Consulting Engineers of Ontario praise “Implementation” budget but laments lack of federal vision and support
Consulting Engineers of Ontario welcomed the passage of the Ontario government’s infrastructure implementation budget, Bill 91, the Building Ontario Up Act. “Where last year’s budget focused on investment commitments today’s plan lays out a vision for realizing those commitments,” said Barry Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario. “Of course, it would be tremendously helpful if Ontario had a partner in the federal government equally committed to eliminating the infrastructure deficit. It appears however, that Ottawa is more interested rushed an unfocused initiatives like the Canada 150 program,” remarked Steinberg.
With a 10-year, $130 billion infrastructure commitment at its core, the 2015 budget prioritizes transit and transportation infrastructure as a key element determining Ontario’s future economic success. Providing an additional $2.6 billion to the Moving Ontario Forward initiative over the next 10 years, Ontario is committing a total of $31.5 billion.
“What is most important about this investment is its allocation to the Trillium Trust,” said Steinberg. “Dedicated funds for infrastructure investment are the most effective tools for providing value to taxpayers; they provide a secure and consistent means to eliminate Ontario’s core infrastructure deficit. We think it important there be dedicated funds for each different class of infrastructure.”
“We have gridlock on our roads and highways, our transit systems don’t have the capacity to serve as an alternative to promote mobility, and our water and wastewater systems are suffering the neglect of deferred maintenance. CEO is looking forward to continuing its work with the province to address these problems and help get Ontario back on the track to prosperity,” said Steinberg.