The Ontario government is providing an additional $1 billion over the next five years to help build and repair local roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in small, rural and northern communities.
“Our small, rural and northern communities will be at the forefront of our efforts to build Ontario for the future,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With this investment, we are saying ‘yes’ to helping these communities build and repair the vital infrastructure they need to keep their communities working for decades to come.”
The multi-year funding is being delivered through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) and will bring the government’s total investment to nearly $2 billion over the next five years. Funding allocations will be based on a formula that recognizes the different needs and economic conditions of communities across the province. Starting in 2022, the formula will include an increased funding minimum of $100,000 for all communities per year, up from $50,000 over previous years.
“Communities are the heartbeat of this province and we know they are facing unique infrastructure needs and challenges, especially as we navigate through the pandemic,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Our government has been with them every step of the way. When we were told more funding supports were needed, we listened and acted in a meaningful way by providing the largest OCIF increase since the start of the program. By doing so, we’re providing stability and predictability to small, rural and northern communities as they repair, upgrade, and modernize their critical infrastructure so that they are safer, healthier and more reliable for all.”
“Our government is building a strong, stable foundation that workers, entrepreneurs, and families will build on for generations to come,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “By nearly doubling our investment in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, our government is supporting public safety, job creation and economic growth.”
The Province’s investment in OCIF is part of the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario. The plan lays out how the government will build Ontario’s future with shovels in the ground for highways, hospitals, long-term care, housing and high-speed internet. To ensure all families, workers and businesses in the province have a better and brighter future, our government’s planned infrastructure investments over the next decade total more than $148 billion.
“Nearly doubling the government’s annual investment in the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund is great news for our communities,” said David Piccini, MPP, Northumberland-Peterborough South. “This investment will provide additional certainty for our small and rural communities so that they can address local infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and water and wastewater infrastructure. Our government continues to build the foundation for recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects in communities across the province.”
Featured image: (Infrastructure Canada)