Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act, 2020: Accelerating Infrastructure Projects

October 22, 2020

Ontario is committed to advancing infrastructure to strengthen communities, create jobs and increase access to critical services in the province. The Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act, 2020 aims to remove barriers in the planning, design and construction process for major projects such as public transit and highways.

To accelerate the delivery of priority infrastructure projects, the Ontario government is proposing a package of legislative measures, policy changes, and consultation opportunities.

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is seeking, through proposed legislative changes, to:

  • Amend the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020 (BTFA) to enable the extension of measures to other major provincial transit projects, which would be specified in regulation.
    • The BTFA includes measures that streamline project delivery and support the accelerated completion of the four priority transit projects.
  • Amend the Public Service Works on Highways Act to include the court order for utility relocation provision in the BTFA. Inclusion would allow for stronger measures to enforce provisions related to the relocation of utilities for highway projects.
  • Extend authorities under the Transit-Oriented Communities Act, 2020 (TOC Act) to other provincial transit projects, such as GO Heavy Rail and light rail transit which would be specified in regulation.
    • Amend the TOC Act to extend authority to provide exemptions from the Hearings of Necessity provisions in the Expropriations Act to other provincial transit projects for TOC.
    • Amend the TOC Act to provide authority to enter into new types of commercial arrangements for other provincial transit projects for TOC to the Minister of Transportation and provide the Minister of Transportation with the ability to delegate this authority by regulation to Metrolinx or other government agencies.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care (MLTC) and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) are proposing to help address zoning and site plan approval concerns to expedite long-term care home development by leveraging support from the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator and by recognizing that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has existing authority to make Minister’s Zoning Orders under the Planning Act.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) is proposing to leverage recently announced investments in the apprenticeship system aimed at building the skilled trades and professional workforce pipeline.

The Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) is funding the expansion of broadband in unserved and underserved communities across the province and continues to help incentivize increased private sector investment to potentially accelerate broadband expansion.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) will consult with municipalities to identify what additional authorities or tools they may need to be granted/delegated to expedite the delivery of critical local infrastructure projects.