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Minister's Message from Minister Lebel

The Honourable Denis Lebel

The Honourable Denis Lebel, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Safe, modern and efficient public infrastructure is key to Canada's economic growth and long-term prosperity. Knowing how important infrastructure is to our country as a whole, and to the quality of life of every Canadian, I am proud to be leading the development of a long-term plan for public infrastructure that extends beyond the expiry of the Building Canada Plan. A new long-term infrastructure plan will position our nation to meet the challenges and opportunities of the coming decades.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan and our infrastructure programs, our government has maintained an open dialogue with partners and stakeholders about the best way to support national and local priorities through infrastructure investments. Moving forward we will continue to work closely on infrastructure projects that make a difference for communities large and small. From transportation investments that connect communities and support the economy, to wastewater projects that protect our environment, together we are making Canada a better place in which to live, work and do business.

As the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, I am very proud of the achievements that have been made possible through partnerships with the Province of Ontario and its municipalities. Looking ahead, these strong ties will form the foundation of our next long-term infrastructure plan and ensure Canadian communities continue to grow and prosper.

Working together, we will accomplish more and ensure Canada remains well-positioned for the future.

Minister's Message from Minister Chiarelli

The Honourable Bob Chiarelli

The Honourable Bob Chiarelli
Minister of Infrastructure and
Minister of Transportation

Investing in public infrastructure strengthens the economy, creates jobs and builds strong communities. That's why the Ontario government has invested more than $75 billion since 2003 to build and revitalize key infrastructure that Ontarians depend on every day, such as public transit, roads, hospitals and schools. Ontario will continue to build on this strong foundation over the next three years by investing more than $35 billion on infrastructure that strengthens Ontario's long-term economic prosperity and competitiveness.

Planning for infrastructure means planning for the long term. In Ontario, we have demonstrated our commitment to infrastructure planning with Building Together, our ambitious and responsible 10-year infrastructure plan. This plan is creating a legacy of first-rate public infrastructure for all Ontarians, by setting out a strategic framework that supports economic growth and is fiscally responsible.

As part of Building Together, we are committed to working closely with our partners to establish and implement a new municipal infrastructure strategy. Long-term asset management planning will be a key element of the strategy, and will help us develop a shared, systematic understanding of what needs are most important and how best to meet them.

Although the Ontario government has made significant infrastructure investments, an infrastructure deficit still exists. This infrastructure deficit is a pan-Canadian challenge that must be addressed by all three orders of government - federal, provincial, and municipal - working in partnership.

The Ontario government looks forward to working with its partners, including Ontario municipalities, to develop a new federal long-term infrastructure plan that will strengthen not only Ontario's, but also Canada's economic competitiveness.

Success Through Partnership

Working Together to Accomplish More

Since 2007, federal, provincial and municipal governments have made significant investments together in public infrastructure in Ontario. More recently, Canada's Economic Action Plan accelerated existing programs and delivered new funding to create jobs and support economic growth.

The governments of Canada and Ontario, along with municipal partners, have made commitments under the Building Canada Fund, the Green Infrastructure Fund and the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that now total over $13.8 billion1 and have resulted in more than 2,400 projects across Ontario, including:

Infrastructure Funding by Category

Infrastructure Funding by Category

[1]based on total eligible costs

  • transportation:
    over 1,000 projects worth almost $2 billion
  • green infrastructure:
    over 270 projects worth more than $2.3 billion
  • public transit:
    over 70 projects worth more than $6.4 billion
  • sports and recreation:
    over 370 projects worth more than $1.1 billion
  • drinking water:
    over 390 projects worth more than $660 million
  • culture and tourism:
    over 110 projects worth almost $680 million

Partnership in Action

Working together to build infrastructure achieves local and regional priorities while supporting national objectives. The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the cornerstone of Canada's Economic Action Plan, has demonstrated what strong partnerships can accomplish. During the global economic downturn all orders of government responded quickly and effectively to identify shovel-ready projects, drive employment and boost the economy through almost 2,000 infrastructure projects in Ontario worth more than $4 billion. These projects provided lasting benefits to communities across Ontario.

