Setting Priorities for the Benefit of York Region Residents
By Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and CEO, Regional Municipality of York
Regional Council has developed a set of priorities to help us sustain our growing communities in York Region. Our decisions are based on input and ideas from our constituents; students, families, workers and seniors.
The good news is our priorities align with the priorities of our senior funding partners, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada. For example, in the 2016 federal budget Ottawa introduced a new two-phase infrastructure plan that commits more than $120 billion over the next 10 years to improve and expand public transit, increase affordable housing, modernize water and wastewater infrastructure and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities. This is an historic commitment to improve our communities.
We look forward to working with both Ottawa and Queen’s Park to secure specific funding commitments to advance our infrastructure priorities. York Region’s specific infrastructure priorities are:
- Improving rapid transit:
- Extending Young subway to the north between Finch Station to Richmond Hill is the number one priority of the York Region.
- Advancing all-day, two-way GO rail service serving Markham, Stouffville, Vaughan, King, and Aurora / Newmarket.
- Completing the final four Viva rapid way segments; along Yonge Street from Richmond Hill to Newmarket, along Highway 7 east from Unionville Station to Cornell, along Highway 7 west from Islington to Hwy 50 and at Yonge Street and Green Lane.
- Increasing the Region’s housing options by working with all levels of government to identify opportunities to sustain the housing system, committing long-term capital to develop new affordable housing in York Region, and opening doors to innovative long term financing alternatives for housing providers.
- Supporting the infrastructure costs to introduce water reuse in the Lake Simcoe basin. The Region’s proposed facility would be state-of-the-art in Canada, reducing the amount of phosphorous going into Lake Simcoe, benefiting all of the communities around the lake including Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury.
- Supporting public sector broadband initiatives throughout York Region. There are rural areas throughout the Region that lack broadband connectivity.
Here in York Region we are making progress to get people out of their cars and reduce greenhouse gases, to accommodate new Canadians and help them find a place to call home, and to grow our economy while protecting the environment. At the same time, we are aware of the fact that no government has endless resources. That is why members of Regional Council have taken steps to set priorities that are important to you and will help ensure we maintain our excellent quality of life well into the future.