Province issues second round of 'green' bonds
A tunnel-boring machine sits at the site of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT construction project.
Published Tuesday, February 2, 2016 9:18PM EST
The Province of Ontario has issued its second round of ‘green’ bonds, raising $750 million to support environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.
“I’m encouraged by the fact that there’s a desire for green bonds,” said Finance Minister Charles Sousa.
Sousa said the latest round of green bonds raised $750 million that will help fund eight different projects, ranging from the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT and Viva Rapid Transit in York Region all the way to expansions and retrofits of colleges and hospitals.
The first two green bond issues have been scooped up quickly by international and domestic investors, most of whom are attracted by the low interest rates and are already hungry for similar opportunities.
The province says the third round could hold much-needed money for Toronto’s crumbling schools.
Environment Minster Glen Murray said fixing schools is a major priority for the province and bonds are an easy way to raise enough money to do so.
“School boards, colleges -- they’re all lined up outside ministers’ offices,” Murray said. “They’re all calculating their greenhouse gas emissions and I don’t think there will be any shortage of demand for these kinds of funds.”
But critics say the schools can’t wait and the government should make more targeted bonds available now.
“When you don’t deal with maintenance, you get big capital bills later,” said NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns. “The Liberals are penny-wise, pound-foolish when it comes to dealing with their infrastructure.”
So far, the bonds have raised more than $1.3 billion.
With a report from Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Paul Bliss