Ontario tables Long-Term Infrastructure Plan

Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli released the Ontario Government’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan (LTIP), entitled “Building Better Lives”, at a luncheon at the Empire Club of Canada on Tuesday November 28th.

The plan outlines the government’s vision for Ontario’s infrastructure planning and investment and is a key interim step in meeting the requirements of the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015. It is made-up of four pillars that will advance provincial infrastructure planning and delivery:

1. Life-Cycle Assessments

Beginning in 2019, the government will introduce Life-Cycle Assessments as a tool to support its evidence-based infrastructure project decisions. The plan is to have a Life-Cycle Assessment for all major projects by the middle of the next decade. Using a phased integration approach for planning, procurement, business case development and decision-making, the province will continue to consult with technical experts for advice on how to properly implement these assessments. The government will begin looking for large, complex projects next year through which to demonstrate how Life-Cycle Assessments can be integrated as part of its procurement process. The objective is for life-cycle environmental considerations to be incorporated into ministries’ business cases for infrastructure investments in 2018.

2. Community Benefits

The government will develop Community Benefits Pilot Projects early in 2018 with input from construction, social services and community stakeholder groups. These pilot projects are intended to inform the province’s Community Benefits Framework, that is to be developed by 2019 and implemented as part of major infrastructure projects by 2020.

3. Broadband

Government will release a draft Provincial Broadband Strategy for public consultation in 2018. The strategy will outline a vision for connectivity, identify key priorities and process for achievement. Central to the success of the strategy will be private sector expertise and financing, in addition to federal support from the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The proposed release date for the completed strategy is 2019.

4. Social Purpose Real Estate

The government is also presently developing a Social Purpose Real Estate Strategy. The intent of the proposed strategy is to ensure that the province will review current and future assets from a community-needs perspective. It will also contemplate factors such as the need for funding and other barriers to co-locating or integrating social services. Central to the strategy will be:

• A provincial interest policy framework to guide government decision-making related to surplus public properties;

• Strategic changes to government realty policies to expand circulation and embed active consideration of community needs in decisions on acquisition of property and use, and disposition of government property; and,

• Establishment of internal structures to ensure community needs focused government decision-making related to public property disposition and infrastructure planning.

Consulting Engineers of Ontario will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Infrastructure on the implementation of this plan. A copy of the plan and the technical appendix can be found here.