How Much Will Mississauga Get From Justin Trudeau?
The federal government is planning to make "big announcements in coming weeks" and those announcements could impact -- in a good way, ideally -- Mississauga.
According to a recent Toronto Star article, the announcements have to do with putting infrastructure money to work in Toronto and other areas before summer construction projects kick into high gear.
The Star reports that the prime minister made the promise in a recent interview where he discussed rebuilding relationships between all levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal). Trudeau mentioned that Ontario spent 10 years "having to defend against a federal government that didn't understand Ontario and didn't particularly care about it, except around election time to make sure that they won seats. That's completely changed. We need to work together on a broad range of issues. Infrastructure's one of them."
In terms of hard details, there aren't too many available at this juncture. The Star reports that senior federal and provincial government sources said that they're still discussing what projects will receive new federal funding. That said, the newspaper points out that there's some "enormous potential" here.
As most savvy voters know, Trudeau ran on a platform to increase infrastructure spending (it was a promise that pleased former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion) and the government's 2016 budget proposed nearly doubling the former Harper government's infrastructure budget to $125 billion over a decade.
While The Star points out that the lion's share of that dough will go towards big ticket projects some time from now, it also mentions that $11.9 million was earmarked for use within the first two to five years.
Back in February, the city of Mississauga asked the Trudeau Liberals for support in their then-upcoming budget for strategic transit investments, sustainable infrastructure funding and support for job creation and partnerships. When the budget came down, Mayor Bonnie Crombie was pleased.
In March, Crombie said that the budget was a "bold plan that will position Canada's municipalities to grow, prosper and secure important funding to invest in transit, infrastructure and ignite economic development."
The mayor was particularly pleased with the government's promise to quickly invest in public transit and social infrastructure (affordable housing, etc.) across Canada.
The federal government is also interested in discussing pension reform, carbon pricing and other concerns with provinces and municipalities.
So while it's too soon to say what anyone -- let alone Mississauga -- will receive in terms of infrastructure funding when specific projects are selected, cities have good reason to be optimistic. Since Mississauga is the third largest city in Ontario (and the sixth largest in Canada), it might indeed receive a healthy infusion of cash to help it tackle some big ticket projects.
The city already got the province to fund its portion of the incoming Hurontario-Main LRT. It'll be interesting to see what the federal government might be able to do for Mississauga.
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