Ontario is moving forward with its plan to build opportunity and security for the future. The 2014 Ontario Budget tabled by Minister of Finance Charles Sousa takes immediate action to create jobs by investing in a highly skilled workforce, building modern infrastructure and transportation networks, and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate.
Ontario's public infrastructure – roads, bridges, transit systems, hospitals and schools – help make the province one of the best places in the world to live, work and invest, province officials said. To build on Ontario's infrastructure advantage, Budget 2014 invests more than $130 billion in infrastructure over the next 10 years. This investment will create jobs right away, improve Ontario's productivity and support the jobs and growth of tomorrow. It includes:
- New dedicated funds that would make nearly $29 billion available over the next 10 years to build a seamless and province-wide transportation network by investing in highways, public transit, roads and bridges. The funds would be fairly and transparently divided by population, so that the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) would receive $15 billion and other regions of Ontario would receive nearly $14 billion.
- A commitment of $1 billion to develop strategic transportation infrastructure in the Ring of Fire and unlock the North’s economic growth and jobs potential.
- An investment of more than $11 billion in modernizing elementary and secondary schools over the next 10 years.
- More than $11.4 billion in major hospital expansion and redevelopment projects over the next 10 years.
- New or expanded post-secondary campuses to ensure there are as many college and university spaces in Ontario as there are ambitious and talented young people.
In 2014-15, investments totaling $2.5 billion are planned for highway rehabilitation and expansion projects across the province, an increase of approximately $400 million above 2013-14 levels.
Key projects scheduled to start construction this year include:
- High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane projects on sections of Highway 410, through Mississauga and Brampton, and on Highway 427, through Mississauga and Vaughan.
- Widening Highway 401 near Cobourg.
- Widening an additional 11 km of Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury, as part of the ongoing expansion of Highway 69.
- Realignment of Highway 66 through the community of Virginiatown, east of Kirkland Lake.