TORONTO, Ont. — The 2017 Ontario Budget released this week followed through on a lot of commitments the government made last year.
The budget established a Long-Term Infrastructure Plan and invests in autonomous vehicle technology research and development. The province said it will invest $80 million over five years to create the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Innovation Network, in partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence. The network will capitalize on the economic potential of AVs and help the province’s transportation systems and infrastructure adapt to AV technology.
The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said they will be actively involved in many stakeholder efforts in both Canada and the US on the issue of autonomous vehicle. Both organizations said they are watching trade issues closely these days, and welcomed news of the province’s stated commitment in promoting stronger trade relations with the US. The budget said the province will, among other efforts, establish a Premier’s Committee on Ontario-US Economic and Trade Relations and actively support the federal government’s efforts to create a positive dialogue with partners in the United States as the two nations prepare to discuss possible changes to NAFTA.