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‘Get your shovels ready,’ Scott tells AMO

Don Wall
‘Get your shovels ready,’ Scott tells AMO

Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott has told representatives of the province’s 444 municipalities that infrastructure cheques will soon be on their way.

Scott spoke Aug. 17 at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) virtual conference.

“I asked many conference attendees late last year to ‘Get your shovels ready,’” Scott said. “I can tell you that you’re certainly going to need them this year.

“And with that, I’m now saying, ‘Get those shovels in the ground.’”

Scott did not announce any new program spending but she did release details of previously launched programs as well as more precise program timing.

Announcements have been made on two of the four funding streams in the federal-provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, (ICIP), which has $10.2 billion in funding — so far, the Rural and Northern stream and the Public Transit stream have been tapped.

Later this year, Scott said, the government plans to roll out the other two streams: the Green stream and the Community, Culture and Recreation stream.

Rural, northern and small communities will also be supported through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. In January, the government announced a $200-million allotment through that fund to help 424 small, rural and northern communities build and repair critical local infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure.

Other programs highlighted during the AMO speech:

  • the Accelerated Build Pilot Program will support the construction of 960 new long-term-care beds in four facilities in three municipalities by the end of 2021. Over the next five years, the government will spend $1.75 billion on long-term-care homes.
  • through the unsolicited proposal framework, announced last year, the government is encouraging private-sector project proposals.

“Now our government has a way to collect great new ideas from the private sector — and move forward with the ones that will provide clear benefits to the people of Ontario while aligning with government priorities,” said Scott.

  • in July, the government announced the Improving Connectivity for Ontario program, a $150-million provincial broadband program that will leverage up to $500 million for broadband investment expansion into underserved communities. The program is part of a broader $315-million broadband program launched in 2019.

In addition, the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology broadband program and the Eastern Ontario Regional Network are in operation in those parts of the province.

  • the recent Spring 2020 P3 Market Update lists a total of 37 P3 projects including 17 civil, 16 health care, three community safety and one children’s treatment centre, representing more than $60 billion in P3 projects.

 

Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

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