Ontario's Future Prosperity Linked to Infrastructure Investments
Toronto, March 22, 2007 - Ontario Home Builders' Association President Brian Johnston supports the infrastructure investments announced in the 2007 Ontario Budget. The OHBA congratulates the province on balancing the budget and believes that future projected surpluses bode well for economic prosperity in the province.
"OHBA has long advocated for infrastructure investment, and today's budget addresses some of the infrastructure deficit facing the province," Johnston said. "I'll be looking forward to seeing shovels in the ground soon for highway improvements in Durham, Caledon, Kingston and Ottawa."
The province expects 3.7 million new residents in the Greater Golden Horseshoe over the next 30 years. Expanding infrastructure systems and transportation capacity as well as clearly defining the role of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority is crucial to support and sustain planned growth.
"Infrastructure expansion is the key long-term investment all governments need to make to ensure sustainable prosperity for all Ontarians. We must continue to invest today to meet the challenges of tomorrow," said Johnston who added, "It is important for the government to realize the EA process continues to stymie transit and road infrastructure expansion. The government should continue to work to reduce bottlenecks in this process. The budget investments indicate some progress, but I would have preferred to have seen a stronger emphasis on infrastructure in this budget."
Ontario home builders are pleased that the province has outlined a rebate program for homeowners to pay for individual home energy audits to address growing energy conservation concerns. Builders across Ontario are being proactive in the development of a green and sustainable future by constructing energy efficient homes and renovators are upgrading the existing housing stock through energy efficient retrofits.
"Ontario citizens are concerned that declining housing affordability is limiting choice as compared to the opportunities and competitive tax environment of Western Canada. The McGuinty government must be proactive to ensure that Ontario continues to be a destination of choice for new immigrants, skilled labour and business," cautioned Johnston.
The residential construction industry in Ontario contributes more than $33 billion dollars to the provincial economy and employs over 313,000 people.
OHBA is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario representing 4,000 member companies organized in a network of 31 local associations across the province.
For further information please contact Joe Vaccaro 416-433-2472