VAUGHAN - This weekend marked a fresh start for the people of Ontario. Restaurant patio’s opened for in-person dining and non-essential retailers welcomed shoppers back for the first time in months, albeit under strict guidelines.
While the province is taking a measured approach at reopening to ensure a healthy and safe transition to the next stage, an injection of more than $12 million from both levels of government for infrastructure projects in Vaughan will help rebuild businesses, promote job creation and encourage growth and investment in the city.
On June 11, the Honourable Deb Schulte (in the pic above, on the right), Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge and Minister of Seniors announced a $10 million investment by the federal government to support infrastructure projects in the city of Vaughan. The Minister made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Catherine KcKenna (in the pic above, on the left), Minister of Infrastructure and Communities during a zoom conference.
Attendees of the conference organized by Minister Schulte included Vaughan-Woodbridge MP, Francesco Sorbara, area MPPs and local Vaughan City Councillors.
To support the residents of Vaughan, the Ontario government is investing over $2.5 million towards the infrastructure projects. This is over and above what the Federal Government has committed.
Friday’s announcement comes as part of the Covid-19 Resilience and Infrastructure Stream. Both Federal and Provincial Government are investing more than $115.1 million to fund projects in 30 municipalities across the Greater Toronto And Hamilton area.
In Vaughan, the funds will directly support infrastructure projects in 59 municipal buildings, including upgrades and replacements of equipment such as HVAC units with ultra violet systems. Designed to be 99% effective in eliminating coronavirus, the retrofitted units improve safety and reduce the risk of transmission for all who use the facilities.
Also, the funds support projects in 18 heritage buildings, 15 community centres, 10 fire stations, 9 libraries, 8 sports facilities, including 5 skating rinks across the city.
As with any sort of project, these things take time. In response to questions by press as to when the residents of Vaughan can expect to see and experience the benefits of the projects, the Minister said that the investments are designed to fund “quick-start, short-term” projects.
Although no direct timeline was provided, the Minister added that “these upgrades will modernize and improve community and recreational infrastructure to help ensure the residents of Vaughan can continue to learn, work, and play in safe, green and resilient facilities.”
Under the Covid-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, the Government of Canada is investing up to 80% of eligible costs for projects in provinces. The Ontario Government will fund 20% of those costs throughout the province. The Federal Government will cover up to 100% of project costs and upgrades in the territories and Indigenous communities.
So far, in Ontario, both levels of government have invested over $8.3 billion through the infrastructure plan in support of over 2,880 projects.