OTA Lauds Budget Proposal Aimed at Bolstering Highway Infrastructure & Jobs

The Ontario Trucking Association applauds today’s provincial budget plans, which focuses on infrastructure, economic recovery, and supporting Ontario’s workers.

The word ‘highway’ is mentioned over 120 times in the document, illustrating that the efficient movement of people and goods is a top priority for the Ford government. The spending plan includes $25.1 billion over 10 years to support the planning and/or construction of highway expansion and rehabilitation projects across the province, including:

  • Highway 413, a new 400‐series highway and transit corridor across Halton, Peel and York regions to support the movement of goods and save drivers up to 30 minutes on their commutes, as well as bring relief to the most congested corridor in North America;

OTA President, Stephen Laskowski is quoted directly in the budget document signaling the trucking industry’s strong support for infrastructure expansion.

“Highway 413 is not only a fundamental piece of infrastructure, but also a key part of Ontario’s success in the future,” said Laskowski.

  • The Bradford Bypass, a new four‐lane freeway connecting Highway 400 and Highway 404 in Simcoe County and York Region, which is expected to ease gridlock on Highway 400 and local roads, and save commuters up to 35 minutes per trip as compared to existing routes along local roads;
  • The QEW Garden City Skyway rehabilitation project, which will include a new twin bridge over the Welland Canal connecting St. Catharines to Niagara‐on‐the‐Lake. This work will keep traffic moving on this strategic trade and economic corridor that links international border crossings with the Greater Golden Horseshoe;
  • Early works in Oshawa and Port Hope, as the first step to enable future widening of Highway 401 to relieve congestion starting at Brock Road in Pickering and through Eastern Ontario;
  • Continuing the next phase of construction for the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph, which will provide relief to the gridlocked Highway 401 and connect the fast‐growing urban centres of Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph;
  • Widening of Highway 17 from Arnprior to Renfrew to four lanes, which will increase capacity as well as enhance road safety for travellers by separating opposing traffic and providing additional passing opportunities; and
  • The Timmins Connecting Link to reconstruct an approximately 21.4‐kilometre stretch of Highway 101, which is one of the longest connecting links in Ontario and used by 25,000 vehicles per day.

The budget also directly mentioned Electronic Logging Devices, stating that “Ontario supports reducing interprovincial trade barriers through the federal–provincial–territorial Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table (RCT), where the province is leading work on testing and deployment of automated and connected vehicles and on electronic logging devices for the trucking industry.”

When it comes to labour and supporting workers, the Government has also announced $15.1 million over three years in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), which nominates applicants for permanent residence who have the skills and experience to match Ontario’s labour market needs. The government is also relaunching the Second Career program as Better Jobs Ontario, which will now support a larger, more diverse range of Ontario workers, with $5 million in new funding in 2022–23 in addition to the nearly $200 million invested over the last three years.

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