December 2023

Your monthly news & updates
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Connecting More Homes and Businesses in Western Ontario

Brant County

SWIFT announced the successful completion of a high-speed broadband project in Brant County, providing fibre-optic connectivity to 1,639 previously underserved homes and businesses.

As part of SWIFT’s Southwestern broadband expansion plan, the awarded service provider Xplore was granted funding to deploy fibre-optic cabling across 127 kilometres of roadway throughout Brant County, bringing high-speed internet service to four separate areas including:

  • Harrisburg and northeast of Paris in the northern portion of the project area
  • The community of Onondaga and areas east of Cainsville and Brantford in the eastern portion of the project
  • The communities of Newport and Burtch, as well as an area west of Mount Pleasant along Pleasant Ridge Road/County Road 7 in the central portion of the project; and
  • The communities of Cathcart, Harley, Fairfield Plain, Northfield, and Kelvin in the southwestern section of the project area

Essex County

SWIFT is pleased to announce the successful completion of two high-speed internet projects in Essex County. Collectively, the projects have extended fibre-optic connectivity to 3,587 previously underserved homes and businesses, providing reliable high-speed internet to areas with limited connectivity.

As part of SWIFT’s Southwestern Ontario broadband expansion plan, Cogeco was granted funding to complete the construction of the buildout of fibre-optic infrastructure in the communities of Edgars, Gesto, Marshfield, Pleasant Valley, Arner, East Harrow, Ambassador Beach, Levergood Beach, Belcreft Beach, Comet, Seymour Beach, Lypps Beach, Mount Carmel, Wigle, Blytheswood, Oakland and Staples. This expansion of high-speed internet services aims to alleviate the connectivity gap within these communities, ensuring residents have access to fast, reliable internet services.

View the press release

Bruce County Launches Licensed Child Care Expansion Toolkit

At the Thursday, December 7, 2023 Committee Meetings, Bruce County’s Human Services department highlighted the Child Care and Early Learning Directed Growth Plan and showcased the newly launched Early Learning and Child Care Expansion Toolkit

Licensees who are interested in opening or expanding child care services are encouraged to visit the Bruce County website to explore the new Early Learning and Child Care Expansion Toolkit. This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for supporting child care expansion projects.

Bruce County, as a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager, plans, funds and provides quality and inclusion supports for the local child care system. Bruce County has been allocated a notional target of 645 new child care spaces by the Ministry of Education.

Under the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, Ontario has committed to support the creation of 86,000 new CWELCC licensed child care spaces by the end of 2026. The focus of this expansion will be in communities with populations that need them the most. This directed growth approach will support space creation in underserved communities and parts of the province who have historically low rates of space availability.

View the tool kit

Wellington County Receives 2023 Ontario Concrete Award

The County of Wellington and its project team received a 2023 Ontario Concrete Award at the annual Ontario Concrete Awards Banquet. The Ontario Concrete

Awards recognize the talent and effort of the best designers, contractors, suppliers, and owners in Ontario.

The County was recognized in the Specialty Concrete Applications category for the Wellington Road 32 (Lake Road) project. This is the first time the County has received an Ontario Concrete Award.

“I’d like to congratulate the County’s Road Division on their 2023 Concrete Award,” said Warden Andy Lennox. “It’s wonderful to have our work highlighted and recognized at the

provincial level.”

The Cematrix product was used for the first time on a County road. The product was selected after a geotechnical review recommended the lightweight cellular concrete to be used as a road base on sections of Lake Road due to wet roadside conditions. The road previously was subject to prominent rutting and pavement fatigue due to the poor road base conditions. There will be extensive post construction monitoring to confirm the performance of this innovative use of the Cematrix product.

Pictured L-R- Joe de Koning, Manager of Roads and Pasquale Costanzo, Technical Services Supervisor.

Member Warden News

Aina DeViet

Elected Warden Middlesex County

During the Middlesex County Council Inaugural meeting on November 28th, Aina DeViet, Mayor of Middlesex Centre, was elected as the Warden of Middlesex County for the 2023/2024 term.

Mayor Aina DeViet, a seasoned public official with a proven track record of dedicated leadership, accepted the responsibilities as Warden. Her extensive experience in local governance and her passion for the community resonated with her commitment to serving the best interests of Middlesex County.

Darren White

Elected Warden Dufferin County

On December 14th, Dufferin County Council elected Darren White, Mayor of Melancthon, as the County’s 147th Warden.

“I am honoured to have been elected as the 147th Warden of Dufferin County. Together with the other dedicated members of County Council, County staff and our partners, I look forward to continuing to move our ambitious Strategic Plan forward and contributing to positive and meaningful outcomes that make Dufferin a great place to live, do business and visit for all.”

Wardens returning for another term include;

Warden Chris Peabody, Bruce County

Warden Ed Ketchabaw, Elgin County

Warden Brian Milne, Grey County

Warden Rohnda Ehgotez, Perth County

Policy Update: Development Charges Consultation

On December 13, Minister Calandra announced a commitment to “work with municipal partners and ensure they have the tools and revenue streams to get shovels in the ground,” including consulting on development charges and fee refund frameworks. 

AMO has consistently stated that Bill 23 was deeply flawed and not in the public interest, undermining municipalities’ ability to build the infrastructure required to support growth. The recent announcement is a significant step towards fulfilling the government’s promise to make municipalities whole from the fiscal impacts of Bill 23. It responds to many of AMO and the municipal sector’s recommendations and shows that the government is listening.


Municipalities remain committed to doing everything within their power to assist the province in meeting its target to build 1.5 million homes by 2031. We recognize the need to revisit how we fund growth to meet our shared goals. Municipalities are prepared to support reductions in development charges and fees where they help to meet housing and affordability goals, provided that the government commits to a Social and Economic Prosperity Review to update the provincial-municipal fiscal relationship. 

Read more

Ontario Helping More Students Kick Start Careers in Trades

The Ontario government is investing over $62.9 million in two of the province’s foundational skilled trades programs to help more than 18,000 young people explore and prepare for life-long careers in a growing industry. The record increase in funding will help train the 100,000 skilled workers needed to build transit, hospitals and at least 1.5 million homes by 2031.

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a specialized high school program that gives students who have completed Grade 10 the chance to explore the trades through cooperative education courses. The government is expanding OYAP with a $21.1 million investment to help more students across the province gain exposure to the skilled trades by accumulating hours toward an apprenticeship while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The province is also sending 72 OYAP recruiters into more than 800 secondary schools to compete directly with colleges and universities.

The government is also investing $41.8 million to launch roughly 100 pre-apprenticeship training projects around the province to help young people get first-hand experience working in trades that can pay six figures such as welding, electrical and arboriculture. 

View the full release

Rural Transit Solutions Fund

Infrastructure Canada is now accepting applications for the Planning and Design Projects Stream of the Rural Transit Solutions Fund (up to $50,000).

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund seeks to help Canadians living in rural and remote areas get around their communities more easily for their day-to-day activities, and connect with other communities nearby.

The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is the first federal fund to target the development of transit solutions in rural and remote communities. Launched in 2021, the Fund provides $250 million in federal funding over 5 years to support the development of locally-driven transit solutions that will help people living in rural communities get to work, school, appointments, and to visit loved ones.

From on-demand services, to publicly-owned ride shares, and volunteer community car-pooling, funding will help rural, remote, Northern, and Indigenous communities to develop and offer new public transit options to their residents. Eligible organizations representing these communities can seek support through two program streams depending on the nature of their project: Planning and Design Projects stream or Capital Projects stream

Visit the website for webinars for potential applicants

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