Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2013
Published on: 27/11/2013
On November 26th, Minister of Infrastructure Glen Murray introduced Bill 141, Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2013. This Bill, if passed, would require the government to maintain a rolling 10-year Infrastructure Plan, providing a detailed plan of what infrastructure will be built over the coming decade. OSWCA has long been calling for this type of commitment from the government, as it will help our member companies develop their long- term business plans, knowing where provincial dollars are to be directed over the coming years. It also holds the government in Ontario to account on its infrastructure requirements.
The Act includes provisions which continue to move the province towards a full asset management program, including: requiring the government to publish a rolling inventory of infrastructure assets wholly or partly owned by the province; a valuation of the infrastructure; the age of the assets; and, the condition of the assets. It does, however, stop short of mandating a standardized asset management plan for municipalities to follow,which is a necessary step towards identifying and maintaining all infrastructure in the province (even those assets wholly owned by the municipalities). The Act also stops short of requiring the government to develop a long-term funding strategy for the plan.
Nevertheless, the Bill moves the Infrastructure envelope forward, by coordinating all of the provincial infrastructure strategies into one comprehensive plan, prioritizing projects that have already been outlined in existing plans. This includes strategies that do not bind or apply to the provincial government, such as the Water Opportunities Act, 2010.
This type of planning has been a priority for Kathleen Wynne, since she took office in January. The introduction of this Act comes two weeks after the government's Fall economic statement, which seemed to layout an election platform from the governing Liberal Party. This introduction of this Act, which demonstrates government action on a critical and publicly-visible file, provides further fodder to the rampant speculation about a potential Spring election.
If you have any questions about the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act or the 2014 Budget process, please feel free to contact Patrick at OSWCA at 905-629-8819 or Patrick.email@example.com.
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