Ontario Helping Contain Costs of Building Roads and New Homes
Proposal prohibiting fees to locate underground infrastructure such as gas and water lines would improve safety and efficiency
November 22, 2023
Public and Business Service Delivery
TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government is introducing The Building Infrastructure Safely Act, 2023, that, if passed, would prohibit underground infrastructure owners and operators from charging fees to locate telecommunications lines, water mains and gas pipelines.
From planting a tree in your yard to large commercial construction, a locate is required before construction begins for a new home, subway line or high-speed internet cabling. The new legislation would help protect the public from damages to critical infrastructure and keep costs down for construction projects – an important part of Ontario’s plan to get vital infrastructure projects built safely and efficiently.
“We need to build critical infrastructure faster and smarter to support our growing communities,” said Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery. “Banning locate fees would stem the possibility of spiralling costs that delay construction projects and increase costs. Our bill, if passed, would help streamline the process to ensure projects like improving transit, connecting more people to high-speed internet and getting homes built move ahead more efficiently.”
The free-of-charge locate system is consistent with a long-standing industry practice across Canada and the United States.
“Our government is building a stronger Ontario by leading the most ambitious capital plan in the province’s history,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “This includes investing over $185 billion to revitalize schools, hospitals, public transit, roads, housing, and provide access to high-speed internet for every community across the province by the end of 2025. The proposed changes to the locate delivery system will get key infrastructure projects built more efficiently, while ensuring communities across Ontario benefit from these projects today, and for generations to come.”
“Our government is keeping costs down and making it easier to build the housing, roads and public transit we need for our growing province,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “The Building Infrastructure Safely Act would ensure projects can be built cost-effectively while protecting our workers and the pipes and wires that keep our province powered and connected.”
The Ontario government also plans to bring forward regulations to help streamline the locate delivery processes that would cut down on the number of times a locate needs to be repeated.
- In 2022, Ontario One Call coordinated approximately 1.2 million requests for locate services.
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