While chairing the Cambridge Chamber of commerce, I was invited to many leadership discussions about LRT. I and Chamber President Greg Durocher had many questions indeed. I believed that the funding opportunity was definitely something that, as a Region, we should explore — after all, when would the province and feds be in a position to provide that kind of infrastructure money again?
The benefit to Cambridge became a concern immediately. We were invited in on discussions and attempted to troubleshoot some logistical nuances. However, it became increasingly evident that Cambridge was going to be paying for LRT — and only getting improved bus services.
Had I been representing Cambridge when the decision was presented to Regional Council, I would have voted NO. The constituents of Cambridge have been rightly vocal in this regard. Infrastructure is very much a concern for our Region — and Cambridge is in need of investment.
I would like to investigate how Cambridge can gain authority over planning. Currently we must go through both tiers (city and region) for approval. If we are to be competitive in our economic development activities we need to gain control over our own planning. Section 37 of the municipal act currently is not effective. Other tier two communities provide municipalities with this authority and even Kitchener has authority so why don’t we in Cambridge?