Federal Government Short-changes Ontario on Infrastructure

Archived Release

Federal Government Short-changes Ontario on Infrastructure

Ministry of Infrastructure

Fair Treatment Essential to Maintain Public Facilities TORONTO, March 8 - Ontario gets less than its fair share from four federal infrastructure funding programs to help maintain public facilities, David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, said today. "The federal budget was disappointing to Ontario because it fails to address the $23 billion gap between what Ontario's taxpayers contribute to the federation and what it gets back," Minister Caplan said. "Ontario doesn't get a proper share of federal funding to help maintain public infrastructure like roads, bridges, public transit and water treatment facilities." The minister cited four examples: - If Ontario received the same $146 per capita given other provinces under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, the province would get an extra $670 million over the life of the program. - Ontario border crossings account for 75 per cent of the value of goods trucked to the United States, but Ontario receives only 51 per cent of federal funding for border improvements. The difference will cost Ontario $145 million over the life of the Border Infrastructure Fund. - Ontario gets $24 per person under the federal funding program to improve infrastructure in smaller municipalities and rural areas, compared to $36 per person in the rest of Canada. If Ontario was funded at the same level, the province would receive $150 million more over the life of the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. - Under the federal Strategic Highways Infrastructure Program, Ontario receives $15 per person for highway construction and expansion. The rest of Canada averages $21 per person. If Ontario received that amount, there would be an extra $74 million over the life of the program to relieve congestion and repair damaged highways on the national highway network in Ontario. "This government has a plan to invest in a quality public education system, post-secondary education, training and infrastructure," Minister Caplan said. "Strategic investments in these areas now will mean more money to contribute to the rest of Canada tomorrow." www.pir.gov.on.ca Disponible en françaisFor further information: Wilson Lee, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8735; Jim McPeak, Communications Branch, (416) 212-7499