Vaughan - It was arguably the largest, single, Provincial infrastructure investment in one concentrated area of the province. No make that the City. The City of Vaughan that is.
Six hundred million dollars to extend highway 427 north from Zennway to Major Mackenzie Drive, in the riding represented by Minister Steven Del Duca. It is money that the Wynne Government placed in the Budget.
It should come as no surprise that locally-elected politicians at all three levels of government would want to be present to bask in the glow of the gold. The extension is a needed transportation corridor to connect the growing Northwest quadrant of the GTA to the rest of the Metropolis.
And it will create jobs, an estimated 5,000 thousand well-paying construction ones and at least four times that number in other spin-off associated-manufacturing and service industries, concentrated in East Brampton and West Vaughan.
Incidentally, these areas are inhabited by middle class Canadian Italians and an expanding, and increasingly well-off, Punjabi and Muslim community. The MP for the area, Francesco Sorbara, attended. So did at the least seven members of Vaughan Council who accompanied Mayor Bevilacqua to hear the Minister for Transportation McGarry shower their city with largesse and to cringe as she savaged his name.
Note to Maurizio. Have patience, Anglophones have trouble with my two-syllabic name; I’ve only been here for 63 years. Yours has four; how long have you been here?
What was interesting was the notable absence of two Construction Unions who have been expressing their disagreement with the government’s handling of Bill 31 and schedule 14.
One them has been taking to public demonstrations – they will get the bulk of the jobs generated by the announcement.
The other apparently stayed away “out of deference” because the extension won’t be their job site.
Hmmm. More curious was the absence of the other political parties from this rather public event. The PC leader was probably busy beating a hasty retreat from a poorly-counselled decision regarding the Greenbelt. It was, and is being, seen as a pandering and blatant effort to secure developers and builders in Vaughan under his tent.
His putative candidates for Vaughan, selected under questionable circumstances in the Dykstra-Brown PC era, couldn’t or wouldn’t make themselves available. They probably didn’t want to be present as Mayor Bevilacqua made a most aggressive argument for keeping the Del Duca team at Queen’s Park.
Since 2010 Vaughan has created 55,000 net new jobs; and Minister Del Duca has been a big part of that, he said. First, he got us a one-billion-dollar hospital; then a subway; then train stations; last week a palliative care centre and today a $600 million highway extension, extolled a loquacious Bay-vee-lah-kwah.
No. For those who know Mayor Maurizio, His Worship was not being partisan. He was asking a rhetorical question: what is the case for change?
There will be an election call next week.