Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, John Gerretsen, joined Nipissing MPP Monique Smith, for a meeting with area Mayors today at the Callander Legion.
Gerretsen told reporters that the mayors had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues that are not unique to Nipissing but are issues the rest of municipalities in the province are encountering as well.
One of the many issues that were on the table was affordable housing, and Gerretsen is pleased with the recent agreement with the federal government that will see the province get back into building homes for those less fortunate in he province.
As for the rest of the issues like fair gas tax distribution and COMRIF they did not fall on deaf ears.
“It’s kind of interesting in speaking to a dozen mayors like this from a large and small municipality, that they really covered the kind of issues that municipal leaders across this province are interested in and are concerned about and it’s good to hear their view points and I’ll take that back to my cabinet colleagues and caucus members and see what we can do about their issues.”
“I encouraged them to apply for the COMRIF 2 funding the deadline for that is September 30th,” said Gerretsen.
“We all realize that there is a great infrastructure need in the province for renewal etcetera, and COMRIF is a great program that is jointly funded by the Feds, the Province and the local municipalities to upgrade bridges, roads, water and sewage systems. I know that everyone was not successful in the last up take when we basically had over $2 billion worth of applications and only $400 million worth of projects around the province, so I encouraged them to apply and before the deadline of September 30th and see how the projects stack up against theirs and the rest of Ontario during that process.”
North Bay Mayor, Victor Fedeli, said he took his opportunity at the table to thank Gerretsen and Smith for all the funding that has come to the Bay over the last few months including the Bay’s COMRIF project funding.
East Ferris Township Mayor, Bill Vrebosch, said that he pushed to see the distribution of the gas tax re-evaluated and fairly given out to include municipalities such as his that don’t have transit systems.
Gerretsen continued his day with meetings which included opening the Ontario Builders Association Officials annual meeting at the Best Western.