Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2014
Liberals need to get their act together on infrastructure
investment, says MPP Arnott
(Queen’s Park) – If infrastructure investment is a priority for the Liberal Government as they
claim, they certainly aren’t showing it, says Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
Earlier this week, Canada’s Finance Minister, Joe Oliver, said that the Federal Government was
still waiting for Ontario to submit a list of infrastructure projects for federal funding under the
Building Canada Plan.
“This government has insisted time and time again that infrastructure spending is their priority,”
Mr. Arnott pointed out in Question Period on November 4. “They’ve made promise after
promise: improved public transit in Toronto; all-day, two-way GO service through my riding;
high-speed rail between London and Toronto; the Ring of Fire. The list goes on and on.”
“This minister continues to drag his feet. Will this government get its act together and commit to
getting its list of preferred infrastructure projects to the federal government by week’s end?” Mr.
Ontario is eligible for approximately $11 billion in federal funding under the Building Canada
Plan over a period of years.
“The Premier has been highly critical of the Federal Government for not investing enough in
infrastructure,” Mr. Arnott said afterwards. “Yet, there appears to be $11 billion set aside for
Ontario. In his responses to my questions, the Minister did not dispute my basic point: they
haven’t sent their list of projects to the Federal Government.”
“Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Manitoba have all submitted their lists. What’s
taking Ontario long?” he added.
Mr. Arnott pointed out that municipalities across Ontario have a long list of infrastructure needs.
“Many municipalities have already submitted applications to the Provincial Government for the
Building Canada Fund,” said Mr. Arnott. “Now they are left waiting for the Province to get its act
(Attached: Hansard record of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Minister of Economic Development,
Employment, and Infrastructure in Question Period, November 4, 2014)
– 30 –
Ontario Hansard – 04-November 2014
FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING
Mr. Ted Arnott: My question is for the minister responsible for infrastructure. Why is it taking the
minister so long to put together the list of infrastructure projects which he needs to submit to the federal
government to receive funding under the New Building Canada Plan?
Hon. Brad Duguid: Mr. Speaker, I used to be a hockey player. When I went into the corners and
somebody had their elbows up, they always got a little taste of the stick. And I want to put that analogy to
The federal Minister of Finance was being very disingenuous yesterday when he suggested incorrectly
that Ontario was in any way holding up the New Building Canada Fund. In fact, Mr. Speaker, since
March, we’ve been waiting for documents from the federal government that, ironically, came two hours
after I spoke out yesterday.
The Minister of Finance federally may be very embarrassed by this. The fact is, we’re going to continue to
invest in infrastructure. He should be embarrassed, when you look at the comparison between the federal
investment in infrastructure compared to ours. We’re investing $130 billion over the next 10 years; the
federal government is only investing $70 billion, Mr. Speaker-and that includes their own buildings-
through the whole country.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Mr. Ted Arnott: Even with all the bluster that the minister can muster, he cannot deny that there are
nearly $11 billion on the table set aside to support infrastructure projects in the province of Ontario.
This government has insisted time and time again that infrastructure spending is their priority. They’ve
made promise after promise: improved public transit in Toronto; all-day, two-way GO service through my
riding; high-speed rail between London and Toronto; the Ring of Fire. The list goes on and on. Yet
Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba have all submitted their lists. This minister continues
to drag his feet.
Will this government get its act together and commit to getting its list of preferred infrastructure projects
to the federal government by week’s end?
Hon. Brad Duguid: I know it might be a little embarrassing for the member to have been so misinformed
by his federal cousins, but the fact of the matter is, since March, we’ve been waiting for our draft
agreement from the federal government. And it’s going to come, Mr. Speaker. We were notified two hours
after we spoke out yesterday, refuting the incorrect information that the federal minister had.
The fact of the matter is, we were the first province in this country to provide, for municipal infrastructure
projects, an application process for small municipalities-the first in the country. We’re eager to move
forward with this program. All we’ve asked for is the draft agreement from the federal government. We’ve
been asking since March; we haven’t had it. Within two hours of us speaking out yesterday, miraculously
it’s going to come. We’ll keep working with the federal government, despite the fact that they’re so undercharging
infrastructure in this province. Their contributions are-
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please.