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Since 1894, the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) has continuously searched for new ways to serve its membership more effectively. Our members have told us that they would like their councils to be better informed about the association’s policy & advocacy efforts as well as on important issues at Queen’s Park. OGRA Connect is a policy-focused communication piece that can easily be added to your council’s agenda. OGRA Connect will keep you updated on advocacy efforts and as important issues at the provincial level arise.

March 13, 2019
Province Rolls Out Phase 2 of Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program

Yesterday, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, the Hon. Monte McNaughton, announced that the Government of Ontario was launching its part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Phase 2. The joint program with the federal government is worth $30 billion over ten years and the Province is responsible for providing $10.2 billion. The terms of this program are laid out in the Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Bilateral Agreement which was signed last year. The Agreement divides funding into four streams:

  1. Rural and Northern
  2. Public Transit
  3. Green
  4. Community, Culture, and Recreation

This week’s announcement was for the Rural and Northern stream specifically. Projects in this stream must meet at least one of the following outcomes:

  1. Improved food security
  2. Improved and/or more reliable road, air and/or marine infrastructure
  3. Improved broadband connectivity
  4. More efficient and/or reliable energy
  5. Improved education and/or health facilities (specific to Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action)

However, the Province has decided that the first round of applications will focus solely on projects meant to improve road, bridge, air, and marine infrastructure. Municipalities and Indigenous communities with populations under 100,000 are eligible to apply. The application period begins March 18 and will be open for eight weeks. Municipalities can apply by visiting the Grants Ontario website. It is important to note that a project is not eligible for funding through the Agreement if it is:

  1. Housing;
  2. An early learning and childcare facility;
  3. A health facility, or an education facility, except to benefit Indigenous peoples by advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, as approved by Canada;
  4. A highway or trade corridor infrastructure, except for portions that connect communities that do not already have year-round road access; or
  5. Resource development infrastructure, notably industrial resource development access roads.

Through the Agreement, project costs are shared between all levels of government. The Province is responsible for providing no less than 33.33% of project funding. For the Rural and Northern stream specifically, the federal government will provide 50% of eligible expenditures for municipalities with populations between 5,000 and 100,000 and 60% for those with populations less than 5,000. The amount available through the Agreement under this stream is $250 million from the federal government and $206 million from the provincial government for a total of just over $456 million.

Ontario’s contribution to the entire ten-year program will be $10.2 billion across all four streams. Minister McNaughton stated that the details for the Public Transit stream of the program would be announced shortly. At this time, it is unknown when details for the remaining two streams will be announced. It is important to note that funding through this Agreement is in addition to other provincial infrastructure funding programs such as the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund.

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The mandate of the Ontario Good Roads Association is to represent the transportation and public works interests of municipalities through advocacy, consultation, training and the delivery of identified services.

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