Ontario Economic Outlook Mirrors Province’s Strong Focus on Key Infrastructure

Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released today the 2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Building a Strong Ontario Together.

The plan is said to focus on introducing new tools to help build critical infrastructure, continuing to attract investments and more jobs, and providing better services for people.

Among the signature announcements was the establishment of the Ontario Infrastructure Bank, a new, arms‐length agency to leverage investments by public‐sector pension plans and other trusted Canadian institutional investors to help fund large‐scale infrastructure projects across the province. At the outset, the projects that are financed through this new agency will be focused on long‐term care homes, energy infrastructure, affordable housing, municipal and community infrastructure and transportation.

Other key infrastructure projects were also announced or affirmed in the Outlook, including:

Expanding Highway 401; twinning the Queen Elizabeth Way Garden City Skyway; building the New Highway 7; investing in highways in Southwestern Ontario; building highways for Northern Ontario, among others.

Overall, the government is investing $28.1 billion over the next 10 years to connect communities, fight gridlock and keep goods and people moving across the province.

The Ontario Highways Program includes more than 650 expansion and rehabilitation projects that are either underway or planned over the next four years. In 2023–24 alone, Ontario is investing $3.2 billion towards projects that will expand and repair provincial highways and bridges.

The province also noted its continued commitment to the Ontario the Skills Development Fund, which currently funds the Explore Trucking Careers program. The program is supported by OTA and administered by the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC). It currently provides trucking companies with up to $4000 in support for on-the-job training of truck drivers and is currently open to OTA member companies.

As noted by OTA earlier this week, the government is also proposing to extend the current tax relief on gasoline and diesel until June 30, 2024, to provide additional relief to Ontarians.

Interested members can read the full fall economic statement here.

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