Report points to a $19 billion infrastructure gap which must be addressed through new accountabilities in Ontario’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

Greater Sudbury, August 23, 2017: Today, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), released Building Better: Setting the 2017 Ontario Infrastructure Plan up for Success, a report calling on the Ontario Government to implement key recommendations in its imminent Long-Term Infrastructure Plan (LTIP) that will help ensure accountable planning and building resilient, adaptable infrastructure for the future.

With relatively stagnant infrastructure investment since the 1970s, the province of Ontario currently faces a significant infrastructure gap, where it would need an estimated $19 billion to improve current infrastructure alone. The gap exists because governments have not invested in upholding original infrastructure and Ontario’s harsh climate has contributed to the deterioration of the province’s infrastructure.

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce also notes that while there is an infrastructure gap across Ontario, it is particularly acute here in Greater Sudbury. In September 2016 Auditor General Ron Foster reported that Greater Sudbury faces a $1.4 billion infrastructure shortfall.

“Government needs to address this shortfall by making significant investments in infrastructure that will equip us for the future,” said Michael Macnamara, Chair of the Board, Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. “Investments in projects like the Maley Drive extension are a good start, but there is more to be done. We need to ensure our infrastructure dollars are spent on innovative and forward-looking project that will grow Greater Sudbury’s economy and capacity to do business.”

The government’s LTIP is expected to be released this fall with stakeholders greatly anticipating its release. The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber Network are contributing to the development of the LTIP by recommending that government:
• bring fresh accountability methods around how infrastructure dollars are spent to ensure spending and planning are transparent;
• confront challenges of the 21st century by ensuring planning considers how we can build infrastructure that is resilient and adaptable and deals with variables such as climate change; and that,
• ensure that the Long-Term Infrastructure Plan is strategic, robust, and based on long-term thinking.

“We commend the Government of Ontario for their impressive allotment of infrastructure funds; this investment in our province’s infrastructure has the potential to yield tremendous benefits for all Ontarians,” said Richard Koroscil, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “To ensure the Ontario government’s investments do not suffer the same fate as those of federal government, where significant funds have been committed but few projects identified, we hope the Government of Ontario will implement our recommendations, to better strengthen the province’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan.”

Research shows that investment in infrastructure, such as roads, transportation, communication, utilities and more, have resulted in lowered business costs and increased labour productivity. It is estimated that for every $1 billion in infrastructure spending, 16,700 jobs are supported for one year and the GDP sees a $1.14 billion increase.

The full report can be found here.

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For more information, please contact:
Bryan Heystee
Policy and Communications Manager
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
705-673-7133 ext. 224
705-677-5735 (cell)
bryan@sudburychamber.ca
www.sudburychamber.ca

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that represents 850 businesses and through the participation of its member volunteers on committees and task forces, it works ‘as the Voice of Business’ to influence federal, provincial and local legislation affecting business.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is Ontario’s business advocate.