Pictured above, our MPP Liz Sandals and I welcomed the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca to Guelph!
Guelph was chosen as the backdrop to announce the opening of a new provincial funding envelope that on an annual basis will have $15 million dollars available for 77 municipalities that have what’s called “community links”.
What’s Community Links? Glad you asked!
- The province is opening applications for Connecting Links, a new $15 million annual infrastructure program on November 19.
- It will help municipalities pay the construction and repair costs for connecting links.
- Municipal roads that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing.
Guelph is one such municipality that is eligible for funding up to $3million dollars per project. (If application is successful).
In the above picture I’m with Cathy Kennedy, our intergovernmental affairs employee. She’s been a big help to our city in helping to build relationships and create different avenues for Guelph to connect with other levels of government!
I made remarks at the press conference that I thought id share with here:
“As a municipality, we need to invest in infrastructure like sewers and pavement replacement. At the same time, there is a gap between what we need, and what local property taxpayers can afford.
Municipalities like Guelph have been saying for years that we need the provincial and federal governments at the table to help us bridge that gap.
I am very pleased that the Provincial Government has listened, and has come to the table with significant infrastructure funding.
The Connecting Links program is good news on the Budget front, and good news on the roads front.
It means that we have a partner at the table – and local property taxpayers don’t have to bear the entire burden of these infrastructure improvements on their own.
Guelph has a couple of “connecting links”.
One is Woodlawn Road – from the Hanlon Expressway, east to the corner of Woodlawn and Woolwich (the Highway 6 connection); and west past Elmira Road (the Highway 7 connection).
This is a very well-used road, through major commercial areas. The traffic in this area has grown significantly with the growth of commercial development along Woodlawn.
Another connecting link is York Road, Wyndham Street and Wellington Street, connecting Highway 7 in the east, to the Hanlon.
This too is a very important corridor that goes through major commercial areas. The stretch along York Road also has a significant potential for growth and development.
These are roads that people use every day – to get to work, school, shopping, daycare, and so on. These are also roads that businesses rely on every day for the fast, efficient movement of goods.
These roads are crucial to Guelph’s quality of life, and to our economic prosperity.
Guelph is only one of 77 municipalities that have connecting links within its borders. I am willing to bet that the other 76 municipalities face similar challenges with the infrastructure gap. Their connecting links are important to their communities’ quality of life and economic growth too.
I am sure they will be just as happy as I am to learn that applications will soon be open for the Connecting Links program.
So on behalf of all 77 municipalities – I want to once again thank Minister Del Duca and the Province of Ontario for listening to municipalities and coming to the table with the Connecting Links program.”