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Ontario Hansard - 01-August2018

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


Mr. Billy Pang: My question is for the Minister of Infrastructure. After 15 long years of self-serving Liberal administration, the people of Ontario finally have a PC government, led by Premier Doug Ford, which is committing to bring prosperity and opportunity back to the province.

Yesterday, it was reported that Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs had entered into a plan development agreement to move forward with developing a high-tech neighbourhood with a people-first approach. That means well-paying jobs, affordable housing and urban innovation.

Can the minister please share with the House what this neighbourhood of the future will look like?


Hon. Monte McNaughton: I’d like to thank the member for Markham–Unionville for the great question here this morning.

Mr. Speaker, our government is pleased that Sidewalk Labs, an associate company of Google, has partnered with Waterfront Toronto to deliver modern, innovative infrastructure for the province of Ontario. Sidewalk Labs will be investing $50 million to help create a master innovation and development plan for Quayside which will prioritize sustainability, affordability, mobility and economic opportunities. Further innovations will include data-driven processes to ensure energy efficiency and improve noise, traffic and pollution. Other areas for development and research will include high-speed Internet, machine learning and self-driving cars.

This is cutting-edge innovation that’s going to likely lead to 5,000 new private sector jobs being created here in Toronto and in Ontario. Mr. Speaker, Ontario is open for business.

Interjections.


The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Stop the clock. Re-start the clock.

Supplementary.

1130


Mr. Billy Pang: Back to the minister: Thank you for the great update. This development will certainly help send a signal that Ontario is open for business for all sectors and industries. Attracting a prominent company like Google to invest right here in Toronto is a sign of good things to come. I’m sure the rest of the world will be looking to Ontario to see the steps we are taking to promote innovation and sustainability in mixed-use neighbourhoods.

Can the minister tell this House how this investment fits into the broader vision of the province and what economic benefits it offers?


Hon. Monte McNaughton: Thank you to the member for the excellent follow-up question. Mr. Speaker, with great investments like this, it is no wonder that Toronto and Ontario continually rank as one of the top high-tech centres in the entire world.

The potential long-term economic benefits of moving forward with this specific development could include 5,000 new jobs, innovative solutions to urban issues, and fresh investments totalling billions and billions of dollars. It delivers on this government’s and our Premier’s commitment to attracting knowledge-based capital and investments to Ontario. We’re going to continue to create and support high-paying jobs in the private sector and innovation in new high-tech sectors. Our message that Ontario is open for business will ring loud and clear.

Mr. Speaker, this new agreement is another way that our government is fulfilling our commitment to the people of Ontario. Promise made, promise kept.

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