With the federal election a few weeks away, the Town of Ajax has released its priorities for the next government and the MP that ends up representing the community in Ottawa.
And the town isn’t hiding what results it’s looking for after this federal election.
“Most of our needs are monetary, I mean, we just don’t have the money, we only have one source of revenue and that’s the municipal tax dollar,” said Mayor Shaun Collier.
Council has unveiled a list of priorities outlining everything from innovation and growth, protecting the environment and improving affordability.
“That’s the only way that we’re going to get cars off the road, is to get more people into transit and create more local jobs so people don’t have to travel into the city, because currently, 70 per cent of our population has to leave Ajax to go to work,” said Collier.
Collier believes an airport in Pickering can help. Revitalizing the downtown core is another thing he wants to tackle.
“We have a lot of development applications for high-density residential and commercial that we just can’t go ahead with right now,” said Collier.
Specifically, a stretch on Hunt Street that doesn’t allow direct access to the GO Station.
“It’s a $24-million project because we have to cross an old rail line that still services one of the local businesses, so instead of building a $2-million road, we have a $24-million project, because it requires a big bridge. That’s not something we can do with just municipal property tax dollars,” said Collier.
Another issue plaguing Ajax has been at the waterfront, Collier said, pointing to the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant.
“Algae issues we’re having down at the waterfront, for which we require tertiary treatment, again, it’s a $160-plus-million project that the regions of York and Durham aren’t willing to fund at this point,” said Collier.
The mayor is looking to meet with all local candidates running before Canadians head to the polls on Oct. 21.
WATCH (Sept. 26, 2019): More municipalities declaring climate change emergency