Government of Ontario launches Ontario Infrastructure Bank

Nov. 6, 2023
The Ontario Infrastructure Bank is part of the government of Ontario’s 2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Building a Strong Ontario Together; a selection process is also underway for positions on the Canadian Infrastructure Bank Board of Directors.

The government of Ontario is launching the Ontario Infrastructure Bank, a new arms-length, board-governed agency to enable public-sector pension plans and other trusted institutional investors to participate in large-scale infrastructure projects across the province. The Ontario Infrastructure Bank is part of the government of Ontario’s 2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Building a Strong Ontario Together. With Building a Strong Ontario Together, the government of Ontario is introducing new tools to help build critical infrastructure faster and smarter, continuing to attract investments and more jobs and providing better services for people. 

“Our population is growing, jobs are being created and more and more companies are choosing Ontario as a place to do business,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, government of Ontario minister “While this is good news, this cannot be taken for granted at a time of geopolitical and economic uncertainty. The choice for the road ahead is clear. We must continue with our government’s targeted approach — it has the flexibility we need while still investing to build the critical infrastructure to support growing communities across Ontario. “The road ahead is not going to be easy but we have seen what the people of Ontario can accomplish together.  

“The creation of the Ontario Infrastructure Bank is a positive development for transit agencies and commuters alike,” said Ontario Public Transit Association Chair Tony D’Alessandro. “Municipal transit agencies are deeply appreciative of the government’s recognition of the pressing requirement for fleet renewal, particularly as nearly a quarter of buses across the province are approaching the end of their operational lives. We look forward to our active involvement in upcoming consultations.” 

The Ontario Infrastructure Bank comes at a time when Ontario transit agencies have been struggling to fund new capital projects. The previous federal-provincial infrastructure program (Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program) ended in March 2023 and the new Federal Permanent Public Transit Fund is scheduled to come online in 2026, leaving a significant infrastructure funding gap. 

Transit ridership has been steadily increasing, with most Ontario transit agencies reporting ridership at or exceeding pre-pandemic levels, which is in part fueled by rapid population growth. According to the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA), forty percent of the 500,000 new Canadians arriving each year choose to settle in Ontario. 

“The Ontario Infrastructure Bank offers a forward-thinking approach to financing urgently needed growth in housing and public transit,” said CUTA Chair Kelly Paleczny. “As Ontario’s population grows at a record pace, municipalities now have access to new financing options to advance transit-oriented communities. We look forward to working with the government to enhance quality of life and mobility for all residents.” 

Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) Board of Director positions 

A selection process is also underway for Board of Director positions at the CIB. The deadline to apply is Nov. 29 .  

The last director selection process for directors was conducted in March 2021 and the selection committee received numerous candidate submissions for review. Candidates who previously submitted applications in 2021 will need to resubmit their application to be considered for the current appointment opportunity.  

“Over the coming years, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will continue to play an important role in building a clean economy. I invite all qualified individuals to apply to serve on its board and support the Bank in delivering on its mandate,” said Sean Fraser, Canada's minister of housing, infrastructure and communities. 

The CIB works to ensure Canadians benefit from modern and sustainable infrastructure through partnerships between governments and the private sector. 

Working in cooperation with all orders of government, private investors and project sponsors, the CIB attracts private capital in infrastructure projects across Canada that contribute to Canada’s long-term and sustainable economic growth, closing the infrastructure gap and supporting the creation of good, well-paying jobs. 

As of June 2023, the CIB has advanced 48 partnerships, committed C$10 billion (US$7.3 billion) of its capital and attracted C$8.8 billion (US$6.4 billion) in private and institutional investment to support transformative projects across its five priority sectors. 

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.