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Train extension to create $1.1bn communities, 21,000 jobs

The GO Train Lakeshore East Extension will create $1.1 billion in new communities and some 21,000 new permanent jobs, according to Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter.

An independent economic impact analysis of the GO Train East Extension demonstrates $1.1 billion in transit-oriented, walkable urban development that would enable 21,000 permanent new jobs, said the mayor in an address yesterday to business community stakeholders.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter

“Shortly after assembling the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force, we determined that one of the most direct and impactful economic recovery efforts would be an accelerated implementation of existing commitments to the GO Train Lakeshore East Extension,” said Mayor Carter. “As a result, we reached out directly to the Prime Minister’s Office and Ontario Premier’s Office to communicate the results of an independent economic impact analysis of the GO Train East Extension.”

The City of Oshawa, Municipality of Clarington and Region of Durham have worked closely with Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation to make this transit option a reality for convenient travel within Durham, across the GTHA and beyond.

He pointed out that economic recovery has always depended on the idea of working together. “Whether you’re a local consumer, business or government policymaker, our collective actions have a profound cumulative impact on our economic direction.

In this month’s letter, Mayor Carter briefed the business community on major projects, including the Lakeshore East Extension (above).

General Motors Canada

General Motors Canada has played an especially important role throughout the pandemic, repurposing parts of their plant to make (at cost) 1 million medical masks per month amidst a global shortage of supplies. Through continued advocacy across all levels of government, our community is part of a landmark $2 billion commitment from GM Canada that includes a retooling of the Oshawa Assembly plant, creating 2,600 jobs to date, and attracting a diversified workforce, with over 50 per cent of the assembly team made up of female workers. GM Canada’s 55-acre autonomous vehicle test track and new stamping manufacturing facility is also on location, all of which position Oshawa to play a major role in a new competitive auto industry.

Business Support

Based on the recommendation of our business community, Oshawa requested timely and lasting support to the federal and provincial governments for those who had to close and those who were facing occupancy restrictions. Direct aid to leaseholders was recommended to ease the financial concerns of both parties and provide some measure of security for those struggling to maintain and operate their businesses. Oshawa City Council also passed a motion calling on both the federal and provincial governments to continue to offer and expand wage subsidies, programs to cover lost revenues and rent subsidies until a return to full operations resumed and to consider other measures to assist affected businesses over the long term.

Occupancy Regulations

Based on feedback from many local restaurant owners to better balance public health measures with economic stability, Oshawa believed that it would be expedient and effective for the provincial indoor patron capacity restrictions to be based on the occupancy level of the business establishment rather than a maximum single number of customers no matter the size of the business establishment. Public health measures restricted capacity to a limit of 10 patrons and 50 patrons in zones ‘Red’ and ‘Orange’, respectively. The city urged for a review of the guidelines and the consideration of indoor capacity to be a percentage of a business’ Ontario Building Code Occupant Load, AGCO Occupant Load, and/ or Fire Code Occupant Load.

“As we continue to make progress on our advocacy and outreach efforts with all levels of government, we encourage you to reach out to us, whether that be through social media, contacting the Economic Development team at business@oshawa.ca or 905- 436-5617 or reaching me at 905-436-3311 or mayor@oshawa.ca. We want to hear from you and to understand how we can support your recovery and further advocate for your business, said Mayor Carter.

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