Vaughan, ON, March 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) welcomes the Ontario Government's continued investment in critical infrastructure. Building a Strong Ontario, 2023 Ontario Budget builds on the serious progress made to expand Ontario's transportation network and supports the province's rapidly growing population.
Today's budget announcement of $27.9 billion over 10 years to advance the planning and construction of highway expansion and rehabilitation projects across the province is crucial. Building Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass, and other highway improvements will enable the faster movement of people and goods across the province, adding new infrastructure to the fastest-growing regions.
The budget's allocation of $70.5 billion for public transit infrastructure, including the Ontario Line and Scarborough Subway extension, will help grow transit-oriented communities in the most densely populated region.
"The funding to advance the Ontario Line, Bradford Bypass, and Highway 413 will help move people and goods faster, create new jobs, and better connect communities," said Nadia Todorova, Executive Director of RCCAO. "By investing in building infrastructure today, the Ontario Government is laying the foundation for Ontario's continued economic development and prosperity of tomorrow."
As Ontario's economy and population grows, demand will increase on all infrastructure, from transit, highways, roads, bridges, water and wastewater to housing.
RCCAO is also pleased to see significant investments to recruit and train a new generation of builders, including the $224 million investment this year in the Skills Development Fund, including in union training halls to train the next generation of builders to help solve Ontario's housing crisis.
When coupled with the recent provincial-federal immigration agreement, the actions taken will increase the capacity of Ontario's skilled trades and construction industry to fulfil the critical infrastructure needs of the province by welcoming more people to Ontario to help build its future. Increased levels of immigration coupled with a focus on domestic recruitment and training will help ensure that industry has the necessary workforce to build this critical infrastructure.
The $45 million for the Streamline Development Approval Fund is cause for optimism. Red tape and delays in obtaining permits slows down construction, increases costs, and makes Ontario's housing crisis worse. Improving this municipal process across the province will enable homes to be built faster.
The priorities outlined in today's budget are a recognition of the immense challenges Ontario faces now and in the years to come. RCCAO welcomes the Ontario Government's continued efforts to confront these issues with focussed investments in critical infrastructure that will set the stage for a prosperous and sustainable future for all Ontarians.
RCCAO Executive Director Nadia Todorova is available for interviews.
Background on RCCAO: The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is a labour-management construction alliance. Since its formation in 2005, RCCAO has been a leading industry advocate for infrastructure investment. It has commissioned 60 independent, solutions-based research reports to help inform decision makers.
RCCAO Members on Ontario Budget 2023:
"Ontario's 2023 budget continues to show a clear commitment to the skilled trades through ongoing support of the industry's efforts to recruit more people and provide them the training they need to succeed. In addition, the government's platform to continue tackling affordability and the housing crisis is of particular importance to our members, who are on the front lines every day building the homes, hospitals, and roads that will not only allow the province to keep going but will also improve the lives of everyone who makes Ontario their home."
International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793
"Building more homes and expanding transportation infrastructure go hand-in-hand in creating complete communities. Over the next 10 years, at least 1.5 million homes need to be built to meet existing demographic projections. Investments into roads, highways and public transportation will get Ontario's families moving, create jobs and spur housing stock."
Joint Residential Construction Association
"The Bradford Bypass and Highway 413 projects are the type of transformational infrastructure that are going to shape the future of the Greater Toronto Area. They are critical for the movement of goods and people in the most concentrated economic hub in the country. We commend the Ford Government's foresight and Minister Mulroney's determination to move these projects forward."
Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association (GTSWCA)
"The Heavy Construction Association of Toronto (HCAT) is encouraged by the Government of Ontario's continued commitment to fund the much-needed improvements in the transportation corridors across Ontario. Building now for the upcoming projected population growth in the province is good planning, but moreover, will provide good paying jobs for the thousands of construction craft workers in our industry as well as the various supply sectors such as aggregate, asphalt and concrete. Budget 2023 continues building out Minister Mulroney's Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and we applaud the consistent approach to critical infrastructure development in Ontario."
Heavy Construction Association of Toronto (HCAT)
"Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass are investments that will have a direct, positive impact on the communities where our employees live and work. The investments will provide thousands of high paying employment opportunities for our industry and help Ontario prosper by meeting its future infrastructure requirements."
Toronto Area Road Builders Association (TARBA)