Canada's Gas Tax Fund in Ontario

Local Projects, Long-term Results

Each year, Canada's Gas Tax Fund is delivered to municipalities across the country to support local infrastructure initiatives and encourage economic growth. Increased to $2 billion per year nationally in 2009 and made permanent in 2011, the Gas Tax Fund supports municipal infrastructure projects that create jobs and help to protect the environment - contributing to cleaner air, cleaner water and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Across Ontario, municipalities have invested over 40 percent of federal Gas Tax funds in support of public transit. Investments in local roads and bridges have also been key to improving the quality of life in communities throughout the province. Between 2005 and 2014 municipalities across Ontario will receive a total of $4.85 billion from Canada's Gas Tax Fund for local infrastructure priorities.

Gas Tax Expenditures by Category
2005-06 to 2010-11

Gas Tax Fund Expenditures by Category

Gas Tax Fund projects are visible across Ontario, achieving results that matter in communities large and small.

Peel Region: Accessible Transit

Peel Region accessible buses

The Region of Peel has improved its customer experience by providing newer vehicles and better service for TransHelp - its accessible transportation service. Trip capacity has increased by 8 to 10 percent annually, resulting in 2,000 new customers and a record 400,000+ trips in 2010 for residents requiring special transportation assistance.

Thanks to the Gas Tax Fund, the Region of Peel is now in a better position to address residents' long-term needs for accessible transportation services.

"The predictable, long-term nature of Canada's Gas Tax Fund allows municipalities to plan ahead and meet the specific needs of individual communities. In Ontario, this fund has helped create a trusting and mutually respectful relationship between municipalities and the Government of Canada that has resulted in cleaner air and water, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and economic benefits for hundreds of communities across the province."

– Gary McNamara, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Ontario's Gas Tax Program

Providing Stable, Predictable Funding for Ontario Municipalities

Bus in Thunder Bay

Ontario's Gas Tax Program is improving public transit across Ontario. Investing in public transit creates jobs and better choices for commuters.

Since 2004, the Government of Ontario has committed more than $1.9 billion to municipal transit improvements through this program. These investments have allowed municipalities across Ontario to introduce service improvements and expand routes, including:

  • Brampton - increasing service levels and improving off-peak and weekend bus service;
  • Durham - implementing the PRESTO fare card system;
  • London - increasing hours of service, providing bike racks and new security camera systems;
  • Thunder Bay - replacing seven Para-transit vehicles; and
  • Waterloo - adding transit vehicles, including six hybrid buses.

Ontario's investments in transit are paying off. In 2010, Ontario saw an increase of nearly 132 million passenger trips compared to 2003, removing approximately 110 million car trips from Ontario roads.

As a result of the Government of Ontario's investments, people are spending less time waiting for transit and more time with their families. They are also riding more accessible transit and enjoying better service throughout Ontario.

"Provincial Gas Tax funding is and has been fundamentally critical to sustaining and building on ridership growth for London Transit. Since 2002 provincial gas tax funding has supported investment in smart bus technology (AVL), providing customers with access to real-time service information. It has also allowed us to provide bike racks and new security camera systems on all buses and increase hours of service - all resulting in an additional 4.6 million trips."

– Larry Ducharme, General Manager of the London Transit Commission

Quick Facts:

  • In the 2010-11 program year, 93 municipal transit systems in 120 communities across the province received $318 million in Ontario Gas Tax funding.
  • The Ontario Government shares two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues with municipalities to expand and improve their public transit systems.
  • Since 2003 the Ontario government has invested approximately $13.4 billion in public transit systems, contributing to:
    • an increase in transit ridership of approximately 132 million passenger trips;
    • 110 million fewer car trips, reducing traffic congestion and allowing people and goods to move more quickly; and,
    • an estimated reduction of 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from cars.
  • Ontarians took more than 771 million trips on municipal public transit in 2010, according to the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

Funding for Local Priorities: The Building Canada Fund - Communities Component

The Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund recognizes the unique infrastructure needs of smaller communities (less than 100,000 people), focusing on projects that meet economic, environmental and quality of life objectives. Under the Communities Component Fund, federal, provincial and municipal governments have invested more than $1.6 billion in more than 470 community projects around the province.

Connecting Communities in Ontario

Malden Road in LaSalle, Ontario

Improvements to Malden Road, LaSalle, Ontario

Brock Street in Gananoque, Ontario

Brock Street Reconstruction, Gananoque, Ontario

Ontario's families and businesses rely on highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure to get to and from work, visit family and friends, and get products and services to market on time. The size of Ontario's transportation system calls for wise investments in upkeep and rehabilitation.

