April 28, 2017
Ontario Introduces Balanced Budget, Increases Infrastructure Investment by $30 Billion
The Government of Ontario has introduced a balanced budget for 2017. It increases investments by $30 billion over the remainder of the 13-year infrastructure plan, making significant investments in transportation and transit projects throughout the province. To bring further clarity to the program, a Long-Term Infrastructure Plan will be released by the end of 2017.
Major infrastructure investments totalling $156 billion over the next 10 years include:
$56 billion in public transit;
$26 billion in highways;
more than $20 billion in capital grants to hospitals, including $9 billion for the construction of major new hospital projects; and
almost $16 billion in capital grants to school boards.
The major new public transit systems previously announced will be built using Ontario's Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) approach, including: Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Finch West LRT, Hamilton LRT, Hurontario LRT (Mississauga), ION Stage 1 LRT (Waterloo), Confederation Line (Ottawa), Ottawa LRT Phase 2, York Viva Next Bus Rapid Transit, and several GO Stations. The GO Regional Express Rail (RER) initiative will provide faster and more frequent service on the GO rail network, and the government has indicated its intention to procure it using the AFP model.
Design and planning work is currently underway for a new high-speed rail system running from Toronto to Windsor. The government appointed the Honourable David Collenette as a Special Advisor to the project.
Road projects that are planned, in procurement or under construction using the AFP approach include: Highway 401 expansion to Regional Road 25 (RFQ stage); Highway 407 East Phase 2 (under construction); and Highway 427 expansion (under construction).
The government is working on an updated Long‐Term Affordable Housing Strategy (LTAHS), with $200 million over the next three years to improve access to housing assistance, and support for the construction of up to 1,500 new supportive housing units over the long term. Infrastructure Ontario will also be charged with the responsibility to establish a new program to leverage provincial land for new affordable housing units, with pilot projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
The Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) provides steady funding to small, rural and northern communities to address critical infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges. In 2016, the government tripled funding under the program to reach $300 million per year by 2018–19.
With regard to 5G (fifth-generation wireless technology), the Province will invest $130 million over five years in two industry-led consortia to advance the development and commercialization of 5G and next-generation technologies and networks across Ontario.
View the CCPPP Statement on the Ontario Budget .
For more budget details, see the Ontario 2017 Budget page.