Ontario budget: $137 billion planned for infrastructure in next decade

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The Ontario government says it will invest more than $137 billion over the next decade to build roads, public transit, bridges, schools and hospitals. The total will be $160 billion through 12 years, starting in 2014-15, including previously allocated funds.

“The province remains on track to generate $5.7 billion over time from maximizing the value of government-owned assets — $2.6 billion higher than originally projected in the 2014 budget,” a government news release says. “Net revenue gains from the sale of qualifying assets will be dedicated to the Trillium Trust to help fund public transit, transportation and other priority infrastructure.”

Budget highlights about infrastructure spending include:

  • $12 billion over 10 years for hospital capital grants. There are about 35 major hospital projects under construction or in various planning stages.
  • The province will invest $13.5 billion to implement GO Regional Express Rail (REW), quadrupling the number of weekly trips from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000.
  • $11 billion in capital grants will be provided to school boards to construct schools where there is rapid growth, in addition to improving the condition of existing facilities.
  • Additional funds will be made available for clean technologies. “The province is putting its new Climate Change Strategy into action by investing $100 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund to take advantage of the economic and job opportunities in clean technologies and to help homeowners reduce their energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

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