Report points to a $19 billion infrastructure gap which must be addressed through new accountabilities in Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
The Dufferin Board of Trade, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), released Building Better: Setting the 2017 Ontario Infrastructure Plan up for success, a report calling on the Ontario Government to implement key recommendations in its imminent Long-Term Infrastructure Plan (LTIP) that will help ensure accountable planning and building resilient, adaptable infrastructure for the future.
With relatively stagnant infrastructure investment since the 1970s, the province of Ontario currently faces a significant infrastructure gap, where it would need an estimated $19 billion to improve current infrastructure alone. The gap exists because governments have not invested in upholding original infrastructure and Ontario’s harsher climate has contributed to the deterioration of the province’s infrastructure.
The Government’s LTIP is expected to be released this fall with stakeholders greatly anticipating its release. Ontario’s Chamber Network is contributing to the development of the LTIP by recommending that:
- While the Government has made significant infrastructure investments, it should bring fresh accountability methods around how infrastructure dollars are spent to ensure spending and planning are transparent;
- Governments of all levels should confront challenges of the 21st century by ensuring planning considers how we can build infrastructure that is resilient and adaptable and deals with variables such as climate change; and that,
- The Long-Term Infrastructure Plan must be strategic, robust, and based on long-term thinking.
Research shows that investment in infrastructure, such as roads, transportation, communication, utilities and more, have resulted in lowered business costs and increased labour productivity. It is estimated that for every $1 billion in infrastructure spending, 16,700 jobs are supported for one year and the GDP sees a $1.14 billion increase.