March 1, 2012
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Construction and Design Alliance of Ontario concerned over infrastructure funding cancellation
The Construction and Design Alliance of Ontario (CDAO) has expressed grave concerns with a recent provincial announcement that Ontario will “sacrifice” its infrastructure funding programs.
At the recent ROMA/OGRA conference Premier Dalton McGuinty warned municipal leaders that billions of dollars previously earmarked for infrastructure projects are no longer available and that infrastructure programs have been cancelled. “I have to support our economic advantage, the skills and education of our people and sacrifice the infrastructure fund,” McGuinty said.
“That’s why we chose not to move forward this year with a new permanent fund for roads and bridges with the federal government,” McGuinty said during a speech to association members.
“This funding was available to address the infrastructure deficit with the intent of supporting the
Ontario economy and creating much needed jobs in the province and the cancellation of these programs is very disappointing.” said Joe Accardi, CDAO chair.
In mid-February, just before the release of the Drummond Report, CDAO met with Ontario infrastructure and transportation minister Bob Chiarelli to stress the importance of addressing the ever growing infrastructure deficit.
CDAO noted that without stable funding the infrastructure deficit will continue to grow at a rapid rate. It is “vital” to establish an economic balance between infrastructure investment and the $16 billion deficit reduction to ensure sustainable public services and public safety in Ontario, stated the alliance.
CDAO noted it was pleased to see that the Drummond Report recognized the importance of infrastructure investment and is disappointed that McGuinty is choosing to ignore this recommendation.
The alliance also stated that it believes it is important for all three levels of government to align their priorities under the weight of deficit reduction, a statement which Chiarelli supported, CDAO said.
Chiarelli promised that the sudden change in direction by McGuinty would not compromise public safety, but CDAO said it is not sure how that can be accomplished.
The CDAO is composed of the major construction and design organizations involved in delivering infrastructure across Ontario. These associations provide technical advice and industry support for design and construction information to provincial ministries such as Ontario’s infrastructure ministry.
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