Ontario's Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid have released the following joint statement:
"We are pleased the federal government has joined us at the table with their share of support to the City's SmartTrack proposal, which will be delivered by Metrolinx, through the Province's GO Regional Express Rail (RER) Plan.
As announced in the 2015 provincial budget, Ontario is leading the way by investing billions of dollars in our GO Transit system through the transformative RER initiative. Recognizing that the City's SmartTrack concept is largely dependent on the province's corridors and infrastructure, Ontario was the first to partner with the City in this project to help manage congestion in Toronto.
With shovels in the ground on hundreds of critical infrastructure projects already underway, Ontario welcomes federal dollars to help continue building the integrated transit and transportation network the people of this region expect us to build.
Our government has already committed to electrify the existing GO corridors which are segments of Toronto's Smart Track proposal, and $13.5 Billion to implement Regional Express Rail across Ontario's GO Transit network. Ontario's investments in RER make Smart Track possible.
As part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history, our government is investing $16 Billion for GTHA and $15 Billion across the rest of the province in the transportation infrastructure projects that will create and sustain jobs, fuel economic growth, and make moving across our province easier and more seamless.
While this federal investment is positive news for the people of Ontario, our government remains concerned that the federal government is not investing nearly enough in Ontario's public infrastructure. By comparison, the Ontario government is investing over $130 Billion in the province over the next ten years - three times more per capita than the federal government. We will continue to strongly urge the federal government to provide stable, long-term infrastructure funding.
Provinces and municipalities across Canada cannot shoulder infrastructure investments alone; we need a federal partner to invest in our future.
Announcements such as todays leave questions around other Ontario priority projects that we have continually brought to the attention of the federal government. Ontario has submitted over 100 priority projects to the federal government for infrastructure funding under the Building Canada Fund.
To date, Ontario has only received approval on one project within the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component - the Ottawa River Action Plan.
The priority projects that Ontario has put forward to the federal government, including six highway expansion projects, two GO transit projects, the Maley Drive extension in Sudbury, a number of nominated Small Community Fund projects, and a call for the federal government to match Ontario's $1 Billion commitment to the Ring of Fire, have not received any response.
Canada needs the Canadian Infrastructure Partnership proposed by Premier Wynne - a collaborative approach to stable, long-term infrastructure funding with a commitment of five per cent of GDP in infrastructure renewal, which is the amount needed to drive productivity and economic growth across Canada."