Engineering groups highlight infrastructure investments in Ontario budget

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Queen's Park Ontario Image
In the budget announcement, Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said that more than $190 billion is ready to invest in upgrading Ontario’s infrastructure over the next 10 years. Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto, stock.adobe.com

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Ontario (ACEC-Ontario) are applauding aspects of the new provincial budget as officials earmark $3.9 billion for projects to expand and repair provincial highways and bridges, as well as a $100-million investment to assist with STEM program costs in schools. 

In the budget announcement, Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said that more than $190 billion is ready to invest in upgrading Ontario’s infrastructure over the next 10 years, including $26.2 billion that will be spent in the coming year. 

Andrew Hurd, ACEC-Ontario’s executive director, called the infrastructure investment “a strategic endeavour” that will yield benefits over generations. 

“Consulting engineers grasp the significance of this vision and are committed to fostering its success,” Hurd announced in a statement. 

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The Ontario highways program includes more than 650 expansion and rehabilitation projects that are either underway or planned over the next four years. 

Included in the budget is $1 billion for the new Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program, as well as an increase to the Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund to make $825 million available to municipalities for the repair and expansion of critical water infrastructure needed to reach housing targets.  

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) also released a statement to applaud the province’s one-time $100-million investment for STEM programming at publicly-assisted colleges and universities.   

“This investment aims to enhance STEM education initiatives, fostering the development of a highly skilled workforce capable of addressing the growing need for engineering professionals,” OSPE announced in a statement.  

ACEC-Ontario, which represents the interests of nearly 140 consulting engineering firms that collectively employ over 25,000 Ontarians, also celebrated the budget’s funding of 15 new projects to help integrate hydrogen into the province’s electricity grid. This funding is through the $15-million Hydrogen Innovation Fund, which supports projects that pave the way for reliable, affordable and clean electricity generation from hydrogen to help power the province’s growth. 

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