June 5, 2012
Council of Ontario Construction Associations kicks off 2012 building season with reception in Toronto
Ontario’s construction industry is heating up right along with the weather.
The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) hosts its annual It’s Construction Season! reception at the Ontario Legislature tonight, kicking off another summer of construction work throughout the province.
“[Our reception] is designed to enhance our network of relationships at Queen’s Park while celebrating the economic and social benefits of the construction season, a time which otherwise to many is a source of inconvenience,” said COCA president Ian Cunningham, pointing out that the construction industry makes up 5.2 per cent of Ontario’s gross domestic product and employs in excess of 400,000 people in Ontario during the construction season.
The Ontario government recently announced major improvements to the province’s transportation infrastructure with the investment of $2.4 billion in road and bridge construction projects this year.
“A well functioning transportation system is critical to Ontario’s economic recovery as it facilitates the movement of people to work and play and the flow of goods to markets,” said Cunningham.
“The announcement of this year’s program of highway improvements will not only upgrade the system but will also put some 20,000 people to work providing support for Ontario families and significant stimulus to the economy.”
The provincial government has recognized construction’s role in the Ontario economy. In the recent 2012 budget, the government maintained its commitment to $35 billion in funding over three years and rolled that into a fourth year, so that level will continue into 2014-15.
“Our government is improving infrastructure across the province, while creating jobs and strengthening our economy. These projects will help ensure our roads are safe and in good condition for years to come,” said Bob Chiarelli, minister of infrastructure and transportation, in a release.
Investment in northern Ontario’s roads, highways and bridges is part of the Liberals’ growth plan for northern Ontario, introduced in 2011 to create a strong northern economy through local jobs and to protect services. Over 2,100 jobs will be created in northern Ontario through the northern highways program.
“The northern highways program makes investments in highway infrastructure that ensure safety on our roads for local residents while creating jobs for northerners and maintaining vital transportation links for local industries,” said Rick Bartolucci, minister of northern development and mines, in a release.
The government says it uses new technology and greener construction practices whenever possible, including: rapid bridge replacement, which can reduce a year of traffic delays down to two days; recycling existing pavement; and using recycled and shredded tires for bridge embankment fill.
Ontario has 16,600 kilometres of provincial highways and 2,756 bridges.
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