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Infrastructure summit sets sights on long-term solutions


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August 12, 2014 by STAFF REPORT

Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario, addresses the Building Canada Up Summit on Aug. 6th, 2014 in Toronto, Ont.
Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario, addresses the Building Canada Up Summit on Aug. 6th, 2014 in Toronto, Ont.

Addressing a room filled with Canadian and international infrastructure leaders during the Building Canada Up Summit, Kathleen Wynne affirmed her government’s $130- billion commitment to improving infrastructure in Ontario over the next 10 years. “And in Ontario, we’re asking our federal government to do its part, too, by increasing its annual investment in infrastructure to two per cent of GDP,” said Wynne, Ontario’s premier.

The 2015 Pan Am and Para Pan Games, she said, are an example of infrastructure accomplishments that can be achieved when all levels of government and the public and private sectors work together. “There’s no question the Games were the catalyst that brought us together to build housing, unlock new commercial space and new opportunities for business, and connect communities with new and improved road and transit options,” she said.

At the full-day Summit on Aug. 6 in Toronto, several expert panels discussed a range of pertinent infrastructure topics such as what kinds of public infrastructure projects deliver the biggest bang for bucks, how much Canadian governments are investing in infrastructure compared to their international counterparts, different types of infrastructure investments, the role of the private sector, and federal contributions.

Wynne said the Summit’s findings will inform a report that will be presented at the Council of the Federation (a twice annual meeting of the leaders of Canada’s provinces and territories) later in August.