QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition Interim NDP Leader Peter Tabuns issued the following response to the FAO’s report on the impact of climate change to Ontario’s linear storm and wastewater infrastructure costs:
“Today’s FAO report on how more extreme rainfall will impact Ontario’s long-term storm and wastewater infrastructure costs should be a resounding call to action for the Ford government.
This report makes clear that climate change will dramatically increase our province’s infrastructure and maintenance costs, and that the cost of the government doing nothing will be immense. Only by taking immediate, proactive action to adapt our infrastructure will we reduce the long-term costs that will fall on Ontarians to pay.
The Ford government is ignoring climate change at every turn. This government is planning to pave over critical wetlands and green spaces that are crucial to soaking up rainwater and reducing the stress on our stormwater infrastructure. Ford is creating inefficient sprawl, which will cause higher infrastructure costs for people spread over larger areas, and is downloading infrastructure costs onto municipalities. Ontarians will see higher property taxes and poorer standards of maintenance for vital infrastructure as a result.
Doug Ford must treat today’s FAO report as a wake-up call, and proactively fund the adaptation of our wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. Ford must stop his plans to pave over wetlands and create a housing plan that actually builds the new homes we need efficiently and sustainably, and within existing urban boundaries, as his government’s own housing task force recommended.
Ford must cancel his plans to download infrastructure costs onto municipalities, so that Ontarians do not have to pay the price for years to come.”