Province Proposes New Way to Fund Infrastructure
Ontario Would Be First Government in Canada to Issue Green Bonds
Ontario is putting forward a new way to fund transit projects across the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that the government plans on creating green bonds to finance environmentally friendly infrastructure projects across Ontario. The new bonds would capitalize on the province's ability to raise funds at low interest rates, and serve as a tool for the government to address critical infrastructure needs, create jobs and strengthen the economy. Ontario's green bonds would meet international certification and disclosure standards, which would enable them to be officially recognized as investments in sustainability.
In the coming months, the government will consult with investors in Canada and around the world on how to structure the green bonds to best meet the needs of both investors and the province. The province plans to issue green bonds next year, subject to the passage of legislation and the receipt of certification.
Making investments in infrastructure is one of the three pillars of the Ontario government's economic plan. Through the other two pillars, the government is also investing in people and supporting an innovative and dynamic business climate.
- Green bonds, pioneered by the World Bank in 2008, are a tool to raise capital for a project with specific environmental benefits.
- Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $16.1 billion in public transit, including approximately $7.7 billion to help GO Transit improve service and expand routes.
- The government has committed to invest more than $35 billion in infrastructure across Ontario over the next three years, which will support more than 100,000 jobs on average each year.
“There’s no question that we need to find new revenue sources to fund public transit across the province. Green bonds would be a great way to give citizens the opportunity to invest directly in the province’s future. Smart investments in public transit help people in their everyday lives, help protect the environment and strengthen the economy.”
“Investing in infrastructure is an economic priority to make our province more competitive. Ontario plans to be the first Canadian province to sell green bonds. The proceeds would help finance transit projects across the province, providing greater benefits for all Ontarians.”