improves economic competiveness and is required to sustain life.
“Core infrastructure in Ontario suffers from decades of underfunding and has left a massive ‘deficit’ that must be addressed,” says Thurston. Over the past decade municipalities have been forced to take on greater responsibility for local infrastructure. In many municipalities, especially those with larger geographical areas and smaller taxpayer bases, it is absolutely impossible to maintain infrastructure.
“It is key provincial and federal partners invest in projects to slow the rate of decline in our aging foundations,” says Thurston. “CDAO is pleased to see new funding initiatives, through the Trillium Trust and Green Bonds, will ensure dedicated dollars are spent on infrastructure and will not be lost in general revenue coffers.”
CDAO encourages the province to adopt a long-term infrastructure project investment strategy to replace the current practice of annual budget cycles. With a 10-year capital plan in place, buyers of both design and construction services as well as Ontario taxpayers will realize cost savings that arise from being able to plan business operations beyond a 12-month window. Quality, life-cycle costing and safety will be enhanced as a result of more stable, better-planned budgets and schedules as well as a better trained and prepared workforce.
The introduction of a 10-year infrastructure planning horizon provides the opportunity to identify and bring to realization one or more ‘Vision Projects’, the CDAO says in a news release. “These are the projects of scope and significance that approaches iconic. These are the projects that serve as legacies to the foresight and vision of those who championed them. They are projects that are impossible to plan or execute within the normal government planning and budgeting processes.
“CDAO is committed to working with the government for the betterment of all Ontario residents,” the news release said.
CDAO members include the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO), Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO), Mechanical Contractors Association of Ontario (MCAO), Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), Ontario Construction User Council (OCUC), Ontario Electrical League (OEL), Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), Ontario Road
Builders’ Association (ORBA), Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA), Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (PEO), Residential Construction Council of Ontario, Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario and the Surety Association of Canada.
Construction & Design Alliance of Ontario
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Patrick McConnell, MEDIAShift Communications 647-227-4250
MEDIA RELEASE November 8, 2013