Infrastructure investments are vital to strengthening the economy, creating jobs and building strong communities in which residents enjoy a high quality of life.
That’s why the Ontario government has invested more than $75 billion in infrastructure since 2003 to support our hospitals, schools, transit and roads - creating or preserving close to 100,000 jobs, on average, each year.
Last June, we released our 10-year infrastructure plan, Building Together. This plan is the first of its kind and reinforces our strong commitment to continued investment in infrastructure.
Despite significant fiscal challenges, we are standing by that commitment. In the 2012 Ontario Budget, we committed to invest more than $35 billion in infrastructure over the next three years. We are also standing by our commitments to municipalities, including honouring our commitment to implement the uploads agreed upon through the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review (PMFSDR) according to the schedule agreed upon through the PMFSDR, and providing over $1.8 billion to municipalities through the combined benefit of both the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) grants and provincial uploads in 2012.
Recognizing that we have more work to do with municipalities and the federal government to address municipal infrastructure challenges, the government committed through Building Together to develop a municipal infrastructure strategy.
Asset management will be the foundation of the strategy. Asset management planning will allow needs to be prioritized over wants. It will help ensure that investments are made at the right time to minimize future repair and rehabilitation costs and maintain municipal assets.
We are moving toward standardization and consistency in municipal asset management. The first step is requiring any municipality seeking provincial capital funding to prepare a detailed asset management plan and show how its proposed project fits within it. As part of this process, municipalities will need to demonstrate how they themselves are assisting financially with the proposed project, including engaging with Infrastructure Ontario.
We have heard loud and clear that some municipalities, particularly small ones, struggle with the task of preparing detailed asset management plans due to a lack of in-house technical capacity or limited financial resources.
The government will therefore be making funding available on an entitlement basis to approximately 350 communities to assist with the preparation of asset management plans. We are taking an entitlement approach so municipalities can focus on improving their asset management plans rather than on competing for funding.
This guide is part of a toolkit to help municipalities prepare asset management plans and consider all the resources that are available to help address infrastructure needs. This web-based toolkit will also help us learn from each other by providing a forum to share best practices and success stories.
The goals of the municipal infrastructure strategy include: making good asset management planning universal; moving toward optimal use of a full range of infrastructure financing tools; and addressing the structural challenges facing small communities.
The federal government should be a key partner in this effort. We are actively participating in the federal government’s year-long engagement process to inform its long-term infrastructure plan. We have been emphasizing our commitment to asset management and smart investment.
We will continue to work with our municipal and federal partners to address municipal infrastructure challenges and ensure Ontario’s future prosperity.
Minister of Infrastructure,
Minister of Transportation