Letter to Premier – Designate Doug Ford
Wellington-Halton Hills Provincial Riding Office
June 8 th , 2018
Mr. Doug Ford
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Congratulations on your victory last night. We have received a strong mandate to bring change to the Province of Ontario, and I look forward to attending our first Government Caucus meeting and discussing our priorities.
Our Riding of Wellington-Halton Hills includes: the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Erin, the Township of Puslinch, the Township of Guelph/Eramosa, and the Township of Centre Wellington.
As you prepare for assuming office, there are four issues affecting my constituents that I want to bring to your attention without delay.
The Town of Erin has reached a limit in development and growth because it does not have a wastewater treatment plant. It is noteworthy that the Town is the largest municipality in southern Ontario without a wastewater treatment system.
Currently, all of the homes and businesses in Erin are serviced on septic systems or holding tanks. This has raised concerns about the levels of nitrogen and pollution in the Town’s water.
Without a wastewater treatment system, the Town of Erin risks losing residents and businesses. Business attraction and retention has become a challenge. There is also concern that local schools may even close.
I am aware the Town of Erin wants to further develop, and increase its population and local employment opportunities.
The Town’s wastewater project will require substantial provincial Government financial assistance. I will be insisting that our Government help in whatever way we can.
The Town of Erin’s situation is but one example. I would submit that our rural municipalities need greater support from the Provincial Government for all of their infrastructure needs.
Another example is the Township of Centre Wellington, which is mandated by the Province to grow from its current population of 29,000 to 52,000 by 2041. The Township has 108 bridges. Currently, 12 bridges are closed. 11 have weight
restrictions, and so are at risk of being closed.
To help address this specific bridge asset challenge, Township Council took proactive action and approved a 2% dedicated capital levy starting in 2015 specifically directed to their bridge infrastructure. This dedicated levy is combined with the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (formula based) to fund their Township bridge-building strategy. It is expected that by the end of the current term of Council, the Township will have built 9 bridges.
The Township also has 918 km of roads, representing 54% of its total capital asset value. These rural roads also require substantial investment.
The cost of necessary infrastructure investments in rural Ontario should not be placed solely on the backs of property taxpayers. It is absolutely clear to me that additional provincial funding is required for rural municipalities facing similar
Another infrastructure priority in our Riding is the Town of Halton Hills long-term transportation strategy. I have been working with Town officials in recent months to draw attention to the need for the Province to be a funding partner in the
development of this long-term transportation strategy. Our Government will need to address this issue.
Last fall, I initiated a Private Members Resolution on this subject which was unanimously passed by the House.
During debate, I spoke of the possible need for a Highway 7 Acton bypass; the issues surrounding the proposed commercial development of 340 Main Street, Acton; the Halton-Peel Boundary Area Transportation Study, which could lead to
the construction of bypasses in Georgetown and Norval—a study which had been put on hold because of the GTA west corridor study; the promised all-day, two-way GO train service from Kitchener-Waterloo to Union Station with stops in
Wellington-Halton Hills; the Town’s role in the government’s decision to widen the 401 from Milton to Mississauga; and the need for traffic signals near The Sands condominium in Georgetown.
We repeatedly asked two former Ministers of Transportation to be a funding partner and to support the Town’s vision of building and ensuring safe and efficient transportation opportunities for our residents and businesses. I had numerous conversations with the Hon. Steven Del Duca, and I believed we were making progress. Then a Cabinet shuffle took place in January of this year, and I began approaching the new Minister of Transportation, the Hon. Kathryn McGarry.
On a number of occasions, I publicly invited both Ministers of Transportation to visit our Riding and to announce the Ministry’s support as a funding partner for the Town of Halton Hills long-term transportation strategy. I will be extending the same invitation to our Minister of Transportation when he or she is appointed.
Another important issue in our Riding is long-term care. We owe our seniors the very best care possible. I strongly support our plan to build 15,000 long-term care beds in five years and 30,000 beds in ten years.
New long-term care beds are urgently needed to free up hospital beds and this will help to address “hallway healthcare.”
There is also a need for increased funding for existing long-term care facilities, so that they can hire and retain well-trained staff that are essential to providing the highest possible standard of care for our residents.
Over the course of the 42nd Provincial Parliament, I hope to review Ontario’s long-term care issues, meet with long-term care stakeholders, and advocate for practical and constructive solutions.
In the coming days and weeks, I will be bringing other issues forward for your consideration and response.
Again, please accept my congratulations and good wishes to you and your family.
Ted Arnott, MPP
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Ted Arnott, MPP
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Letter to Premier-designate Doug Ford June 8, 2018