April 30, 2018
The population of the Region of Durham is expected to nearly double in the next 25 years to 1.2 million people. In order to keep people and goods moving into, out of and through the region, transportation priorities must be set now. With that in mind, on April 24, 2018, joint Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade of Durham Region, representing nearly 3,000 businesses, invited stakeholders to discuss the transportation issues facing Durham.
Participants represented diverse organization sizes, geographic locations, and sectors, including industrial, construction, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, agri-business and service, as well as health care and post secondary. They came together with the Chambers and Boards of Trade on four main topics; Road Infrastructure Needs, Public Transit Needs, Access to Airports/Ports and Change Preparation – Innovation in Transportation/Transit. We believe that the following policies will help to support large scale economic development in our region:
· Durham Region businesses speak with a unified voice.
· All levels of government (municipal, regional, provincial, and federal) must work together proactively to create a master inter-modal transportation infrastructure plan, which includes short-term and long-term goals, and reflects individual municipal plans in the simultaneous build out of residential and commercial developments.
· Transportation planning should be coordinated with other significant growth plans (i.e. the Greenbelt plan, Places to Grow, conservation authority plans etc.)
· Transportation infrastructure planning must include cost to sustain/maintain the planned build-out.
· Priority must be given to further expanding and investing in our assets, including Highways 401, 404, the Oshawa Executive Airport, the Pickering Airport Lands, and the Port of Oshawa.
· Durham Region has invested in the expansion of Taunton Road westward. Toronto and York Region must complete the expansion of Steeles Avenue to allow for the smooth flow of people and goods along this important artery, especially in light of the completion of the first phase of the large Seaton community.
· Durham Region reminds the provincial government that Durham Region’s transportation needs are growing and infrastructure funding must keep pace with that growth.
· The province should be fair and equitable in the tolling of users in the GTA. Residents and industry in the east end of the GTA should not be required to pay for tolls on north/south roads when the west end of the GTA does not.
We kindly request that the Government of Ontario adopts these priorities to help continue to build a flourishing economy in the Region of Durham.
Scugog Chamber of Commerce