The Ontario government is proposing a new law that would force the province to lay out infrastructure-building plans. On Tuesday, Infrastructure Minister Glen Murray released details on the legislation, which was first announced earlier this month in the Fall Economic Statement.
The law would require the government to table a plan that lays out exactly what infrastructure will be built – whether highways, bridges, subway lines or hospitals – for the next 10 years.
The legislation would also make sure infrastructure planning takes demographic and economic trends into account to make sure the province is thinking ahead when it decides which projects to build.
"This proposed legislation leverages the best possible economic, cultural and environmental outcomes from the province's infrastructure investments," Mr. Murray said in a statement.
Since taking office earlier this year, Premier Kathleen Wynne has frequently argued that past governments did not do enough to plan and build needed infrastructure, especially when it comes to public transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The law is designed to make sure governments do not shirk their infrastructure-building duties again.
If the bill, titled the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, is passed, the province will have to table the first building plan in three years. The plan would be updated every five years after that.
Ms. Wynne has already promised to spend $35-billion on infrastructure over the next three years.
Among other projects, the province is currently building three light rail lines and one subway extension in Toronto, an extension of Highway 407 and created a fund for rural communities to build new roads and bridges.