Ontario Budget Notes Importance of Trucking; Invests in Infrastructure and Training

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy today released Ontario’s 2023 Budget: Building a Strong Ontario.

The government’s plan takes action to drive growth by lowering costs, getting key infrastructure projects built faster, and attracting more jobs and investment to help businesses, families and workers.

Budget 2023 specifically noted that the trucking industry is a leading contributor to the provincial economy. “Ontario’s trucking industry accounts for about one per cent of Ontario’s GDP and approximately 36 per cent of the jobs in the transportation sector,” it stated. “The transportation system is the backbone of Ontario’s export‐driven economy, with more than $3 billion worth of goods moving on Ontario’s highways per day.”

To bolster road-based infrastructure, the province confirmed plans to Build Highway 413, Building the Bradford Bypass, Expanding Highway 401 in Eastern Ontario, Twinning the Queen Elizabeth Way Garden City Skyway, Building the New Highway 7 among others.

“OTA applauds Transportation Minister Mulroney for her ongoing commitment to investing in critical road infrastructure, which will allow our members to efficiently move the Ontario economy, now and in the future, resulting in increased investment to our province for years to come,” said OTA President and CEO Stephen Laskowski

The province also continues to invest in key programs, such as the Skills Development Fund (SDF) by investing an additional $75 million over the next three years in the SDF. The province is also providing an additional $224 million this year to leverage private‐sector expertise and expand training centres.

As well, the government will be investing an additional $25 million over three years in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to attract and welcome more skilled workers to the province. Since gaining access to the OINP in 2019, the trucking industry has continued to welcome newcomers to our sector.

“Minister McNaughton continues to show strong leadership in ensuring the Ontario business community receives the support it needs to attract and secure a qualified workforce,” added Laskowski. “We look forward to working with the minister though both of these programs to improve Ontario trucking companies’ access to skills development dollars and immigration programs to help ease the commercial driver shortage.”

OTA will be reviewing the budget in greater detail over the coming week and will provide members with updates on any key developments.

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