Liberals' $11B pledge for high speed rail highlights long list of major infrastructure promises
Spending plan also includes new money for hospitals, schools, broadband internet
The Liberal government is committing $182 billion to infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, including a major pledge towards the construction of Canada's first high speed rail line.
The 2018 pre-election budget is promising an $11 billion "initial investment" to support construction of the long-discussed high speed rail connection that would link Toronto to Windsor, reducing travel times by as much as 60 per cent.
The funding is likely contingent on the Wynne government winning the June election and implementing the budget.
The proposed high speed line would include seven stops: Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener, Guelph and Toronto's Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.
However, Ontario has not yet determined a price tag or timeline for the project, so it remains unclear how much of the line could be built with $11 billion, and when it might be operational.
The line is planned to open with a connection from Toronto to London, with the second phase reaching Windsor to be built sometime after.
The high speed line is projected to contribute "over" $20 billion in economic benefits to Ontario annually, according to the Ministry of Finance.
While the Liberals have focused on the expansions to social services included in the budget, Finance Minister Charles Sousa says the long-term commitments to infrastructure will benefit young Ontarians as well.
"These are important things for them too," Sousa said. "That is the legacy we leave for future generations, making them more competitive."
The total suite of infrastructure investments is forecast to support around 140,000 jobs per year.