1:30 p.m., March 28)
Federal budget commits $1.15B to LRT expansion
By Mike Beasley
The Orléans Star
federal government says it is committed to funding Phase
2 of Ottawas light rail project, referring to it
by name in last weeks budget announcement. And while
they didnt attach a dollar amount to their commitment,
Mayor Jim Watson says hes been assured they will
pay their full share, amounting to $1.15 billion.
money, combined with funding al-ready promised by the
Province of Ontario, will enable the city to begin construction
of Phase 2 immediately following the completion of Phase
1 sometime in 2018.
second stage of the LRT project includes an extension
from Blair to Trim Road down the middle of Hwy. 174.
MPP Andrew Leslie, was in a jovial mood when he was asked
what impact the budget would have on the average resident
in his riding, especially as it pertains to light rail.
and foremost is transportation, the biggest impact of
this budget and most immediate one is that weve
got the funding for light rail out to Trim (Road),
Leslie proudly stated.
funding Leslie is referring to consists of $3.9 billion
to be allocated over the next five years, primarily for
transit projects in Ottawa and Toronto, including the
$1.15 billion for Stage 2 of the Ottawas light rail
additional $7 billion has been set aside for childcare,
which could mean the creation of 40,000 new subsidized
childcare spaces over the next three years nation-wide.
It is expected that some of those spaces would be
created in Ottawa.
leave is being extended from 12 to 18 months, and mothers
can now claim EI up to 12 weeks before their baby is due.
monies are being set aside for caregivers of disabled
or sick family members, which Leslie says was long overdue.
are thousands of families in the riding in this situation.
We are allocating multiple billions of dollars in the
form of tax credits to help those who stay home to take
care of their loved one, said Leslie.
housing in Orléans was another issue that Leslie
feels has been
properly addressed with the needed funding, soon to be
Liberal government is coughing up $11 billion over the
next 10 years directly to affordable housing.
also expressed his satisfaction with the governments
intent of making everybodys lives better in terms
of putting more money in their familys pockets.
retired Canadian Forces lieutenant-general and current
MP, is impressed with the most recent budget and its efforts
to reduce taxes on the middle class, and improve the Canada
child tax benefit, which in his words, will certainly
help the vast majority of families in Orléans.
a former general in the military, Leslie was particularly
happy with the announcement that there will be a $500-million
infusion towards veterans programs.
addition to the millions of dollars being directed to
veterans, we are close to making an announcement about
education programs to help those vets with certain amount
of years of service retrain and retool for life after
the forces, says Leslie.
Liberal government will also fund the Mental Health Centre
of Excellence, provide more money to families for medical
support who are equally affected by their loved ones trauma.
are also exploring the options of a lifelong pension.
Its not quite there yet but it is in the budget,
adds the MP.
Ward Coun. Bob Monette is extremely pleased that the budget
contains spending directed towards the region, especially
the funding earmarked for LRT.
have to thank our federal member, Andrew Leslie for all
his efforts, he really delivered when it came to Stage
2 funding for light rail, says Monette.
In addition we received approval for the 174 expansion,
so by 2022 the employment landscape of our community will
change significantly because of the combined value of
light rail and ease of access for businesses and employees.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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