08/08/2013

Municipalities own more infrastructure than any other order of government in Ontario.

Most of it is essential to our economic prosperity and our quality of life:

  • Drinking water
  • Sewage and waste disposal
  • Parks and recreational facilities
  • Social Housing
  • Local roads and bridges
  • Public Transit
Ontario’s infrastructure is under mounting pressure.  Much of it was first built in the 1950s and 1960s and now requires modern upgrades or replacement.  A growing population is also increasing the burden and fueling demand for new investments. Ontario faces a municipal infrastructure gap of $60 billion that will take 10 years to close, leaving municipalities with a bill of $6 billion each year.

AMO has advocated for dedicated, long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding programs from the federal and provincial governments and relief from social service costs, which frees up property tax dollars for infrastructure investment.  Ontario’s municipalities have also been putting recent federal and provincial funding programs to good use with projects that are improving infrastructure throughout the Province.

Federal Funding Milestones
  • Budget 2013 committed to renewing the Building Canada Fund for 10 years at $14 billion.
  • The Community Infrastructure Investment Fund, which provides nearly $50 million for community infrastructure upgrades and repairs, opened to applications in July 2012.
  • Canada’s Gas Tax Fund was legislated to be permanent in December 2011.  It provides $746 million annually to Ontario municipalities.  It will also be indexed to rise with costs.
  • Cost-shared stimulus funding and other programs from 2007 to 2009 provided billions of dollars for municipal infrastructure projects.
  • The cost-shared Building Canada Plan, a $33-billion, seven-year program for infrastructure, will soon expire. Consultation on a new program has begun.
Ontario Government Funding
  • Budget 2013 committed $100 million and a permanent program to support critical infrastructure in small, rural and northern municipalities.
  • $100 million for the Municipal Infrastructure Strategy, including $8.5 million to support asset management planning in 350 communities.
  • Since 2008, several funding programs have provided more than $1 billion for various municipal infrastructure initiatives.
  • The 2012 budget postponed municipal roads and bridges funding.
  • The Gas Tax for Transit program also provides on-going support for municipal transit system.
  • In August 2012, the government announced $60 million to help small, rural and Northern municipalities develop infrastructure plans and make critical repairs.
Recent funding from the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure has devoted $8.5 million to 350 municipalities to begin asset management planning; $90 million to municipalities for critical infrastructure projects; and Ontario’s 2013 Budget committed $100 million and consultations on a permanent fund for critical infrastructure in small, rural and northern municipalities as well as permanency of the provincial gas tax for transit programs.

AMO will continue to work in partnership with the Governments of Canada and Ontario to ensure that programs address the needs of communities across Ontario.