Friday July 25, 2008

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 25, 2008

Ontario, Ottawa to spend billions on infrastructure

The federal government announced Thursday that it has inked a deal with Ontario to spend $9.3-billion over seven years in the province on public transit, roads and bridges as part of its plan to maintain and expand the country’s infrastructure systems.

The Ontario government has signed on to Ottawa’s infrastructure plan, called Building Canada, which will see the Harper government spend $33-billion over seven years on projects across the country.

Lawrence Cannon, Federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities said Ontario will receive $6.2-billion from the federal government, including $3.1-billion from the Building Canada fund itself, to help the province repair its aging roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The Ontario government will match the Building Canada funding, raising the total investment to about $9.3-billion.

Ontario is the latest province to reach a so-called framework agreement with Ottawa, which will set out how it will use its share of the funding.

Ontario Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal George Smitherman was on hand at the news conference, along with Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and his provincial counterpart, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

It was the first time Mr. Flaherty has shared the stage with Mr. Duncan since the federal minister began waging a highly public fight with the McGuinty government earlier this year over its management of the Ontario economy. (Source: Globe & Mail)