SCOR Continues to Push for Improved Infrastructure in Rural Communities
SCOR EDC continues to advocate on behalf of the 5 county region of Bayham, Brant, Middlesex, Norfolk and Oxford Counties and work with all levels of government for up to date and robust infrastructure within the region. These conversations are on-going and important and include input and expertise from staff from our 5 county partnership as well as elected officials and community leaders.
Most recently at the 2019 ROMA Conference, SCOR EDC board of directors and stakeholders from the region met with Parliamentary Assistant Stephen Lecce from the Ministry of Infrastructure and brought forward the following concerns:
In the 2018 budget, the government announced its intention to provide $500 million over three years to expand broadband connectivity in rural and northern communities. We asked the Ministry to continue to support broadband expansion across the Province through investments in a broadband network as well as the development of a broadband strategy outlining a vision for connectivity across the province.
Broadband coverage gaps in Ontario’s rural and northern regions result in lost productivity and repress business and community innovation. Investment in advanced network technology is imperative to support our businesses and communities. A strong broadband infrastructure positions us to access improved educational opportunities, innovations in healthcare and business and to be full partners in the digital economy.
Furthermore, infrastructure forms the backbone of our economy and supports of our communities. It connects people and businesses to each other and global opportunities. Good infrastructure is imperative to the success and productivity of our businesses and communities.
SCOR EDC also requests that the Ministry consider a return to the one third government funding model that will also include opportunity for private sector investment for infrastructure projects. SCOR EDC also requested the Ministry to evaluate financing and procurement for infrastructure projects and track the success of the delivery. Through the use of evidence based decision making our infrastructure planning needs can be better prioritized and planned.
Municipal governments and rural ratepayers are confronted with increasing pressures to find solutions to pay the costs of vital municipal services. Municipal governments struggle to afford to pay the cost of expected municipal services and infrastructure needs that are maintained by a relatively small population. Municipalities need transparent consistent support from the upper levels of government in order to adequately manage community assets.
Aging assets, extreme weather events and past underinvestment has result in much needed upgrades across the region. Our road systems are not designed to support the vehicles using these roach such as farm equipment and large trucks.