The Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) is another professional association giving positive marks to Finance Minister Charles Sousa for delivering the Wynne government’s “Building Ontario Up” budget blueprint for Ontario yesterday afternoon, citing a 10-year, $130 billion infrastructure commitment that makes transit and transportation infrastructure a key element determining Ontario’s future economic success. Also playing an important role in the government’s four part plan are: investing in people’s talents and skills; creating a dynamic and innovative environment for business; and, building a secure retirement system.
“Where last year’s budget focused on investment commitments today’s plan is all about implementing of those commitments,” said Barry Steinberg, Chief Executive Office of Consulting Engineers of Ontario. “Our communities are being stifled by the lack of quality core infrastructure,” Steinberg said. “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. There is an urgent need for today’s announced commitments, especially the Moving Ontario Forward investment of $31.5 billion over the next 10 years,” said Steinberg.
Recommendations from the Premier’s Advisory Council on Government Assets are providing an additional $2.6 billion to the Moving Ontario Fund over the next 10 years for a total of $31.5 billion. “What is most important about this investment is its allocation to the Trillium Trust,” said Steinberg. “Separate, dedicated funds for infrastructure investment are the most effective tools for providing value to taxpayers as they provide government a secure means to eliminate Ontario’s core infrastructure deficit.”
Yesterday’s budget details a total government spend for the coming year of $131.9 billion, leaving a deficit of $8.5 billion. The government is maintaining its pledge to bring its finances back to balance by 2018. Ontario’s total accumulated debt will reach $298.9 billion next year.