Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, made the following comments today after the Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund announcement.
TORONTO, August 23, 2016 – Today, we saw the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario enter into a new era of bilateral commitment making public transit more accessible, efficient and inclusive for people across this region.
168 transit projects – over half of them in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) – have been approved with funding ready to flow through a nearly $3 billion Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.
The speed around the delivery of funds is welcome news, as is the “hammer ready” nature of many of the projects to address much-needed maintenance and upgrades to parts of our transit and transportation systems.
While this investment is good news, there are many more projects in need of funding to keep our people, goods and economy moving. We will look to next year’s Federal Budget for more details around the $60 billion total in new infrastructure investment over the next decade.
Getting it right here in the GTHA has national implications. The GTHA powers 20% of Canada’s GDP; is home to half of Ontario’s population; acts as an employment, financial and trade hub for the country; and houses a thriving non-profit sector. What happens in our backyard has a ripple effect, positive or negative, on how we perform as a nation.
The need to make smart, forward-thinking infrastructure investments has never been greater. CivicAction has been pleased to see ongoing engagement and consultation with municipal leaders throughout this process.
To move us forward and ensure we get it right, CivicAction – working with Deloitte – has conducted a series of roundtables and interviews with multi-sector civic and community leaders across the GTHA. Our aim is to provide multi-sector series of recommendations to inform the second phase of infrastructure spending. We will release a report on what we’ve heard later this fall.
In the meantime, we look forward to this next chapter of public infrastructure investments and getting our region where it needs to go.
– 30 –