OSPE delivered its recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Finance ahead of the release of the Ontario 2022 Budget.
OSPE’s message was clear: Engineers Create Wealth. Therefore, the province must now support the engineering community in rebuilding the engine that drives Ontario, and the rest of the country.
Engineers are at the centre of a prosperous economic recovery for our province and country. Engineers generate wealth through the development and commercialization of new technologies and by designing innovative and sustainable solutions for the benefit of all Ontarians. Engineers also ensure safety and stability by designing resilient infrastructure and reliable energy and water systems that Ontarians rely on daily. Without the important work engineers perform, short and long-term economic recovery will not be possible.
In times of crisis, you will always find engineers working tirelessly, in the background, without much accolade, diligently supporting the communities they serve. Engineers were among the first to point out that SARS-CoV-2 was an airborne disease, and hence called on the government to invest in proper ventilation in schools and Long-Term Care homes to prevent its spread.
Unfortunately, the engineering community, like others, has been severely impacted by this pandemic, as thousands of engineering jobs are directly linked to the infrastructure, manufacturing, technology and research and innovation sectors. This has not only affected the profession, but the entire Ontario economy.
Despite this setback, engineers possess technical knowledge and talent and are beyond capable of leading the economic recovery of our province. Ontario must now support the engineering community in rebuilding the engine that drives our province and country.
Summary of OSPE’s Recommendations for the 2022 Ontario Budget
Engineering Workforce Development
1. Invest in talent development, knowledge training, and supports for engineers across the province.
2. Train engineers for the skills required to succeed in new and green emerging sectors.
3. Support the growth of a diverse workforce to enable economic equity and recovery in Ontario.
4. Work with the federal government to establish a $10 a day child-care program in Ontario.
5. Provide further relief to Ontario families and businesses by making surplus electricity available at current market rates.
6. Accelerate the electrification of the transportation system, including electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
7. Modernize Ontario’s Building Code.
8. Ensure all provincial infrastructure projects:
a. Use a Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) framework
b. Effectively report life-cycle costing
c. Create diverse supply chains
9. Establish an Ontario Critical Minerals Research and Market Development Council within Ontario’s Critical Minerals Strategy
Research and Innovation
10. Support local manufacturing innovation and production.
11. Support the generation, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property (IP) in small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
These recommendations are essential for the continued economic prosperity of our province. Ontario’s Engineering Community is ready to provide solutions!
The Government of Ontario will release its Budget in late March/early April. Stay tuned for our analysis of this upcoming budget and our assessment of how it will impact the engineering community.