McGuinty Government Recognizes the Importance of Cutting the Infrastructure Deficit and Keeping Ontario Moving
TORONTO, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - ORBA is encouraged that infrastructure investment remains a priority for Ontario as the McGuinty Government's Budget again announces spending of $35 Billion for the next three years on rehabilitation and expansion of provincial infrastructure. As the government goes about cutting its deficit and making difficult choices for 2012, it is important that it also recognized the ongoing importance of cutting the infrastructure deficit.
"It is clear the government is focused on shrinking the infrastructure deficit while tackling the overall provincial deficit," stated Rob Bradford, Executive Director of the Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA). "The allocated provincial budget for transportation infrastructure (roads, bridges and transit) has again increased for 2012-2013. A strong focus on transportation infrastructure means jobs for Ontarians and stronger lifelines for Ontario's economy. "
The budget shows a commitment to transportation infrastructure in the short-term. However, over the next six years, the MTO's Southern Highways Plan coupled with GO Transit will receive cuts of $1.4 billion in total, while the Northern Highways Plan will see cuts of $208 million. It is expected that the majority of these 'budget cuts' will be felt the during the final three years of the six year time frame; for example, the budget notes a cancellation of HOV lane expansion projects until fiscal capacity allows in the budget. Besides the announced cuts to GO Transit, the documents do not indicate that there will be any further cuts to transit funding over the next 6 years, suggesting that at a minimum transit will experience stable funding.
"Don Drummond clearly highlighted that in order to achieve a sustainable fiscal balance over the long-term, infrastructure spending must be maintained,"
Bradford suggested "Cuts to infrastructure will simply mask the fiscal imbalance over the short-term and we look forward to further conversations regarding transportation infrastructure benefits with the government as the next six years develop."
The Ontario Road Builders' Association is the voice of the majority of road building contractors who build and maintain Ontario's provincial roads. In addition ORBA boasts approximately 100 associate members who supply products and equipment to the industry. To learn more about ORBA go to www.orba.org
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