“The Ontario Budget affects every Ontarian. That’s why it’s important for the government to hear from the people across the province, to discuss their priorities and understand what investments they want to see in their communities.” – Finance Minister Hon. Charles Sousa
QUEEN’S PARK—On Wednesday, January 18, OSPE’s CEO Sandro Perruzza delivered key recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. OSPE’s invitation to participate in this formal proceeding demonstrates the Society’s growing influence with the Government of Ontario as the recognized voice of the engineering profession.
In his remarks, Perruzza stressed the importance of engineers and the engineering profession for maintaining a high quality of life for all Ontarians and unlocking the province’s true potential. Engineers are key stakeholders on issues pertaining to sustainable and enhanced economic growth; the growth of a highly-skilled workforce; and the creation of enduring, functional and safe infrastructure.
OSPE’s presentation offered more than $10-billion in annualized benefits to government, ratepayers and taxpayers, as well as engineering solutions to stimulate economic growth, find efficiency-gains and realize cost-savings.
The presentation highlighted three core issues:
- The importance of affordable energy and how to achieve lower costs through engineering
- The engineering labour market and the current skills gap, defined as a disparity between the knowledge engineering graduates acquire at school and the abilities industry demands of employees
- The lack of engineering oversight of Ontario’s infrastructure projects, which could jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of users of public infrastructure
While OSPE is enthusiastic about having had the opportunity to present before the Standing Committee, unfortunately, the government’s response to OSPE’s presentation was limited to several questions surprisingly unrelated to the critical takeaways that had been presented.
“When you present billions of dollars worth of engineering advice, you certainly hope that the government will be all ears. Skyrocketing hydro prices are a hot topic in Ontario, and we laid out engineering insight that would amount to more than $5.5 billion in annualized savings to ratepayers,” said Perruzza.
“Premier Wynne says that her government must find new ways to reduce the pressure on Ontario’s homeowners and businesses. We are calling on the government to work with us and ‘walk the talk’. Ontario’s engineers just gave you immediate and actionable advice to lower hydro bills by more than 25% each year. Not to mention, the high cost of energy also disproportionately harms critical sectors where engineers play major roles and contribute to Ontario’s economy. On energy, OSPE will continue to raise this important conversation, and we want Ontario to take notice and take action.”
At OSPE, we believe that Ontario’s ability to unlock the incredible potential of the three aforementioned areas will define our level of economic prosperity for years to come, and engineers will play a critical role in achieving that success. Engineers are integral participants in Ontario’s economy and therefore, they must be supported and consulted by government if they are to continue to protect the safety of all Ontarians and continue to lead our province into a bright future.
*Stayed tuned for the upcoming March issue of The Voice magazine for a detailed summary of the Submission’s recommendations.