Provincial budget “the most ambitious capital plan in Ontario’s history”: Finance Minister

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            Plan includes spending bump for hospitals, highway and transit construction

Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

The Ontario government will continue with heavy investments in infrastructure plans, with more than $20 billion for highway, hospital and transit projects this year.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government tabled a budget in March that forecasts a return to surplus sooner than previously predicted, and warns of economic uncertainty related to inflation, interest rates and the war in Ukraine.

“Our government has a plan to attract investments, build key infrastructure projects, train skilled workers and make services better,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy.

            2023 Budget: Building a Strong Ontario is being called “the most ambitious capital plan in Ontario’s history,” with planned infrastructure spending of more than $184 billion over 10 years including:

  • Starting construction on key infrastructure projects including the bridge crossing over the future Bradford Bypass, the next phase of construction for the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph, continuing work to widen Highway 401 from Pickering through Eastern Ontario, as well as moving ahead with plans to build Highway 413.
  • $224 million in 2023–24 for a new capital stream of the skills development fund to leverage private-sector expertise and expand training centres, including union training halls to provide more accessible, flexible training opportunities for workers.
  • Enhancing the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program with an additional $25 million over three years to attract more skilled workers.
  • $70.5 billion for transit over the next 10 years, targeting GO Transit rail modernization and the largest subway expansion in Canadian history that includes the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
  • Over $48 billion for hospital infrastructure over the next 10 years, including 50 hospital projects that would add 3,000 new beds.
  • $15 billion in capital grants over 10 years to expand and renew schools and to help create 86,000 new childcare spaces by 2026.
  • Supporting the critical minerals strategy with $3 million in 2023–24 and $3 million in 2024–25 for the Ontario junior exploration program to help more companies search for potential mineral deposits and attract further investments.

 

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