Jeff Green | Jun 18, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - June 11, 2009 LFL&A benefits from the recessionBy Jeff Green
MP Scott Ried presents a check for $1,000,000 in Federal/Provincial Funding to Central Frontenac. L to r: Bob Harvey, Scott Reid, Janet Gutowski, Philip Smith and John Duchene. Below Reid is Joined By MPP John Gerretson in presenting a $2.3M check to South Frontenac, L to r: John Fillion, Reid, Ron VanDewal, Gary Davison, Larry York, Bill Robinson, Gerretson, and David Hahn.
MP Scott Reid is not exactly an advocate of the infrastructure spending program that his government, under threat from the opposition parties, has developed.
“I'm not sure I agree with the logic behind government spending in a recession on the hope that the economy will handle the payback,” he said at a hastily convened $1 million cheque presentation in Sharbot Lake last Saturday.
That did not stop Reid, as a government MP and Deputy Government House Leader, from working behind the scenes to bring a generous share of stimulus infrastructure funding to his own riding. This work included coordination with his provincial counterparts from the McGuinty Liberal government benches in neighbouring ridings to ensure matching grants were in place
Last Wednesday, June 10, a series of releases came out announcing funding for projects in virtually every jurisdiction in the Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington riding.
In Frontenac County, this amounted to $2.67 million from the federal government and an equal amount from the Ontario government, to be spent by March of 2011. The catch is that local municipalities will have to match the federal and provincial contributions.
Projects that have received funding include: in North Frontenac - road reconstruction on the Ardoch Road; in Central Frontenac - Oso beach playground equipment, a salt storage dome for the Olden works yard, township office expansion, and road reconstruction on Long Lake Road and some of its side roads; in South Frontenac - Loughborough Lake Bridge; for Frontenac County - an ambulance station in South Frontenac.
In Addington Highlands, funding was approved for the reconstruction of Matawatchan Road, and an addition to the township garage in Denbigh.
“I'm really happy that every municipality in my riding answered the call for applications with good proposals and will be receiving funding from the Build Canada Fund and the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund,” said Scott Reid.
South Frontenac Mayor Gary Davison, noting that his municipality received a large grant for its water plant just weeks ago from another federal-provincial granting program, said he thinks Scott Reid's office has been helpful in securing these grants.
“We were getting calls from them to explain the projects and they said we should always copy them with grant applications so they know what is going on when they are asked. All I really know is that after being ignored for years we seem to be getting more help now.”
That help may be coming to an end, however.
Scott Reid said that with the federal deficit projected at $50 billion this year, restraint would be the order of the day.
One grant application that was not successful in securing funding was the library-office expansion project in Sydenham that was put forward by Frontenac County.
The ambulance base in South Frontenac, for which Frontenac County was successful, demonstrates the frantic nature of the process.
Although a new base was one of the recommendations of a consultant’s report on rural ambulance service in the county, the report was only received by the county two months ago and has not yet been discussed by county politicians.
With the deadline for applications looming, a council meeting was convened at the end of a public meeting on county governance on Wolfe Island on April 30 and it was proposed that the South Frontenac base be brought forward before the report itself is considered for implementation. Although North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire, whose council has rejected the ambulance report, reportedly spoke against the proposal, it was approved in a 3 - 1 vote.
When the consultant’s report, prepared by the IBI group, was presented to the county, Emergency Services Co-ordinator Paul Charbonneau said the report “was just the beginning of the process. The real work starts now.”
That real work will now include finding a central location for a base in South Frontenac, and the annual funding for a 24-hour ambulance and team of paramedics to run out of that station.