Planned, predictable provincial funding for schools, hospitals and our transportation network is required to ensure we can meet the growth requirements set out in the Provincial Places to Grow Plan. Long term investments from other levels of government are required to ensure funding is in place for required infrastructure. We have new schools that open only to require portables a year or two later; hospitals with capacity issues; and transportation networks that are congested slowing the movement of people and goods. If we are going to meet the needs that will be required with a population of 780,000 by 2031, we are going to have to do better.
Transportation continues to be the number one issue of importance to Halton residents. At Halton Region we have been planning ahead and making strategic investments so that our Regional road network can meet the needs of today and tomorrow. Halton’s capital budget for Regional roads to ease congestion and improve safety has increased from $50 million in 2006 to $289 million in 2013. This is the biggest investment in roads ever for Halton Region. We are investing billions of dollars to upgrade wastewater and water plants and to improve our road network. We have a plan in place and now call upon other levels of government to commit to how they will support us to ensure the proper infrastructure is in place to support the growth they require.
Metrolinx has indicated that improvements to GO service for Milton, Georgetown and the Lakeshore GO line identified in the Metrolinx Plan, The Big Move, will be delayed. The delay to these improvements will only further exacerbate our transportation issues in Halton. Improvements to Highway 401 through Halton are also required to reduce congestion and improve productivity for businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area as the highway’s capacity has not kept pace with growth. These are all issues that Halton Region continues to advocate for on your behalf to the Provincial Government.
Halton Region has created a series of position papers that highlight our advocacy efforts on behalf of Halton residents. Learn more about our Advocating for a Strong Halton campaign. You can also view my recent video blog, Investing in Infrastructure to Ensure a High Quality of Life for Today and Tomorrow, to learn more about the planning and investments we are making to address infrastructure needs in Halton.
If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”