“[Yesterday’s] announcement of committing $130 billion to public infrastructure over the next 10 years is welcome news for Ontario’s construction industry. The investments will support 110,000 jobs per year,” said Patrick Dillon, business manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, which represents 150,000 trades workers throughout the province.
The announcement represents a $2.6 billion increase to last year’s $28.9 billion pledge to the ‘Moving Ontario Forward’ fund. About $15 billion will fund infrastructure projects outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), while $16 billion will fund transit investments in the GTHA.
“Transport gridlock accounts for $11 billion in lost productivity in the region every year, so we are pleased to see firm commitments to fund transit infrastructure in order to relieve traffic congestion and get people moving again,” said Dillon.
The budget also includes an additional $55 million to assist Ontario’s apprenticeship system through the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund designed to bolster the training capacity of organizations that supply Ontario’s construction workforce across every trade. “These funds will augment efforts to attract youth, women and Aboriginals to the trades which will boost employment opportunities and provide a gateway to promising careers in the trades,” noted Dillon, adding that “the way in which these funds are allocated to organizations must be based on the demonstrable apprenticeship completion rates that those organizations provide.”
“Overall, the budget sends a positive signal to the construction industry by supporting investments in the people who build and maintain the roads, schools, hospitals and energy systems that we all depend on. A vibrant construction industry gives rise to a strong economy,” concluded Dillon.