DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP
Ontario Government Announces 10 Year Plan for Northern and Rural Infrastructure
On Monday, David Orazietti MPP and the Ontario government announced the “Moving Ontario Forward” plan which will create a $29 billion fund for roads, bridges and highways throughout the province.
“With our government’s new plan, Northern Ontario will see more money put into our roads and highways over the next 10 years than in any previous decade,” said Orazietti. “This dedicated fund will mean an acceleration of our Northern highways expansion program, which will see Northern highways such as Highway 17 expanded to four lanes and made safer for Northerners to use.”
In the upcoming 2014 Budget, the government will present a 10-year vision for significant investment in transportation and transit called “Moving Ontario Forward”.
Over the next decade, the provincial government plans to make nearly $29 billion available for transit and transportation infrastructure across the province.
Of the nearly $29 billion, up to $15 billion would be available for investment into the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and $14 billion would be available for investment in the rest of the province.
“The NDP and Conservatives have no long-term plan to fund transportation infrastructure in Northern Ontario,” said Orazietti. “With our government’s two new dedicated funds for transit and transportation infrastructure—one fund for the GTHA and one for the rest of the province—no one in Sault Ste Marie or Thunder Bay will be expected to pay for subways in Toronto.”
This new plan would not be funded by increases in the gas tax, HST or income taxes on low- and middle-income earners.
Taken from recommendations in the Golden Report, the plan will be funded through three ways: New dedicated revenues tools, Re-purpose existing revenues, and a responsible level of debt financing, if needed.
For example: existing HST collected on gasoline and road diesel taxes would be directed into these dedicated funds to build new transit, roads, bridges and highways around the province.
Additionally, 7.5 cents of the existing gas tax collected would be put into these new transit funds.
MPP Orazietti has twice before introduced Private Member’s Bills, in 2006 and 2011, which would have expanded and improved the quality of Highway 17.
If passed, they would have created additional passing lanes, paved shoulders, rumble strips, rest stops and expanded 4-laning.
Since 2003, additional provincial investments that have helped build and improve Sault Ste. Marie while also creating short and long-term jobs include:
- $36.5 million new funding for road and bridge improvements
- $31.6 million under the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) in 2014: $17.2 million in new provincial transfers and $14.4 million to upload service costs
- $10.4 million new provincial gas tax program
- $7.3 million new Algoma Public Health Building
- $6.8 million Conservation Authority infrastructure - source water protection
- $6.4 million social housing improvements
- $6.2 million West End Recreation Centre
- $5.6 million Carmen’s Way
- $4.7 million Essar Centre
- $3.1 million Hub Trail and Waterfront Walkway
- $3.0 million Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) 2008
- $2.7 million COMRIF
- $2.2 million new Emergency Response Centre (EMS)
- $1.9 million land ambulance annually
- $1.6 million Recreational Infrastructure Canada/Ontario 2009
- $1.0 million for 8 new city police officers annually
Since 2003, the Liberal government has built 23 new hospitals, 650 schools built or underway, and 7,900 kilometers of new and repaired highways —the distance from Toronto to Calgary and back.