On October 14, 2020, OSPE was invited to deliver recommendations to the Ministry of Finance ahead of Ontario’s 2020 Budget.
OSPE’s presentation and message was clear: Engineers Create Wealth through the development 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.
The engineering community has been severely impacted by this pandemic, as thousands of engineering jobs were lost. This talent is needed in rebuilding the engine that drives Ontario and the rest of the country. The province must support the engineering community if it wishes to maximize its economic recovery efforts.
We believe that it is imperative that new funding allocations provide sustainable benefits for diverse, future generations by ensuring that this budget reflects a focus on 3 key areas:
- talent development and retention
- fostering research and innovation
Summary of OSPE’s Recommendations for the 2020 Ontario Budget
- Implement a clear and transparent analytical process to review new and existing programs, policies and initiatives, to identify who in Ontario will benefit, who might be harmed and who will be left out – as part of the approval and provincial funding process.
- Support organizations that implement inclusive design principles and the growth of a diverse workforce to enable economic equity and recovery in Ontario.
- Invest in talent development, knowledge training, and support for engineers across the province.
- Support engineering students and recent engineering graduates.
- Drive the transformation of engineering education.
- Train engineers for the skills required to succeed in the energy efficiency and green building sector.
- Support small and medium sized engineering firms by tackling the growing liability insurance costs through regulatory reform.
- Provide further relief to Ontario’s businesses and families by making surplus electricity available at current market rates.
- Work towards a sustainable transition by encouraging the use of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and emissions free technology.
- Accelerate the electrification of the transportation system, including electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
- Modernize Ontario’s building code.
- Invest in Ontario’s mining industry to ensure proper clean-up of Ontario’s orphaned and abandoned sites, as well as the sustainable development of the Ring of Fire.
- Ensure all provincial infrastructure projects adhere to the following principles:
- Use of a Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) framework
- Properly report life-cycle costing
- Create diverse supply chains
- Work with Conservation Authorities and municipalities to update the province’s floodplain mapping.
- Invest in Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to create jobs in the nuclear energy industry and provide additional sources of low carbon electricity and heat.
Research and Innovation
- Support local manufacturing innovation and production.
- Support the generation, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property (IP) in small to medium enterprises.
These recommendations are essential for the continued economic prosperity of our province. Ontario’s Engineering Community is ready to engage and provide solutions!
The Government of Ontario will release its budget in early November. Stay tuned for our analysis of this upcoming budget and our assessment of how it will impact the engineering community.