RCCAO Welcomes Long Overdue MCEA Reforms

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RCCAO Call on Ontario Legislature to Adopt New Critical Measures

Vaughan, Ontario, Feb. 26, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MCEA) reforms announced by the Government of Ontario are long overdue. The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) calls on MPPs from all parties in the legislature to support these critical reforms to MCEA.

For too long, the MCEAs have been a scattershot process that have been a significant driver of procurement costs in Ontario. This has led to regulatory duplications, project delays with no discernible benefit, and impeded the ability to build and maintain critical infrastructure across the province. 

These reforms, if enacted, offer a predictable environment assessment process that upholds environmental protections, eliminates costly uncertainty from the EA process, and provides predictable timelines and requirements to enable better maintenance and construction of critical infrastructure across Ontario.

“Creating a consistent, clear and streamlined EA process will eliminate duplication, provide clear expectations regarding consultations and define timelines for critical infrastructure work while maintaining environmental protections,” said Nadia Todorova, Executive Director of RCCAO. “RCCAO research has consistently shown that the MCEA process in Ontario takes too long and costs too much for taxpayers. Given the volume of evidence of the serious implications of the time and cost delays associated with the MCEA process, we are pleased to see the government continue its modernization efforts of the MCEA process.”

RCCAO has long been a leading voice in Ontario advocating for reforms to the MCEA process.  Our research contains numerous examples of infrastructure projects where the added time and MCEA-related study costs outstrip the capital construction costs of the project itself. 

Two such examples that illustrate the need for reform are two bridge projects in Caledon:

  1. A box culvert style bridge that took 2.5 years to build:
    • Capital costs: $489,000
    • Study costs: $494,000
  2. Another box culvert style bridge, going from an existing one-lane to a two-lane (Winston Churchill, Town of Erin): 
    • Capital costs: $600,000 (came in under budget)
    • Study costs: $1,100,000

“The EA process has, for too long, resulted in costly and time-consuming delays for the construction of low-risk municipal infrastructure. It has stifled our ability to grow at the pace necessary to keep up with the demand for housing and population growth in the province,” said Patrick McManus, Executive Director of the Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors Association. “Streamlining this process to eliminate the duplication of approvals and to allow projects to proceed as planned by the respective municipalities will go a long way towards remedying this problem.”

RCCAO will continue to advocate for sensible reforms to improve the operating environment for Ontario’s construction industry. Public policy that better aligns with on-the-ground realities will ensure the province and municipalities maximize available resources to build and maintain critical infrastructure across Ontario.

RCCAO Executive Director Nadia Todorova is available for interviews.

Background on RCCAO: The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is a labour-management construction alliance. Since its formation in 2005, RCCAO has been a leading industry advocate for infrastructure investment. It has commissioned 61 independent, solutions-based research reports to help inform decision makers.

CONTACT: Dominic Stewart Conaptus Ltd. 416.639.6090 [email protected] 

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