Asset management planning is essential for the future resilience of Ontario communities. Municipalities need effective plans to take care of their infrastructure over the long term.
In addition, it is important to better understand infrastructure needs throughout Ontario, so that the province, municipalities, and the federal government can work together to address challenges posed by ageing infrastructure and increasing renewal pressures. Improved municipal asset management planning is a vital step in Ontario’s Municipal Infrastructure Strategy and will provide the foundation to improving the long-term sustainability of infrastructure throughout the province.
The Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, 2015, was proclaimed on May 1, 2016 and includes an authority for the province to regulate municipal asset management planning. The purpose of the proposed regulation is to implement best practices throughout the municipal sector and provide a degree of consistency to support collaboration between municipalities, and among municipalities and the province. The regulation would balance valuable consistency with appropriate flexibility, and would include phased implementation. The regulation would provide certainty around future provincial asset management planning requirements, and would be supported by the collection of selected data to capture the key aspects of municipal asset management: resilience and sustainability.
This regulation would aim to help municipalities more clearly identify what their infrastructure needs are, and therefore help them work towards a more sustainable position regarding the funding of their infrastructure.
Building on the province’s 2012 Building Together: Guide for Municipal Asset Management Plans, the regulation would set out requirements to improve asset management planning. This would include the content for municipal asset management plans and the phases of preparation. Municipalities would be required to adopt strategic asset management policies that would promote best practices and link asset management planning with budgeting, operations, maintenance and associated other municipal planning activities. Municipalities would also be required to report on implementation annually.
The Asset Management Plan would be required to be approved in writing by a licensed engineering practitioner representing the municipality, and the executive lead of the municipality prior to it being presented to the municipal council for approval.