Ontario Supports Municipalities with Critical Infrastructure Investments

Published on August 18, 2020

Priority Projects will help Create Jobs and Support Growth as the Province Safely Reopens after COVID-19

TORONTO - The Ontario government is investing more than $4.2 million through the Regional Development Program to support important infrastructure projects in the County of Simcoe, the Town of Tillsonburg and the City of Sarnia. These investments will help attract local investment and create jobs as the province starts down the path to renewal, growth and economic recovery.

"As the province continues to safely and gradually reopen and we turn our attention to growth and recovery, we are helping local communities and local municipalities create jobs," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "These projects will make a significant impact in facilitating economic growth for the communities of Simcoe, Tillsonburg and Sarnia-Lambton. They will enable long-term measurable outcomes, including private sector investments, job creation, and growth of the regions." 

Ontario is providing $1.5 million for the County of Simcoe to invest in the widening of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport runway from 100 ft to 150 ft. With Ontario's support, the widening will increase safety, improve a key municipal asset and position Simcoe County for private-sector investment. The widening of the runway is a regional priority for the County and is considered a critical piece of infrastructure for future business opportunities and economic benefits.

"The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport is a gateway to our community, and this expansion provides an opportunity for significant growth and increased economic activity right here in Oro-Medonte," said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. "I appreciate that the Ministry of Economic Development has seen the great value in this project, and understands the significant impacts it will bring to rural Ontario. I thank them for partnering with the County to help ensure shovels will soon hit the ground!"

Ontario is providing more than $1.2 million for the Town of Tillsonburg to build and develop the Van Norman Innovation Park, which will give the region a competitive advantage in attracting new investment. With Ontario's support, the town will invest in critical infrastructure, including sewers, watermains and roads to make the innovation park investment ready. This will also encourage the growth of high-tech manufacturing cluster with a focus on the advanced manufacturing, automotive and agri-food processing sectors.

"Since taking office, our government has sent a clear message that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs," said Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford. "We're creating an environment where businesses can focus on what they do best — developing great products and services and building successful companies. It's great to see the Town of Tillsonburg invest in the infrastructure that will help to attract and retain those businesses here in Oxford."

Ontario is providing $1.5 million for the City of Sarnia to build an oversized load corridor that will increase capacity of the Port of Sarnia and surrounding road networks. The oversized load corridor will facilitate the transportation of oversized loads from local industrial fabricators and manufacturers to national and overseas markets, addressing the costly and cumbersome process of transporting products. With Ontario's support, the City will invest in infrastructure improvements including overhead utility crossings, municipal roadways, and the deep-water Port of Sarnia.

"As a community we have been working on getting the funding for this project for nearly a decade," said Robert Bailey, MPP for Sarnia—Lambton. "This investment by the Ontario government is coming at just the right time as the economy starts to reopen. This project will help to support our world class fabrication shops and local industry by making it easier to move large industrial components and machinery to and from Sarnia Harbour."

To support regional priorities and challenges, the RDP provides cost-shared funding to municipalities and economic development organizations to help communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and plan for long-term sustainability. Provincial and local leaders will be joining together at the first virtual AMO 2020 Conference from August 17 to 19 to share experiences, build understanding, and plan for a strong future.

Quick Facts

  • The government launched the Regional Development Program for eastern and southwestern Ontario in November 2019. Businesses and municipalities can get financial support through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) and Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and guided access to a range of complementary services and supports.

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