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Backgrounder: Building Together

Archived Backgrounder

Backgrounder: Building Together

Building Together: Jobs and Prosperity for all Ontarians

Ministry of Infrastructure

Building On A Solid Foundation

Our economy and quality of life depend on a solid foundation of strong infrastructure. Building Together, Ontario's long-term infrastructure plan, will guide infrastructure planning and investment decisions in Ontario for the next decade.

Since 2003, the McGuinty government has invested $62 billion to help repair, replace and modernize hospitals, schools, highways, public transit and other critical systems in communities across the province.

Building Together will build on these unprecedented investments and will begin by investing more than $35 billion over the next three years.

The plan was developed in consultation with stakeholders following a series of province-wide consultations about Ontario's infrastructure needs and priorities.

As part of the government's coordinated planning approach, Building Together aligns with initiatives that are building a better quality of life for all Ontarians, including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Water Opportunities Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Supporting A Prosperous Economy

Building Together invests in the province's future by focusing on core infrastructure and networks -- highways, bridges, public transit, digital and broadband, colleges and universities - that drive our economy and help keep Ontario innovative, competitive and growing.

The plan focuses on:

Public Transit Building Together will help expand safe and reliable transit that gets people where they want to go every day. A plan priority is to expand transit and increase ridership in urban centres in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, including Waterloo region, as well as in Ottawa and mid-sized cities across the province where significant growth in demand is forecast.
Highways and Bridges Building Together will help ensure Ontario's roads and bridges are safe and in good repair to move people and goods across the province. In particular, the plan will:
  • Increase capacity of the 400-series highways
  • Reduce congestion by expanding High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes
  • Support the construction of the Windsor-Essex Parkway
  • Invest in maintenance of highways and bridges to support repair targets.
Education and Innovation Building Together will help build and maintain schools, colleges and universities that are educating our students. In particular, it will:
  • Ensure a system of elementary and secondary schools that meets present and future needs and is in an appropriate state of repair
  • Invest in college and university infrastructure to support a 70 per cent attainment rate for postsecondary education in Ontario
  • Invest in research infrastructure to promote innovation and attract research talent.
Health Care Building Together will ensure a modern and efficient health care system that is sustainable and meets the needs of our aging population by:
  • Supporting a gradual shift to "continuum of care" and community-based care models, which include access to long-term care beds and chronic care settings
  • Continuing to invest in major hospital projects across the province.
Water and Other Environmental Resources Building Together will help make sure drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems are safe, reliable and sustainable by:
  • Encouraging municipalities to explore new Ontario water and wastewater technologies
  • Working with smaller communities that lack the capacity to address water-related infrastructure needs on their own.
The plan will also support investments that protect our natural landscapes and resources, including the Great Lakes.
Social and Community Building Together will help ensure Ontarians have access to the services needed to achieve a better quality of life. Among other priorities, it will:
  • Support the creation of community "hubs", which could include a range of services located together
  • Support infrastructure investments which help revitalize communities
  • Work with other orders of government to deliver affordable housing
  • Ensure communities are served by accessible and state-of-the-art courthouses, and correctional and policing facilities.

Strengthening Communities

The plan ensures investment in the right infrastructure - improvements that support other public services like schools, hospitals and our justice system, as Ontario's population grows, ages and diversifies. It also includes tools to make sure existing public infrastructure is well-maintained and supports communities dealing with aging water and wastewater systems.

Investments in other public infrastructure will:

  • Focus on more health care in the community and building and renovating hospitals, such as upgrading beds in long-term care homes
  • Provide better places for students to learn
  • Help Ontario's municipalities build better local infrastructure for families
  • Strengthen supports for people affected by poverty
  • Sustain an effective justice system.

Ensuring Public Infrastructure is Well-Maintained

Properly maintained public infrastructure is critical to ensuring maximum value from provincial investments. Poorly-maintained infrastructure eventually costs more to repair or replace. To make sure public infrastructure is well-maintained, all provincial infrastructure grant requests will now need to be supported by a detailed plan on future management and maintenance.

To help those who are responsible for the development of public infrastructure plans, the government will make a best practices guide available. This comprehensive guide will be published on the Ministry of Infrastructure's website in the coming months.

Reflecting this work, the Province will regularly release a "State of Ontario's Infrastructure" report that will describe the infrastructure portfolio and give key performance measures and benchmarks.

Building Together and Working with Other Levels of Government

The Province will work with other governments responsible for public infrastructure in Ontario - including the federal government and Ontario municipalities - to respond to public needs. It will also seek new partnerships with neighbouring provinces, U.S. states and First Nation communities to coordinate projects, and to share costs and benefits.

The Province will also increasingly work with Infrastructure Ontario and the private sector to deliver major infrastructure projects. For further information, please see A New Decade for Infrastructure Ontario and Building Together.

LEARN MORE

Download Building Togetheror contact:

Email: info.moi@ontario.ca

Ministry of Infrastructure
900 Bay Street, 5th Floor
Mowat Block
Toronto, ON
M7A IC2

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