At OSPE, we believe that engineering knowledge and talent must be utilized to bring Ontario into the future. Engineers’ knowledge and expertise will play an important role in the immediate, short, and long-term economic recovery of our province. Our governments must support the engineering community during this crisis and help rebuild the engine that powers Ontario and Canada.
The COVID-19 crisis revealed that Ontario’s funding and strategic planning did not adequately prepare the province for this disruption. While this funding shortfall has had a devastating outcome, we must embrace the opportunity presented to rebuild resilient, vibrant, and valuable workforce and digital systems. We can see clearly that any new funding must provide sustainable, long-term benefits that value the diverse strengths of future generations.
COVID-19 has exposed the weakness of high-speed internet access across Ontario. Working remotely has proved challenging and impossible in some areas, and in turn, has impacted the economic activity and the stability of the province. Technology and high capacity digital infrastructure are no longer a luxury: it is a necessity for businesses and consumers to keep pace with the local and global economy.
As universities and other learning platforms embrace online solutions, our governments must work to prioritize broadband access to all Ontarians, keeping in mind the need to properly connect remote and rural communities. Also, the shift towards e-commerce has accelerated during this crisis, showing us a population ready to make the leap. Reliable, high-speed internet connectivity is no longer a “nice to have” and is as vital to the economy as roads are for truckers. In order to keep up with our global competition, the provincial and federal governments must prioritize this infrastructure.
A robust investment in digital infrastructure will help maintain efficiency and physical distance protocols. This can be done simply, by ensuring that certain practices, such as issuing permits, remain accessible online. By keeping some measures online, the government can assist in jump-starting the economy, while keeping social distancing measures a priority.
Many companies are now switching to digital as the need for safety and flexibility increases. This is the new reality, and Ontario’s engineering communities must react to this change in order to stay innovative, healthy, and economically feasible. The clear chasm that exists between some organizations and companies in digital capabilities will only slow down Ontario’s economic and social growth in the future. Other provinces and industries around us will take advantage of e-learning and e-commerce solutions to reach their targeted demographic, leaving Ontario behind in the new reality.
Funding digitization allows the government to close these gaps, keep businesses thriving, and safeguard engineering jobs in the province.
This is just one of our many recommendations to government! Keep visiting our blog to read about our work!
For more on COVID-19, our recommendations and its affect on engineering in Ontario, visit our COVID-19 news page.