Five-Year Investment Plan will Help Ensure High-Quality Services for Ontarians

Archived Release

Five-Year Investment Plan will Help Ensure High-Quality Services for Ontarians

Ministry of Infrastructure

Province Targets Over $30 Billion to Renew Public Infrastructure TORONTO, May 25 - The release of the McGuinty government's long-term plan for infrastructure investment will launch a renaissance for Ontario's public facilities, Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan said today. "This government is planning and investing strategically for population and economic growth," Caplan said. "Our five-year infrastructure investment plan will help us construct the highways, hospitals, classrooms and public transit we need to protect public health, strengthen our communities and provide the public services we all require." Underinvestment and neglect by previous governments has allowed our critical public infrastructure to deteriorate. The five-year plan, called ReNew Ontario, shows how the McGuinty government will correct this infrastructure deficit, and prepare for future growth by concentrating on the priorities Ontarians say are most important: healthcare, education and economic prosperity. Over the next five years, the government and its partners will invest more than $30 billion in public infrastructure, including: - Approximately $5 billion for health care projects, including 105 hospital projects - More than $10 billion to improve elementary and secondary schools and renew postsecondary facilities - About $11.4 billion to improve public transit, highways, border crossings and other transportation systems "Local 183 is thrilled with this announcement - not only will this investment plan result in lots of construction jobs but it will also be a major boost to Ontario's economy," said spokesperson Andy Manahan. "Our construction union is very supportive of efforts to expedite infrastructure investment and this plan shows the way." The government has also reformed the systems used to plan, build, finance and manage public infrastructure, to get better use of existing facilities, and to ensure that new projects are completed on time and on budget, and provide the promised public benefits. Over the next 24 months, 72 hospital projects and over 50 highway expansion projects will be at various stages of construction and completion. "We need to build our infrastructure better, smarter and faster," Caplan said. "We have reformed the system to get better value from the money we invest, and to make sure we have the infrastructure we need to maintain our quality of life, and sustain our economic growth." "Ontario building trades are supportive of this revised process which will get much needed services and infrastructure online sooner with the added bonus of creating many construction jobs across Ontario," said Patrick J. Dillon, business manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council. "Infrastructure investment of this magnitude is critical to a robust and successful economy," added Len Crispino, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "We applaud the government for this plan." The Ontario Hospital Association also endorsed the infrastructure plan. "We welcome this significant investment in the modernization of hospital infrastructure in Ontario," said Hilary Short, CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association. "Investing in hospital capital development is an investment in the future of patient care services in the province." The government's five-year infrastructure investment plan, ReNew Ontario, is available at www.pir.gov.on.ca. www.pir.gov.on.ca Disponible en français. Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ReNEW ONTARIO - A NEW FIVE-YEAR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT PLAN To ensure a prosperous future for Ontario, the government is launching ReNew Ontario, a five-year strategic infrastructure investment plan. Over the course of the next five years the government and its partners will invest more than $30 billion in public infrastructure in Ontario. The government is concentrating its investments in areas Ontarians have said are their priorities: health care, education and economic prosperity. Investing in Health By 2010, Ontario and its partners will invest approximately $5 billion in health care facilities to reduce waiting times, provide better service in high-growth areas, and modernize older hospitals. Some highlights of the plan: - Funding to start or complete 105 hospital projects that will expand and upgrade existing hospitals and build new ones - More than $150 million will be invested over five years to improve cancer treatment and expand diagnostic facilities. - Nine new and seven upgraded MRI machines will be operating by the end of this fiscal year. Together, they will increase the number of MRI exams by 15 per cent. - The number of doctors graduating each year will increase by 15 per cent, starting in 2011-12. Investing in Education An investment in education is an investment in jobs for tomorrow, and we must equip ourselves with the skills we need to compete in a global economy. By 2010, Ontario and its partners will invest more than $10 billion in elementary and secondary schools, and in postsecondary facilities. Some highlights of the plan: - Over the next five years, the Good Places to Learn initiative will provide annual funding to school boards to enable them to undertake approximately $4 billion worth of projects, to address the backlog of repairs and new school construction needed in the system. - Approximately $1.4 billion will be invested over the next five years for planned school construction and to accommodate projected new enrolment growth. - In addition, another $1.5 billion will be provided to boards over the next five years for ongoing renewal of school facilities. - Approximately $1.8 billion will be provided over the next five years to support school construction already completed. - $540 million is being invested to renew university and college facilities and buy new equipment, including $250 million in one-time investments in 2004-05. - Over the next five years, $600 million will be invested in a major expansion of medical and graduate school spaces. Graduate education will increase by 12,000 students in 2007-08 and 14,000 by 2009-10. Investing in the Economy Public infrastructure - including efficient transportation and transit systems - is essential to a robust economy. In addition to investments in healthcare and education which improve our economy, Ontario and its partners are making strategic investments that will have a substantial impact on our economic prosperity and our quality of life. Some highlights of the plan: - By 2010, Ontario and its partners will invest $6.9 billion for highways, border infrastructure and other transportation projects and $4.5 billion for transit including: - Acceleration of the four-laning of Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury and Highway 11 between Huntsville and North Bay. - In the south, 22 new highway projects will focus on areas with high traffic volumes and significant safety issues. - $638 million will relieve congestion at border crossings, including $300 million to support improvements at the Windsor gateway and $323 million for improvements at the Niagara and Sarnia border crossings. - $3.1 billion will be invested to improve and expand public transit, including major investments in GO Transit, the TTC and Ottawa's north-south Light Rail Transit. - In addition, $1.4 billion will be provided to improve 83 transit systems in 110 municipalities through the provincial gas tax. - The province is investing in affordable housing through a new $600 million Canada-Ontario affordable housing agreement. - Through the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, investments of almost $900 million will be made in smaller communities to improve local roads and bridges, water and wastewater systems and waste management. For More Information ReNew Ontario can be downloaded from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal website at www.pir.gov.on.ca Disponible en français www.pir.gov.on.caFor further information: Wilson Lee, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8735; Jim McPeak, Communications Branch, (416) 212-7499