Things are looking up for Sarnia-Lambton. Just recently, governments have announced significant funding to create jobs, speed up Internet service, improve passenger rail stations and transport goods. The Chamber has played a strong role in encouraging support for these critical infrastructure projects, because of the positive impact they will have on business and our economy.
We have been a vocal supporter of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, which will receive $15 million in funding to create over 400 jobs and to help companies innovate and scale up. We’ve also been a lead advocate for the creation of national and provincial strategies to support this sector.
The Chamber has called for investment in high speed Internet, particularly for rural businesses and farmers that don’t already have it. The federal and provincial governments announced $180 million to extend broadband services to Southwestern Ontario. We will continue to urge smart implementation so that businesses without fast internet get connected as soon as possible.
We have supported local efforts to improve passenger rail service, so we are pleased to see a $34.4 million investment in improving rail stations between Ontario and Quebec. Passenger rail plays an important role in our transportation sector, by moving people, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preventing gridlock and supporting tourism.
The Chamber also supports the oversized load corridor – a project that would ease the movement of oversized manufactured goods and equipment in and out of Sarnia. In a welcomed move, the County agreed earlier this month to contribute $22,500 towards the business case study. It is hoped that the provincial and federal governments will invest in the next stage: establishing the corridor.
The Chamber will continue working with community partners to bring these important projects to the attention of all levels of government.