Southwestern Ontario will benefit from province's new budget
The new provincial budget features items specific to southwestern Ontario, including a new English public elementary school in London, Ont. that will serve 556 students and include 88 licensed childcare spaces.
The budget mentioned upgrades to Eastwood Park for new accessible pathway systems, a new multi-use court, playground equipment, and a large shade structure in the Municipality of Central Elgin.
Reconstruction of a portion of Plank Road in Sarnia has been budgeted, including the replacement of the existing water main, ditches, and asphalt on city streets.
There was no mention of a GO Train service to London. However, Mayor Josh Morgan said the province is committed to improving the frequency and speed of the service to London.
“These are not short-term investments, so the province and the city of London have discussed them, we know they are committed to it, but it will take time for those to come to fruition,” said Morgan.
A new Volkswagen EV battery plant in St. Thomas will require supports for an increase in workers coming to the region. Morgan said he's been in talks with the province to make sure there is new needed infrastructure to support the transportation to that facility.
Morgan said the biggest investment for London might be an additional $200 million meant to address homelessness province-wide, for prevention and supportive housing programs.
"What I see in the budget today, is them listening. Them listening to the crisis, the details of the crisis that we have in our city, and making significant investments in mental health and addictions - in supportive housing and in homelessness prevention,” said Morgan. “This is a good sign of partnerships between municipalities and the provincial government when you see investments in spaces that we have been advocating so hard to see."
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