Niagara Centre MPP warns Ford to fix crumbling infrastructure before it’s too late

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Published August 19, 2021 at 6:54 pm

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Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, also the NDP’s Municipal Affairs critic, says the Ford government better start dealing with Ontario’s crumbling infrastructure now before it’s too late.

When an alarming new report shows that 45 per cent of municipal infrastructure needs repairs, Burch said, “Now is the time – a time when we need jobs, a time when Ontario needs economic activity – to end decades of uncertain funding and underfunding. I am urging the Ford Government to take this seriously and invest in our communities.”

When Ontario’s fiscal watchdog, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO), estimated 45 per cent of municipal infrastructure in the province needs repairs, the potential price-tag came in at about $52 billion.

However, it may actually be far worse, says the FAO who warned that the backlog of infrastructure in need of fixing is likely higher since the data it examined is incomplete.

Municipal roads make up the largest share of the backlog, estimated at $21.1 billion, followed by buildings and facilities, wastewater, potable water and bridges and culverts.

However, the FAO added earlier this summer that the Ford government spent about $10 billion less in the last fiscal year than it had stated it was going to on key municipal projects.

The FAO said in a report that the government had boosted its spending plan by $22.1 billion during the 2020-21 fiscal year, which was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But in the end, the province actually spent $10.3 billion less than planned.

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