Much has happened in the last four years. Since the last campaign, there has been great progress on many of the issues identified by Ken. Let us list just a few:
Managing growth – The Region completed its new Official Plan which encourages urban growth, protects farmland and environmental lands, and supports economic development and job creation. It is working hard to have the plan approved.
Economic strength – We have maintained a strong financial position. Moody’s has reaffirmed our Triple A credit rating and property taxes are at or below most other cities in south central Ontario.
Economic development –a renewed effort to better co-ordinate economic development has resulted in a plan to create an economic development corporation and to give the Region a role in bringing employment lands on stream. We continued to support efforts to increase tourism.
Transportation – a balanced approach to roads, transit, and other transportation modes is being implemented. A private public partnership has been formed to build, maintain and operate the new rapid transit system (ION). The new bridge across the Grand River has been opened linking Cambridge, Woolwich and Kitchener. Major road corridor work is planned or is underway. We have GO trains operating in addition to GO buses and we are working with Cambridge and Kitchener to bring GO service to Cambridge and expand the Kitchener GO service.
Housing – we have worked with our community partners to bring on hundreds of affordable and supportive housing units.
Healthcare – The Region recently made its contribution to the Cambridge Hospital project which is now getting underway. Our earlier investment in the Medical School is now showing results as we are seeing more doctors in our community. More health care workers are now graduating from the Conestoga College health care facilities which we helped finance.
Childcare –we have worked to increase accessibility to quality childcare. Anyone can now access our approved home daycare providers to place their children with supervised childcare.
Cultural support – the Region has expanded its support to the cultural sector with new funding which it has been able to maintain.