Ontario Infrastructure Bank will allow pension plans, institutional investors to take part in large-scale infrastructure projects
Ontario has witnessed substantial growth, welcoming nearly 500,000 new residents last year and generating over 170,000 net new jobs in the first nine months of 2023, says the ‘2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.’
“Our population is growing, jobs are being created, and more and more companies are choosing Ontario as a place to do business,” says Peter Bethlenfalvy, minister of finance for Ontario.
A report, from the review, titled ‘Building a Strong Ontario Together,’ says the government will introduce new strategies to expedite infrastructure development, attract investments, create more jobs, and improve public services. It also plans to launch the Ontario Infrastructure Bank (OIB).
As part of its mandate, OIB will enable public-sector pension plans, other trusted institutional investors, and Indigenous communities to further participate in large-scale infrastructure projects across the province. Institutional investor participation will help the government deliver more infrastructure faster, while leveraging additional capital from investors, and helping to maintain a responsible fiscal plan for today and for future generations.
The bank will serve as a key tool to secure capital for infrastructure projects “that perhaps otherwise wouldn't get built,” says Bethlenfalvy. Initially, its focus will be on long-term care facilities, affordable housing, and infrastructure in municipal, community, energy, and transportation sectors.
It will also establish a detailed process to ensure there is appropriate qualification and selection of projects and partners in priority areas based on financial and public benefit criteria. The OIB board will have the authority to make these selections.
“While this is good news, this cannot be taken for granted at a time of geopolitical and economic uncertainty. 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,” says Bethlenfalvy.
“The road ahead is not going to be easy, but we have seen what the people of Ontario can accomplish together. Together, we can face the uncertainty of today and build a strong Ontario.”
The OIB will collaborate closely with Infrastructure Ontario, which will continue to manage the public tendering process for projects assigned to it.