TORONTO — The provincial government is introducing the Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act, 2020, a package of legislative and policy measures which, if passed, would accelerate the construction of major infrastructure projects.
The proposed legislation, introduced by Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney today (Oct. 22), would reduce barriers in the planning, design and construction of projects such as highway and public transit networks, transit-oriented communities and affordable housing.
If passed, the suite of additional measures would help to further reduce risk and costs, mitigate unnecessary delays and could encourage competitive bidding associated with transit projects, indicates a release.
The government is also planning to address zoning, land availability and site plan approval concerns for priority long-term care home development by leveraging support from the provincial land and development facilitator and by recognizing that the minister of municipal affairs and housing has existing authority to make Minister’s Zoning Orders under the Planning Act, adds the release.
Accelerated delivery of these projects would also boost Ontario’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, getting more people back to work more quickly.
The Ministry of Transportation intends to post a link to the bill on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for a 30-day comment period and, if required, would provide additional opportunities for public engagement.
“The current approach to building major infrastructure projects is plagued with red tape and costly delays,” said Mulroney in a statement. “Through these proposed measures, we’re getting shovels in the ground more quickly on transportation projects that will improve the lives of Ontarians right across the province.”