For example, the Town of LaSalle recently reconstructed Malden Road. It now safely accommodates cyclists, pedestrians and motorists travelling within local neighbourhoods, the LaSalle town centre and the broader region.

Another example includes the reconstruction of Brock Street in the Separated Township of Gananoque, which involved road rehabilitation, including sidewalks and curbs, and the replacement of storm sewers and watermains.

These projects are just two examples of Canada and Ontario's commitment to helping municipalities improve transportation efficiency. Well-maintained roads and bridges last longer, and save taxpayers' money in the long run. They also make travel safer, shorten commute times and decrease vehicle-repair costs for drivers.

Working Together for Better Water Quality in Ontario

Sustainable Water Systems

In Ontario, all orders of government are committed to infrastructure investments that support reliable, secure and high-quality water systems that protect our natural landscapes and resources, including the Great Lakes. That is why the Building Canada Fund - Communities Component has provided funding for more than 135 water and wastewater projects across the province.

Under the Green Infrastructure Fund, significant funds have also been invested in upgrading wastewater treatment plants to help protect the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence and Mattagami Rivers.

These and other projects in Ontario are helping to reduce impacts on the environment by improving the quality of water being discharged into our lakes and rivers.

Pollution Control Investments

Water pollution control plant in Goderich, Ontario

Water pollution control plant, Goderich, Ontario

With the support of federal and provincial funds, the Town of Goderich has integrated an ultraviolet disinfection system into its water pollution control plant treatment process. This system has significantly reduced the residual chlorine concentrations in treated wastewater. As a result, this project has had positive impacts on fish and their habitat.

Help for Clean Water

Clean water facility in Southwestern Ontario

The Huron Elgin London Project (HELP) for Clean Water, Ontario

The Huron Elgin London Project (HELP) for Clean Water is a regional project that will provide a more reliable water supply system for more than 500,000 people living and working in Southwestern Ontario. Long-term benefits of the project include:

  • a sustainable water supply for the region with capacity to facilitate future growth;
  • a high-quality water source for connected communities;
  • a reduced regional reliance on wells; and,
  • emergency storage through the development of a reservoir and pump station facility.

Cramahe Wastewater Treatment Upgrades

The Township of Cramahe is upgrading the Colborne Wastewater Treatment Plant to increase capacity. The benefits of the project include:

  • more reliable wastewater collection;
  • fewer and smaller discharges of untreated wastewater overflows; and,
  • enhanced wastewater treatment and management.

The Windsor-Essex Parkway:
Getting Canadian Goods to Market with Better Highways

A Key Border Crossing

Windsor-Detroit is the busiest commercial land border crossing in North America. This crossing serves as a major trade route and plays a key role in Canada's economy, representing approximately one-third of all commercial truck traffic between Canada and the United States. Some $140 billion in goods move through this crossing each year. The value of this cargo is the highest of any border crossing in North America.

Moving People and Goods

On the Windsor-Essex Parkway, the governments of Canada and Ontario are working together to improve the movement of people and goods through the Windsor-Detroit gateway. The project is being delivered in partnership with the private sector as one of Ontario's most ambitious alternative financing and procurement projects to date, and is the first transportation project to be delivered under alternative financing and procurement.

The Windsor-Essex Parkway will improve this busy crossing by linking Highway 401 directly to the U.S. interstate system for the first time. When completed, it is expected to cut every trip through Windsor by close to 20 minutes, on average, by separating international and local traffic. It will replace the existing municipal roadway with a new six-lane, below-grade freeway, removing several traffic signals and giving international traffic free-flow access to a new, state-of-the-art gateway. Local traffic will benefit from a new four-lane service road system built at-grade and parallel to the freeway.

Community Benefits

The Windsor-Essex Parkway will bring a number of important community and environmental benefits. Because much of the Windsor-Essex Parkway will be below-grade, with 11 tunnelled sections totalling 1.8 kilometres, the community will benefit from the reconnection of neighbourhoods that were divided by the original roadway. Families will also enjoy 20 kilometres of new pedestrian and cycling trails and more than 121 hectares of green space. The Windsor-Essex Parkway's landscape will also feature 32 tallgrass prairie restoration sites to support a range of rare and endangered plants and species.

