There is a growing discrepancy between the Province of Ontario and municipalities with regards to funding infrastructure needed to accommodate the anticipated growth throughout the province. Those municipalities are billions of dollars short of the required funds to build and repair roads, schools, sewage systems and community centres.
The Greater Golden Horseshoe area, which stretches from Oshawa around Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls, is expected to increase it's population from 8 million to 11.5 million by 2031. Accommodating this growth will need billions in funding, and taxpayers will simply not be able to carry the load. This leads to an issue with developers, who are supposed to pay fees as they build to offset the infrastructure costs associated with the increased population. These fees however are increasingly inadequate, partly due to revisions by the former Mike Harris government that exempted many development projects from the charges.
Halton region is estimated to need $8.6 billion for infrastructure improvements between now and 2031. These funds will be used for 50 new elementary schools / community centres, 2,200 km of roads, 6 police stations, and 1,100 new hospital beds.
Halton chair Gary Carr said, "We're not going to have the taxpayers of Halton pay the costs while the developers make the profit." Let's hope an agreement can be reached that we all benefit from resulting in well planned, practical development of sustainable communities.
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