We will build the road needed to develop the Ring of Fire and invest in northern transportation infrastructure
Modern and efficient highways, roads, bridges and transit are essential for Northern Ontario families and businesses.
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Since then, the Ontario Liberal government has supported the four-laning of Highway 69 to Sudbury and of Highway 11/17 between Nipigon and Thunder Bay. We introduced intercommunity bus service, which is providing affordable public transit, enhancing access to essential services. We have built and redeveloped northern hospitals and schools and improved broadband connectivity.
But we are hearing from people that we need to do more. An integrated transportation network and more broadband is needed to connect people and businesses across the north. Northern Ontario families will benefit from investments in hospitals and schools.
That’s why the Ontario Liberals will make further investments infrastructure and move forward with a comprehensive plan for northern transportation that addresses the region’s unique needs. Our plan will:
- As part of its $1 billion commitment, build the year-round access road to the Ring of Fire, working with First Nations communities and building on progress to date which includes Environmental Assessment work, baseline studies and the upgrading of existing highways and bridges; road construction is set to begin in 2019
- Commit to permanent annual funding to four-lane the TransCanada highway from the Manitoba border to the Quebec border until the project is fully completed and call on the federal government to match the investment
- Invest an additional $500 million over three years to expand broadband and seek proposals from the northeastern, northwestern and rural parts of the province to improve access where it will have the most impact
- Expand the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission motor coach services into Northwestern Ontario to connect more northerners to the places where they can get the care and services they need; once fully implemented this year, travellers will be able to travel from Ottawa to Winnipeg with a single reservation
- Advance the approval process for new facilities in Sudbury and North Bay as part of our ongoing capital investments in correctional facilities across Ontario
- Continue to make improvements to the Thunder Bay Expressway
- Increase investments to build and improve northern schools and hospitals
- Continue investments to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure, including increasing Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund funding to $300 million by 2018-19
- Invest $490 million over the next 10 years in the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to repair and refurbish railway tracks, bridges and trains
- Invest an additional $206 million over 10 years in infrastructure in northern and rural Ontario, as part of our bilateral agreement with the federal government
- Continue to expand access to natural gas to communities that are not currently served in Northern Ontario, which can save families up to $1,100 per year
- Finalize and implement the Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy and Action Plan, which is based on consultations with northern communities and covers air, rail, road and marine transportation