Ontario Investing $60 Million in Forest Access Roads
Province to Make Forestry Sector Eligible for $2.7B Jobs and Prosperity Fund
Ontario is investing in forest roads which connect industry to Ontario's natural resources, supporting local communities by growing the economy and creating jobs in the forestry, mining and tourism sectors.
As part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history, the province is committing $60 million to the program in 2015-16.
Ontario is also making the province's forestry sector eligible for the $2.7 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund to help increase production capacity and expand into new markets, while ensuring resources are managed sustainably. This will also help modernize the forestry sector and facilitate the production of value-added products by supporting new technologies.
Investing more than $130 billion over 10 years in public infrastructure — the largest infrastructure investment in the province's history — is part of the government's plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- The government’s Moving Ontario Forward plan will make $31.5 billion available over the next 10 years for investments in priority infrastructure projects across the province and is expected to support over 20,000 jobs per year, on average, in construction and related industries.
- Through Moving Ontario Forward, around $16 billion is being allocated to transit and transportation projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), and about $15 billion available for investment in roads, bridges, transit and other critical infrastructure in the rest of the province.
- Over the past ten years, $605.2 million has been provided toward the forest industry’s expenditures on the construction and maintenance of public forest access roads that support forest harvest activity.
- Annually, Ontario invests in the construction and maintenance of over 21,000 km of forest access road infrastructure. This is equivalent to travelling across Canada and back.
- The government is continuing reduced stumpage rates for 2015-16 for poplar and white birch trees as further confirmation of its commitment to boost the competitiveness of Ontario’s forest sector.
“I am very pleased with our government’s unprecedented support to the forestry industry in Ontario. The $60 million investment to the forest access roads program, the continued reduction in stumpage for poplar and white birch, and the fact that the forest industry will now have access to the Jobs and Prosperity fund, are a huge win for an industry that generates $11 billion in economic activity in 260 communities across Ontario.”
“The increase in annual funding for the forest access roads program is incredibly good news for the forestry sector as our government works to see a continued revitalization of the sector. My thanks goes out to Finance Minister Sousa for understanding how important this program is, as I also congratulate Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Mauro for his successful advocacy that made this happen. While this will mean a great deal to all those who work in forestry, this funding will also provide benefits to the mining and tourism sectors, equally important parts of our Northern economy.”