Mayor Lehman likes what Ontario’s Fall economic statement holds for Barrie

Highway interchange, transit funding, jobs training

While the opposition parties did not find much to their liking in the Fall economic statement from the Ford government, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman was able to find some encouraging signs.

“The Essa Road interchange is now in MTO’s capital plan. That’s good news because that project needs to get done. That’s the next big interchange project in Barrie, so the province is proceeding with that,” said the mayor. “Also good news on the local front, there was more funding in there to cover COVID losses for transit systems… that has been a key ask of Ontario’s big-city mayors.”

Lehman told Barrie 360 the focus on jobs training, skills training and some hiring in the healthcare sector is a good idea. He was disappointed, however, that the new community infrastructure program is only for small northern and rural municipalities. Parts of Simcoe County will get some of that funding, but Barrie will not, “so that’s a bit of a concern for me.”

Related: Ontario’s fall economic statement indicates deficit shrinking to $21.5 billion

The fall economic statement indicated the province plans to spend $148 billion on a variety of initiatives over the next decade, much of it on infrastructure, local tourism tax credits, and healthcare. It has also committed funding to building the Bradford Bypass between Highways 400 and 404.

feature image: Barrie 360 (Zoom)