On March 23, 2023, Ontario Finance Minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy, presented Ontario’s 2023 budget titled: Building a Strong Ontario (the Budget), hinting at the public infrastructure aspects within. Acknowledging that the province is continuing to face economic uncertainty, the Budget promises to “build Ontario so we can have a strong economy for the future and the infrastructure needed to support growth across the province.”
Infrastructure spending as outlined in the Budget’s capital plan includes planned investment of $184.4 billion ($20.6 billion in 2023-24) across various sectors. We’ve outlined some of the highlights of the Budget below.
Support for flagship transportation projects
The capital plan includes a commitment of $27.9 billion over 10 years to support the construction, expansion and rehabilitation of highways, including:
- Construction of Highway 413
- Bradford Bypass
- QEW Garden City Skyway Bridge Twinning Project
- Expansion of Highway 401 from Pickering through Eastern Ontario
- Widening of certain existing highway corridors
The capital plan also includes $70.5 billion over 10 years for public transit projects including:
- GO Expansion
- Ontario Line LRT
- Scarborough Subway Extension
- Eglinton Crosstown West Extension
Additionally, the capital plan includes the purchase of train sets for the Northlander passenger rail service between Timmins and Toronto and the funding for ongoing progress of the Hazel McCallion Line (formerly Hurontario LRT) and Finch West LRT projects.
Commitment to social infrastructure projects
The capital plan provides for more than $32 billion in capital grants over 10 years for hospital infrastructure, including:
- An urgent care facility at Peel Memorial
- Trillium Health Partners Redevelopment
- A New Oak Valley Health – Uxbridge Hospital
- A new acute care hospital in Windsor and Essex County
- Redevelopment of Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus
The capital plan re-affirms a commitment to long-term care construction, an investment of $15 billion in capital grants over 10 years in schools and childcare facilities. It also outlines over $2 billion in capital grants over 10 years in support of the postsecondary education sector and various commitments to community infrastructure and broadband.
The Budget presents an exciting opportunity for infrastructure professionals in Ontario to continue to build world class infrastructure assets to support our economy. BLG is pleased to be at the heart of public infrastructure projects in the province and we look forward to participating in many of the above-mentioned projects.
BLG has unmatched, in-depth and full-scope experience with public infrastructure projects. We have acted for public owners, concessionaires, lenders, design-builders, operations and maintenance providers and other contractors on various P3 projects across Canada and in many sectors. We would be pleased to discuss your legal services needs for infrastructure projects in Ontario and encourage you to reach out to one of our legal professionals.