October 22, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, announced the Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act, 2020 to accelerate the building of infrastructure projects and support Ontario’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney were joined by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, and Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA), Kinga Surma. Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford responded to questions from media regarding the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act
This afternoon, Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney announced the Ontario Rebuilding and Recovery Act. If passed, this Act would accelerate the building of infrastructure projects in the province to create jobs and support economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Act is intended to reduce barriers in the planning, design, and construction of major infrastructure projects including highway and public transit networks.
Additional measures announced today will address concerns related to zoning and land availability for priority long-term care home development, as well as support private sector investments to accelerate broadband expansion in underserved communities.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
Alberta Rapid Testing of International Travellers Pilot
Premier Ford was asked about a pilot announced today by the Government of Alberta which would permit international travellers to be tested for COVID-19 at ports of entry into Canada. If international travellers test negative, they will be permitted to leave their place of quarantine ahead of the current 14-day requirement, so long as they commit to getting a second test on day six or seven after arrival. Premier Ford responded that he will be monitoring the results of the Alberta pilot, and is open to implementing a similar approach in Ontario.
In response to questions about reports of insurance companies refusing to insure workplaces during the pandemic, Premier Ford said he and Finance Minister Rod Phillips are aware of the issue and are working to take action on “price gouging” practices at insurance companies.