Ontario Using Infrastructure to Boost Social and Economic Benefits to Communities
Province Supporting Community Benefits with Approval of Five Infrastructure Projects
Ontario is ensuring that local communities benefit from infrastructure development before, during and after construction, helping to support economic growth and new job opportunities for people across the province.
The province is moving forward with five new community benefit projects, which will employ a range of options designed to bolster local communities during the development of major new public infrastructure, including employment and training opportunities, environmental protections, poverty reduction measures and small business supports. The projects are:
- Finch West LRT, a new light rail transit line in Toronto
- West Park Healthcare Centre, a hospital providing specialized rehabilitation and complex-continuing care
- Halton Region Consolidated Courthouse, a new 21-courtroom facility
- Macdonald Block, a reconstruction of a government complex in Toronto
- Thunder Bay Correctional Complex, to replace the city's existing jail and correctional centre.
These projects build on progress already being made on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and are the next step toward Ontario's commitment to have all major public infrastructure projects comply with a community benefits framework by 2020.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- Community Benefits is an initiative in which social and economic needs of a community are more closely linked to infrastructure investments and could include workforce development, social procurement and/ or supplementary benefits identified by the community such as the creation of space for more physical public assets (e.g., child care facilities, a park), or design features to reduce noise pollution.
- In 2015, Ontario passed the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act (IJPA), becoming the first Canadian jurisdiction to pass legislation to enable consideration of community benefits in infrastructure planning and investment.
- In November 2017, the province released the Building Better Lives: Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan (LTIP). The LTIP sets out a vision for Ontario’s infrastructure planning and investment, including better linking infrastructure investments to social initiatives such as community benefits projects and apprenticeships that support more jobs and training opportunities.
- Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history – $230 billion over 14 years. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go to Ontario.ca/BuildON
“Our government is committed to ensuring that infrastructure development benefits communities long after construction is complete. By moving forward with these community benefit projects, we will ensure that new training and job opportunities are available for people and that the social and cultural needs of communities are closely intertwined with infrastructure planning and investment”