Politicians gather for a photo-op - and some detail on federal spending.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 25th, 2019



For some reason the Honourable Karina Gould, MP, Burlington, Minister of Democratic Institutions and Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville North-Burlington, joined Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to announce the Burlington projects that will benefit from the Federal One-time Municipal Infrastructure Top-up funding.

A media release with the information would have done the trick.

Climate Change is the flavour of the month and every politician who has served more than a year in office learns to discern what the issues are – or they aren’t around for a second term.

Climate emergency graphicBurlington had declared a Climate Emergency the day before; there was every reason to roll with the momentum. And roll they did.

Last month’s federal budget included municipal top-up funding to support local infrastructure priorities. This one-time doubling of the Federal Gas Tax funding will result in an extra $5.6 million for infrastructure. Federal Gas Tax funding can be used in eligible categories including productivity and economic growth through areas such as roads, bridges or public transit, clean environment initiatives such as community energy systems or strong cities and communities via sport, recreation, culture, tourism or disaster mitigation.

City staff brought a report with recommended projects to council earlier this month. Council has approved these projects:

Elgin Promenade, Phase 4 – $700,000

There are some who wonder why this expenditure would be approved until the issue as to just what is built on the old Elisabeth Interiors site has been determined.  Much of what gets build on that site will result in parts of the Promenade that will run right beside what is now Kelly’s Bakeshop.

Transit Bus renewal program – $500,000
Wolfe Island Bridge, additional rehabilitation – $230,000
New Street resurfacing, advance from 2023 to 2020 – $2,050,000
Beachway Pavilion, decking and accessibility improvements – $350,000

A much needed improvement – hopefully the public washrooms will get some attention

Civic Square, additional enhancements – $265,000
Skyway Arena, new small indoor walking track – $1,500,000

Most projects are expected to be completed within 18 months, with the exception of the New Street resurfacing, which is anticipated to happen in 2020 and Skyway Arena enhancements, which will take two to three years to complete.

Gould Karina H&S

Karina Gould, MP, Burlington, Minister of Democratic Institutions

The Honourable Karina Gould, MP, Burlington, Minister of Democratic Institutions said at the photo op on Wednesday that: “The Federal Municipal top up will allow municipalities, like Burlington, to continue to fund long-term, stable infrastructure projects such as public transit, water and wastewater, local roads, sports and recreation facilities and tourism infrastructure. The investment announced today reiterates our commitment to making our communities stronger and more resilient.”

Damoff ofice opening

Oakville Burlington North MP Pam Damoff

Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville North-Burlington, who will probably get to hold her own photo-op with the Mayor of Oakville said: “Public investments in areas like infrastructure and public transit are crucial to driving economic growth and strengthening the middle class. Through my experience on Oakville Town Council, I saw first hand the benefits of funding to municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local public infrastructure while creating jobs and long term prosperity. By making smart investments in local infrastructure, we can build roads, transit and water systems that make a difference in our communities.”

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward added her comments: “It is always a fantastic thing when our levels of government work together in a way that betters our amazing City. And this Federal One-time Municipal Infrastructure Top-Up Funding of approximately $5.6 million does just that.

The waterfront file was one THE Councillor Meed Ward domain but she has backed away a bit from this one of late.

Marianne Meed Ward as a Council member during a Strategic Plan session at LaSalle Pavilion.

“This is prudent spending ” said Meed Ward “and reflects the majority of the things we heard from the community that they wanted. These choices help make our city more livable, and encourage healthy living, environmentally-friendly choices, and improve our infrastructure to keep people moving safely and efficiently.

“It’s always a difficult job paring down the list of what projects can benefit from funding like this, so I want to thank our City of Burlington staff for the great job they did in balancing the known priorities of our community and helping us get started as soon as possible.”

Other spending to look forward to are:
Housing:  To help municipalities grow housing supply and find new solutions for affordable housing, Budget 2019 proposes to provide $300 million to launch a new Housing Supply Challenge.

The Housing Supply Challenge will invite municipalities and other stakeholder groups across Canada to propose new ways to break down barriers that limit the creation of new housing.

Energy efficiency
Budget 2019 plans to give resources to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM), municipal funding program, the Green Municipal Fund for three initiatives that would provide financing to municipalities.

1. Collaboration on Community Climate Action ($350 million) will provide municipalities and non-profit community organizations with financing and grants to retrofit and improve the energy efficiency of large community buildings and community pilot and demonstration projects in Canadian municipalities, large and small. FCM and the Low Carbon Cities Canada Initiatives will create a network across Canada that will support local community actions to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.

2. Community EcoEfficiency Acceleration ($300 million) will provide financing for municipal initiatives that support home energy efficiency retrofits. Homeowners could qualify for assistance in replacing furnaces and installing renewable energy technologies. The FCM will use innovative approaches like the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) model that allows homeowners to repay retrofit costs through their property tax bills.

3. Sustainable Affordable Housing Innovation ($300 million) will provide financing and support to affordable housing developments to improve energy efficiency in new and existing housing and support on-site energy generation.

Can you feel the federal election coming?

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1 comment to Politicians gather for a photo-op – and some detail on federal spending.

  • Perry Bowker

    The headline: “Politicians gather for a photo op…” followed by

    “For some reason [our Members of Parliament] joined Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to announce the Burlington projects that will benefit from the Federal One-time Municipal Infrastructure Top-up funding. A media release with the information would have done the trick.”

    Every once an a while the Gazette reveals its snarky side, and this is one of them. Yes there is an election coming, and politicians of all stripes want people to know the good they are doing – media will eagerly take care of the bad (although there is notable silence from our invisible MPP). If a press release had come to the Gazette, would it have been buried in amongst other breaking news like Mother’s day at Ireland House!, and Cops catch some Robbers!?

    “Some reason” indeed.This was a significant announcement. Are you just annoyed because you missed the photo op?