I am delighted to update you on some of our key achievements from the past several months and look forward to our mission to create a connected, modern, and competitive Ontario.
Over the past few years, we have worked with industry and partners to evolve how we deliver projects. Having been entrusted by the Government to deliver a complex and ambitious capital plan in uncertain times – we have relied upon these partnerships to deliver the projects that help create jobs and support economic growth for the people of Ontario.
Despite the challenges from the past four years, IO has completed 29 projects since 2020. We have 29 projects in active construction, we are actively procuring 15 projects, and a further 15 projects are slated to begin procurement in 2024. All told, IO has successfully delivered more than 80 P3 projects, 68% of which were completed on time and 94% completed on budget.
All long-term care homes built using Ontario’s Accelerated Build Pilot Program are now complete. Just last week we celebrated with Trillium Health Partners at Wellbrook Place as they begin to move patients into the last two of four long-term care homes. We were able to deliver the capacity for up to 1,272 net new beds through the use of hospital-owned land, rapid procurement and modular and traditional construction.
Opening 18 kilometres of newly expanded lanes on Highway 401 from the Credit River in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton last year – the busiest Highway in North America – demonstrates the success of our partnerships with industry to build a transportation system that improves economic productivity and gets people where they need to go faster.
The successful diversion of traffic onto the new bridge as part of the ongoing QEW Credit River Improvement Project further showcases our continued ability to deliver projects effectively by using the most appropriate delivery model and procurement strategy to suit each project’s needs.
As such, we are proud of the progress we are making on our first three Progressive P3 hospital projects (Trillium Health Partners Broader Redevelopment – Mississauga, Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus, and Weeneebayko Area Health Authority). This innovative approach creates new collaborative partnerships that maintain our unwavering focus on value for taxpayers – ultimately ensuring the timely delivery of essential healthcare facilities amid rising costs.
Construction also began this summer on the South Niagara Hospital project (Design-Build-Finance-Maintain). Earlier this fall, we also announced the financial close for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Integrated Treatment Centre project, also known as 1 Door 4 Care (Design-Build-Finance).
Infrastructure Ontario and our partners are hard at work preparing the future site of the St. Thomas Volkswagen EV battery production facility. This work is progressing faster than anticipated. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and our partners that we intend to provide the lands to the company, ahead of schedule later this year.
Our continued success is also reflected in the recent completion of the GO Rail Expansion works along the Stouffville Corridor. This project, part of system-wide improvements to the GO Rail network delivered in partnership with Metrolinx, stands as one of the largest of its kind in Canada, demonstrating our dedication to building reliable and connected transit infrastructure for Ontario.
Connecting Modern Communities:
Our work with a Satellite Internet Service Provider is helping bridge the digital divide for many northern, rural and Indigenous communities. This initiative builds upon our innovative competitive bidding process in support of the Government’s Accelerated High-Speed Internet Program and commitment to bring access to reliable, high-speed internet to every community across the province by the end of 2025.
We are continuously identifying solutions to other government priorities across Ontario, such as:
- Resubmitting the province’s development planning application for Ontario Place’s revitalization that included feedback from considerable public consultations through the spring and summer;
- Securing $100 million in investment for accessibility upgrades across the Government’s real estate portfolio;
- Designing a competitive process to modernize/digitize government services like the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks’ property information system. Once launched, the new system will help to improve response times for Freedom of Information (FOI) requests pertaining to soil, water and contamination on properties across Ontario;
- We recently launched our first invitations for competitive bids to develop the future sites of the Ontario Line’s King-Bathurst and Exhibition stations – we continue to work with local communities, Metrolinx and our municipal partners to build vibrant, higher density, mixed-use Transit-oriented Communities that will increase transit ridership, create sustainable communities, and build more homes, including more affordable housing, connected to or near transit stations and stops.
Looking Ahead – IO’s Next Market Update:
Last March, we provided our most recent Market Update of upcoming projects in IO’s pipeline. That update highlighted 38 projects in pre-procurement and active procurement, totalling more than $35 billion in estimated design and construction costs. We know how important these updates are to our industry partners. It is both a signal and an invitation to companies, locally and around the world, to compete for these essential public projects.
We continue to work with all our government partners with the intention of providing a new update on December 5, 2023. As recent updates demonstrate, we continue to evolve and adapt to the market conditions and government needs to identify the best procurement approach and delivery model for each new project. We intend to continue to reduce project specification prescriptiveness by working with our partners at even earlier stages of planning, increase the use of affordability mechanisms to improve design dialogue with our partners, and continue our mission of increasing emphasis on technical, schedule and risk considerations in our project evaluations. Our more conventional P3s and newer progressive approaches will continue to be the best for our largest and most complex projects. In cases when needs are more urgent, we intend to build on the early success of our rapid procurement and construction program to employ faster, more dynamic, and sometimes modular approaches.
We lead the evolution of the market and continuously strive to be a partner of choice. That means listening to the market and adapting to what we hear and observe, which has included rebalancing risk transfer on projects, committing to claims avoidance solutions and the prompt resolution of claims, implementing new assessments on collaboration, and applying specific incentives for performance on delivering projects. Maximizing competition for our work also means recognizing and responding to market capacity challenges. We are doing this through our work to appropriately sequence projects, choose the right models for each project, and diversifying the models we consider.
On a personal note, I am honoured to have been reappointed as the CEO of Infrastructure Ontario for the next three years. Every day, I have the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people, on fascinating projects in service of the province that I adore. I want to express my deep thanks to our Board of Directors, Minister Surma, and the Government of Ontario for their unwavering support.
President and CEO