OSPE’s recommendations regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on Infrastructure

On July 30, 2020, OSPE was invited to deliver recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, regarding the study of the recommendations relating to the Economic and Fiscal Update Act, 2020 and the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on certain sectors of the economy (Infrastructure).

OSPE CEO, Sandro Perruzza, had the honour of sharing the priorities of Ontario’s engineering community. 

OSPE’s message was clear: Engineers generate wealth for the province, through the development and commercialization of new technologies and by designing innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit all Ontarians.

Engineers also ensure safety and stability by designing resilient infrastructure, reliable energy grids and clean water systems that Ontarians rely on daily.

During this pandemic, engineers have led the redesign of manufacturing processes to create much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ventilators. They are in the med-tech industry working diligently to bio-engineer new medications and develop vaccines to combat COVID-19.

The engineering community has been severely impacted by this pandemic, as thousands of engineering jobs were lost. This talent will be needed in rebuilding the engine that drives Ontario and the rest of the country. As such, the province must support the engineering community if it wishes to maximize its economic recovery efforts.

It is imperative that new funding allocations provide sustainable benefits for diverse, future generations by ensuring a focus on sustainable infrastructure, talent development and retention, and fostering innovation.

OSPE provided the Standing Committee with specific recommendations for consideration as part of the province’s post COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

OSPE believes that the government must prioritize certain actions that will enable the most prosperous recovery for Ontario. COVID-19 has taught everyone the great importance of building a resilient economy that is better prepared to withstand unknown threats of this magnitude.

A resilient economy can be supported by:

  • Leveraging Ontario’s existing assets
  • Building the assets that both businesses and workers of the future need to succeed
  • Strengthening Ontario’s competitive advantage

Perruzza highlighted the following recommendations:

  1. Invest in shovel worthy projects by developing a comprehensive project investment pipeline document. This must be informed by currently regulated municipal asset management plans. 
  2. Support small and medium sized engineering firms by tackling increasing liability insurance costs.
  3. Accelerate the electrification of the transportation system, including EV adoption.
  4. Modernize Ontario’s Building Code.
  5. Invest in talent development, knowledge training, and supports for engineers across the province.
  6. Invest in Ontario’s Mining Infrastructure

These recommendations are essential for the post COVID-19 economic prosperity of our province. Ontario’s engineering community is ready to engage and provide solutions!

Read OSPE’s Full Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. 

What are your thoughts on our recommendations to the Standing Committee? Have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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