After the release of the provincial and federal budgets, Mayor Dave Canfield says infrastructure will be a big focus for Kenora.
Kenora does not qualify for the Connecting Links Program. The province has pledged $15 million for municipalities with main arterial roads that double as provincial highways.
"Still some connecting links left in Ontario but not here. We used to be. The Trans-Canada goes right through town so it was a connecting link but we are no longer one because of the bypass, even though this is the Trans-Canada. So the Connecting Links Program doesn't help or benefit use, which we kind of figured but hoped not," he said.
Now, Canfield says they'll be looking at other options to help repair Kenora's 19 bridges.
"Whether it be through the federal government of the provincial government we'll keep applying for the different programs as they come up. Generally you only get one application per year. We'll continue wrestling the upper levels of government to get funding to rebuild our aging infrastructure like the rest of the province and country," he said.
Canfield just returned from the NOMA conference in Thunder Bay. There they spoke about the infrastructure crisis in Ontario. Canfield talks about some of the numbers that show just how big a crisis it really is.
"Because of the aging infrastructure municipalities would have to increase taxes up to 19 per cent for the next ten years to cover off that deficit. We all know that's impossible. You wouldn't be able to afford to live here. But that's a really good tool to take to the government and say, 'This is how rough of shape we are. You need to take a serious look at this,'" he said.
Overall the provincial budget has pledged $130 million over ten years for infrastructure.