These massive projects are planned for Mississauga

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If there's one thing the City of Mississauga doesn't appear to be afraid of (for the most part), it's change. The city might be a little timid on the private cannabis store file, but it's been quite bold when it comes to pursuing grand development projects that will drastically change the look, feel and appeal of the city over the coming decades.

Like most cities, however, Mississauga faces a formidable challenge: Securing appropriate funding for substantial placemaking infrastructure projects.

Since municipalities typically rely on other levels of government to support their infrastructure needs, Mississauga is asking the newly-reelected Liberal government (which now has a more challenging minority mandate) and the province to help fund significant projects that will fundamentally transform how residents travel and live. 

Recently, Mississauga's General Committee identified and approved the projects the city will submit for consideration under the federal government's Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). 

The ICIP is a 10-year federal infrastructure program designed to create long-term economic growth, build sustainable communities and support a low-carbon economy.

The federal government is providing $33 billion through the ICIP to cost-share projects under four streams: Public Transit; Community, Culture and Recreation; Green Infrastructure and Rural and Northern Communities. 

Mississauga is not eligible for the fourth stream.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says the city is putting forth $847.5 million worth of projects and asking for assistance in funding new buses, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes, express corridors, bus shelters and more.

The city is also asking for help to fund improvements to the South Common Community Centre and Library and the public marina and waterfront park in Port Credit. 

You can see a list of all the projects—and their price points—below. 

“Infrastructure funding investments are important and help us build strong, vibrant communities. This funding will allow us to build a transit and transportation system that is convenient, connected, and reliable for those who live and work here," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. 

"We've heard from residents about their priorities and we are in a strong position to put forward projects that we are confident will be approved by the federal and provincial governments. This will be the largest investment we've made in public transit to date with an $847.5 million total cost for the projects we're putting forward. These projects include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes along our Lakeshore and Dundas corridors, as well as the purchase of 409 new hybrid-electric buses to green our transit fleet and help us hit our GHG reduction targets." 

Crombie said the city will be applying for almost $133 million for the rehabilitation of the marina and South Common Community Centre and Library. 

"We've been working hard to ensure Mississauga is at the table with both the federal and provincial governments and that they are aware and understand our priorities and most importantly, why Mississauga matters," she said. 

Under the public transit stream, a total of $339 million in federal funding and $282.5 million in provincial funding has been allocated to the city over the next 10 years. 

The community, culture and recreation stream is different as it is application-based with no guarantee that projects will be approved. 

The program will provide approximately $407 million in federal funding and $320 million in provincial funding to support projects across Ontario.

While the funding isn't guaranteed, Ward 1 City Councillor Stephe Dasko applauded the move to have the marina included in the proposal. 

"This moves us another step forward to ensure the "Port" is kept in Port Credit", Dasko said in a statement.

"I would like to thank all the deputants that spoke at General Committee this morning and everyone that emailed us with their support. A special thank you to the mayor, fellow councillors and city staff for recognizing and supporting the need for a full service working marina in the City of Mississauga."

With Mississauga growing rapidly—the City Centre neighbourhood alone could welcome up to 46 new condo towers over the coming decade—the city is acting fast to secure assistance. 

“We are able to respond quickly and put forward a list of projects for council’s consideration as result of our deliberate, consistent and detailed capital budget planning," said Janice Baker, city manager and Chief Administrative Officer. 

“For transit in particular, this funding program is helping to provide the predictable and sustainable infrastructure funding needed to grow, maintain and improve our current transit systems. Projects for both streams were selected based on the program criteria and knowing they could not begin until after ICIP approval is received and that they must be substantially complete by March 2027.”

Council previously approved the projects for the public transit stream and the city submitted the required initial documents as per the October 24, 2019 deadline. 

The proposed projects for the community, culture and recreation stream will be going to council on Nov. 6 for final approval and will be submitted by the deadline of Nov. 12, 2019.

Cover photo courtesy of @idris.yyz

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