An efficient border crossing and transportation corridor is essential to facilitate international trade, attract investment and drive economic growth for the future.

(photos courtesy of Infrastructure Ontario)

Transit in Ontario: Giving Commuters Fast, Accessible, and Environmentally Sound Transit Options

Improving Public Transit

The governments of Canada and Ontario strongly support public transit projects that help take cars off our roads, cut commute times and reduce environmental impacts. Demand for transit is expected to increase in the years ahead. To help meet these future demands, all orders of government are partnering to make strategic investments today.

Revitalizing Union Station

The governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto are investing in Toronto's Union Station to provide jobs for families and strengthen our economy for the future.

Toronto's Union Station - the busiest inter-regional and inter-modal transportation hub in Canada - is key to bringing people from surrounding communities into the downtown. Commuters on their way to work, or visiting Toronto's many attractions, help boost the economy. Approximately 65 million passengers pass through Union Station every year, and its morning peak-hour passenger traffic is forecasted to quadruple over the next 25 years.

Investments in the Union Station project and the new GO Train shed roof are supporting nearly 3,700 jobs.2 The project began in January 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2016.

Union Station's revitalization will make room for more passengers, including an expected doubling of GO passengers by 2030. As the home to the new Air-Rail Link, which will connect downtown Toronto to Pearson International Airport, the revitalization of Union Station is integral to the success of the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games - an event that is expected to draw more than 250,000 tourists to the region.

[2]Jobs numbers provided by the Government of Ontario.

Rendering of Union Station in Toronto, Ontario

(Union Station Revitalization rendering courtesy of GO Transit - a division of METROLINX)

Looking Ahead at Provincial Priorities

Modern and reliable infrastructure drives our economy. It contributes to Ontario's wealth and productivity, and helps us attract investment and create jobs. Infrastructure also helps build stronger communities and supports economic growth and competitiveness.

That's why, in summer 2011, the Government of Ontario launched Building Together, Ontario's new long-term infrastructure plan - a plan that will guide infrastructure planning and investment decisions in Ontario for the next decade. It will ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and investments are targeted to key infrastructure projects that strengthen the economy, create jobs and build strong communities. Learn more about Ontario's long-term infrastructure plan.

Building Together includes investments in core economic infrastructure that drives Ontario's economy and helps it remain innovative, competitive and growing. For Ontario families and businesses, this means getting Ontario's goods to market with better highways, bridges, and border crossings; giving commuters fast, affordable and environmentally sound transit options; and educating a strong and innovative workforce.

The municipal infrastructure strategy that the Ontario Government committed to establish through Building Together will help ensure Ontario gets the most value from investments in municipal infrastructure. The Ontario government will work with municipalities on asset management and will focus on the most critical core infrastructure needs.

The Government of Ontario looks forward to the Government of Canada continuing its support for provincial and municipal infrastructure in Ontario, particularly where the investment yields widespread benefits for people, the environment and the economy.

Moving Forward Together

Continuing Partnerships

Achieving our goals as a nation means that all orders of government and other partners must work together. We all know that public infrastructure plays a key role in our lives and in our economic well-being. Canada's long-term prosperity relies on the strength of our communities and the basic services that support them.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan and infrastructure initiatives such as the Building Canada Fund, the Gas Tax Fund, and the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, Ontario has seen tremendous success. Provinces are benefiting from investments in better public transit, cleaner water and green infrastructure. The tangible benefits of our infrastructure investments increase every day as more and more projects are completed.

The Government of Canada is committed to continuing a partnership approach to national, regional and local infrastructure priorities. Strong partnerships mean that every dollar invested in public infrastructure will meet today's needs and sustain future economic growth and development.

A New Long-Term Plan

On November 30, 2011 the Government of Canada launched a process to engage partners from across the country on the development of a new long-term public infrastructure plan. This means working with provinces, territories, municipalities, key stakeholders, as well as with technical experts, to build knowledge around five broad themes:

  • infrastructure and the economy;
  • infrastructure and the environment;
  • infrastructure and stronger communities;
  • financing infrastructure; and
  • asset planning and sustainability.

In the lead-up to our next infrastructure plan we will undertake a constructive dialogue that focuses on the broad principles, priorities and future directions for public infrastructure in Canada. Working together will ensure that Canada has a strong public infrastructure foundation for sustained growth and economic prosperity - now and for years to come.

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