On November 14th, the Ontario government presented an economic statement about the province’s progress on financial initiatives. The budget focused on three priorities, Building Ontario’s Economy, Building Ontario’s Workforce and Building Infrastructure for Ontario, all of which are important factors in a thriving province.
Here is a look at the government initiatives most relevant to Ontario’s engineers:
Building Ontario’s Economy
- Attracted $16 billion in transformative automotive investments by global automakers and suppliers of electric vehicle (EV) batteries and battery materials over the last two years. This includes more than $12.5 billion in EVs and EV battery-related manufacturing investments.
- Advanced small modular reactors (SMR) with Canada’s first commercial, grid-scale SMR, which could displace 0.3 to 2 megatonnes of CO2 emissions per year, while stimulating the creation of high-quality jobs in Ontario’s nuclear sector.
- Committed close to $1 billion to support critical legacy infrastructure, such as all‐season roads to the Ring of Fire and unleashing the economic potential of critical minerals with Ontario’s first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy.
OSPE continues to support investments that not only bolster our economy but work towards reversing the climate crisis. Our expert engineers who serve on our task forces are excited about the province’s progress in the SMR space, an initiative OSPE has been advocating for, collaborating with Hon. Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. Read more here.
Building Ontario’s Workforce
- Out of province workers in over 30 in-demand professions such as engineers, auto mechanics, plumbers, as well as other regulated professionals and tradespeople, can get their credentials processed within a service standard of 30 business days.
- Helped more than 52,000 people find a path to employment via Ontario’s Integrated Employment Services systems, which began in 2020.
OSPE is pleased there are measures in place for Ontarians to enter the workforce. Ontario is home to significant talent and government intervention is needed to support maximizing their impact.
OSPE would like to see more efforts that specifically support engineering students, graduates and professionals entering the workforce, with a special focus on equity-seeking groups.
Building Infrastructure for Ontario
- $25.1 billion in highway expansion and rehabilitation over the next 10 years to connect communities, fight gridlock and keep goods and people moving across the province, including building Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, and expanding Highway 401.
- Investing $61.6 billion over the next 10 years in public transit, including the largest subway expansion in Canadian history, and GO expansion, including the completed construction of Unionville and Rutherford GO Stations.
- Created more than 15,000 new, high-quality, and affordable childcare spaces towards the commitment to create 86,000 new childcare spaces by 2026.
OSPE supports the creation of responsible infrastructure with the best interests of our environment and economy in mind. Engineers are strong advocates for data-driven innovation that pave the way for additional technology to enter our space.
OSPE continues to advocate for a third-party environmental scan to review the sustainable competency of the Highway 413 project. We welcome strategic investments into public transportation infrastructure that lessen excessive gridlock and further environmental damage.
Ontario prioritizing affordable childcare opens the door for Ontario’s women and other working parents/guardians to fully participate in the workforce.
If you are interested in OSPE’s advocacy efforts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.