CLARK CALLS FOR REVIEW AFTER GOV’T REJECTS FUNDING FOR WESTPORT – HomeTown TV12
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CLARK CALLS FOR REVIEW AFTER GOV’T REJECTS FUNDING FOR WESTPORT

CLARK CALLS FOR REVIEW AFTER GOV’T REJECTS FUNDING FOR WESTPORT

QUEEN’S PARK – Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark has called on the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to personally review the “misguided” decision to deny infrastructure funding to the Village of Westport.

Clark made the request in a Member’s Statement at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, Feb. 28 after the village’s application to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) for funding to replace its aging wastewater plant was turned down this month.

“It’s the second straight February this government has denied funding essential to modernize Westport’s failing wastewater treatment system,” Clark told the Legislative Assembly. “I can’t emphasize enough how critical this project is – not only to the village’s future, but to public health and the environment on the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Canal waterway.”

Clark praised the village council under Mayor Robin Jones and its fewer than 700 residents for their tremendous response to the crisis.

He noted the response included a remarkable “Save Our Village” campaign that has raised more than $150,000 for projects like arena upgrades and a new park, allowing council to focus precious tax dollars on the wastewater plant.

“They are doing their part, but can’t complete a multi-million dollar project alone, nor should they be expected to,” stressed Clark. “Provincial infrastructure programs exist to ensure projects like this one can get done.”

In calling on the ministers responsible for OCIF to review the decision, Clark invited them to visit Westport and learn for themselves why it’s time the Wynne government finally stepped up to provide the financial support necessary to complete the wastewater treatment project.

The following is a Hansard transcript of MPP Clark’s Member’s Statement:

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO

Tuesday 28 February 2017

Members’ Statements

Mr. Steve Clark: I rise on behalf of the village of Westport residents devastated that the village’s Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund application was rejected. It’s the second straight February this government has denied funding essential to modernize Westport’s failing waste water treatment system.

 I can’t emphasize enough how critical this project is not only to the village’s future, but to public health and the environment on the UNESCO World Heritage Rideau Canal waterway. No other municipality of this size, with fewer than 700 residents, faces an infrastructure problem of this magnitude.

 Despite the village’s small size, I’m so proud of how tall residents and council under Mayor Robin Jones have stood in facing this crisis. A Save Our Village campaign was launched to fundraise for projects like arena upgrades and a new park. They raised more than $150,000, allowing council to focus tax dollars on its responsibility to this new waste water facility. This incredible response shows Westport isn’t sitting back waiting for someone else to fix the problem. They are doing their part, but can’t complete a multi-million dollar project alone, nor should they be expected to.

Provincial infrastructure programs exist to ensure projects like this one can get done. I call on the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to personally review this misguided decision. Come to Westport, see what the residents have done, and step up to the plate.

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