Wed, 02 Mar 2016
The release of the 2016 Ontario Budget last week demonstrated a clear partnership between the Province and municipalities.
“The areas that the Province is investing in will provide great benefits to Oakville,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Provincial funding initiatives deliver key support to transit initiatives in town, including the recent launch of the new Intelligent Transportation System technology, through the Ontario Gas Tax Program.”
The 2016 Ontario Budget provides additional funding for education, infrastructure, and healthcare. The Province has promised $13 million to construct the new building for École secondaire Gaétan Gervais in Oakville. A section of the Queen Elizabeth Way in Oakville will pilot high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes this summer as the first step in the Province’s plan to implement HOT lanes. The Province has also allocated more investment in community health infrastructure projects, such as Community Health Hubs, to expand access to healthcare in communities.
“The Mississauga Halton LHIN is building a stronger system of care that focuses on the needs of the diverse people living in our community,” said Bill MacLeod, CEO, Mississauga Halton LHIN. “Investments through the 2016 Ontario Budget will enable the Mississauga Halton LHIN, together with our partners, to continue making the health care system work better for people by improving access, building capacity in our communities and maintaining high quality care across the care continuum, so that all individuals have a positive patient experience and outcome.”
The Mayor also welcomed benefits to the business community that are included in the 2016 Ontario Budget. The Province’s Business Growth Initiative continues to roll out. This is a five-year $400 million strategy to accelerate a shift toward a high-growth, innovation economy that will help businesses scale up. The introduction of a cap-and-trade program will reward innovative companies for transitioning towards low-carbon economy.
“The province is to be commended on the good start they’ve made on fighting climate change,” Mayor Rob Burton noted. “The cap-and-trade program will encourage households and businesses to invest in green projects. Oakville’s greenhouse gas reduction targets are on par with provincial standards. Green project incentives will help both Oakville and Ontario meet greenhouse gas reduction targets and aid in the fight against climate change.”
The Province’s commitment to balancing the budget in 2017-18 is apparent in the 2016 Budget as it reduced its expected deficit.
“We look forward to our continued partnership with the province on much needed transportation infrastructure investments including the electrification of the Lakeshore West GO line and the Dundas Street Bus Rapid Transit projects,” Mayor Burton added.