Canada: On Track: Infrastructure Elements Of Ontario's 2016 Economic Outlook And Fiscal Review

On November 14, 2016, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa delivered the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, titled "Building Ontario Up for Everyone" (Update).

This bulletin focuses on those elements of the Update of interest to the infrastructure sector.

CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO INCREASED INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING

As its title would suggest, the Update includes an in-depth focus on Ontario's infrastructure development plans. While the Update is not a budget and accordingly no new spending is included, it both affirms and offers greater detail on Ontario's plans first detailed in the 2016 Ontario budget (Budget) to invest more than C$160-billion over 12 years in Ontario infrastructure.

Briefly, over the next 10 years, the Ontario government has allocated:

  • C$55-billion to public transit
  • C$26-billion to highways
  • C$12-billion to capital grants for health infrastructure
  • C$12-billion to capital grants for child care and education
  • C$3-billion to capital grants for post-secondary infrastructure
  • C$30-billion to other infrastructure investments including affordable housing, tourism and cultural centres

A CONTINUED FOCUS ON TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION

Consistent with the Budget, the Update highlights Ontario's commitment to transportation and transit renewal and development.

Notably, the Update confirms that Ontario is moving forward with the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) strategy, and provides some further details on many key elements of what will be one of the largest infrastructure projects in North America. While specifics of some RER elements are still in the planning stages, procurement for infrastructure work on the Barrie, Stouffville, Lakeshore East, Lakeshore West and Kitchener rail corridors is underway. While electrification in core areas along five of the seven GO rail corridors is mentioned, no details are provided as to how this part of the RER project will be implemented or procured.

While the Update takes note of the fact that the GO Transit system and RER infrastructure will also be the foundation for the SmartTrack proposal in the City of Toronto, the Update includes no specific guidance as to how an integrated GO RER/SmartTrack concept will be realized or if and how the province will be involved.

Other pending transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) reaffirmed in the Update include:

  • "The Big Move" priority projects: Initiatives recently announced include an investment of more than C$200-million to support the planning and design work for transit projects included in the regional transportation plan, including the Yonge North Subway Extension, Relief Line and Durham–Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit
  • Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT): This project — now in procurement — includes 22 stops over 20 kilometres of dedicated rapid transit between the Port Credit GO Station in Mississauga and the Gateway Terminal at Steeles Avenue in Brampton, with connections to GO rail and local bus services
  • Hamilton LRT: Although not yet in procurement, Ontario confirmed plans to invest up to C$1-billion towards the capital construction costs to build a new LRT line in Hamilton

Some major projects already under development outside the GTHA were also noted, including the Ottawa LRT stage 2 Project, the Region of Waterloo transit hub and ION Stage 1, and GO rail service expansions to Waterloo Region and the Niagara Region.

OTHER KEY PROJECTS

Highways

While the Update's infrastructure discussion focuses on transit, Ontario is also continuing to invest in the repair and improvement of roads and highways, including Highway 69, Highway 407 and high-occupancy toll lanes for the Queen Elizabeth Way. Outside the GTHA, major road and highway improvements include Highway 417 in Ottawa, Highway 6 between Freelton and Guelph, and Maley Drive in Sudbury.

The Update confirms Ontario's intention to work with First Nations and other partners to move forward with greater access to the Ring of Fire and remote First Nation communities, although specific details are absent.

Healthcare

Although no new major healthcare initiatives are announced in the Update, it is noteworthy that over the next five years, 18 hospitals across Ontario will complete major renovations or rebuilds.

Currently, construction is underway at several hospitals, including William Osler Health System's Etobicoke General Hospital, Hawkesbury and District General Hospital, St. Joseph's Care Group in Thunder Bay and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Cardiac Life Support Services Redevelopment Project.

Projects in the pipeline include Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Phase 2), the New Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus and Centre Wellington Region, and a new health hub in Orléans.

Education

The Update notes that Ontario has committed C$1.1-billion over two school years to improve existing school infrastructure across Ontario, which is in addition to C$1.6-billion in existing funding allocated for repairs and renewal. Northern schools will receive an extra C$120-million, bringing the total investment for the region to C$300-million over the next two years.

An additional C$3-billion has been allocated to improving post-secondary education infrastructure. While the funding will in many cases be spread out across the province in smaller individual projects, there will be a significant investment of up to C$180-million in two new university-led post-secondary sites in Brampton and Milton focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Ontario will launch procurement for these projects in January 2017.

This plan is the second phase of Ontario's major expansion in post-secondary infrastructure. In May 2015, Ontario announced the creation of the York University–Markham Centre campus in partnership with Seneca College, which is currently in development.

Electricity

The Update includes only minor items of note to those involved in the power sector. While it confirms that Ontario continues development of the next Long‐Term Energy Plan (LTEP) via formal consultations with stakeholders in the province's electricity sector, the next LTEP is not expected to be released until the first half of 2017.

With respect to the September suspension of the second round of the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP II) process and the Energy‐from‐Waste Standard Offer Program, the Update estimates savings of up to C$3.8-billion in system costs, relative to previous forecasts, as a result of the suspension while noting that Ontario's current electricity system is well positioned to continue to meet provincial needs.

BUSTING THE BUDGET?

In short, the Update continues the Liberal government's previous platform of increased infrastructure spending across a wide variety of sectors. However, it also highlights the fact that Ontario's sustained commitment to a high level of infrastructure-related spending is not without cost. As noted in the Budget, achieving the government's ambitious agenda will require a transfer of slightly more than C$400-million in contingency funds from Ontario's coffers for the current fiscal year. While the Update leaves open the question of whether there is in fact sufficient funding to carry out the province's ambitious plans in future years (that is really a task for the 2017 Budget), a high continued level of spending on infrastructure will clearly present challenges in the coming years. As a result, innovative sources of funding, including Alternative Financing and Procurement and asset optimization will remain key to meeting Ontario's ambitious agenda for infrastructure.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
12 Sep 2017, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

Please join us as we take an in-depth look at the legislation and the impact on the industry.

14 Sep 2017, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

Change, stress and uncertainty are ever]present factors in todayfs legal environment, and specific aspects about the practice of law make it difficult to thrive in the profession long term. Luckily, there are specific research]based strategies that have been shown to help lawyers thrive and lead to more effective ways to manage stress and pressure.

5 Oct 2017, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

Blakes is proud to host our New to In-House Series, designed to bring together junior and mid-level in-house counsel for a candid exchange of insights to highlight and address some of the challenges and opportunities facing in-house lawyers in their roles today.

 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.