The Oakville Chamber’s policy recommendations for infrastructure spending were approved this weekend at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting, in Sarnia, Ontario.
The policy resolution, and the recommended actions, will become one of a number of key priorities identified by the Ontario Chamber and form part of the framework for the advocacy efforts undertaken by the organization at the provincial level.
The resolution submitted to the Ontario Chamber states that Ontario’s infrastructure deficit is delaying recovery in all parts of the province. Meanwhile, congestion in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) costs the region an estimated $6 billion in lost productivity each year.
With Ontario’s population expected to grow approximately 30% by 2041, infrastructure needs will justifiably grow with it.
“Infrastructure funds need to be allocated effectively and efficiently to the right types of projects. It is vital that investments are made strategically into projects that support the long-term growth of our economy” stated John Sawyer, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.
Sawyer also notes that “According to the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) almost 60% of Canada’s core public infrastructure is owned and maintained by municipal governments and the total value of core municipal infrastructure assets is estimated at $1.1 trillion dollars. While most of our infrastructure challenges are the responsibility of local governments, both the federal and provincial government have committed renewed investment to tackle our infrastructure needs. Successful distribution of this funding will be achieved by the co-ordination, communication and collaboration of all levels of government.”
According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), every $1 billion invested in infrastructure generates between $1.20 billion and $1.64 billion in real GDP growth; a proven multiplier effect guaranteed to boost the economy.
Similarly, every $1 billion invested in infrastructure creates approximately 16,000 jobs which are supported for one year across multiple sectors.
The resolution prepared by the Oakville Chamber and co-sponsored by the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce is driven by Chamber member opinion obtained through advocacy surveys which revealed that congestion continues to be an obstacle for success for businesses and that infrastructure priorities need to be transportation related.