Ontario to embrace green bonds to fund future transport projects

Green bonds could soon be used to fund major transport infrastructure projects in the Canadian province of Ontario under plans outlined by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The tax-free bonds are designed to attract a burgeoning group of investors who are looking to put their money into environmentally-friendly infrastructure projects and in turn put a greater emphasis on sustainability in project design and delivery.

Announcing the scheme last week, Wynne said that the province could begin issuing the bonds as early as next year.

Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, said: “There’s no question that we need to find new revenue sources to fund public transit across the province.

“Green bonds would be a great way to give citizens the opportunity to invest directly in the province’s future.

“Smart investments in public transit help people in their everyday lives, help protect the environment and strengthen the economy.”

Over the next three years, the province of Ontario has committed itself to funding infrastructure projects totalling over $35 billion – more than double the $16.1 billion invested in public transport over the past 10 years.

One of the most significant of these projects is the construction of Ottawa’s $2.1 billion Confederation Line light rail system, which is being jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa.

Described as the largest infrastructure project in Ottawa’s 177-year history, the line will connect Tunney Pasture in the west of the city to Blair in the east.

Although work has only just begun, the city of Ottawa is already looking at potential options to extend the system further.