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Liberal candidate endorses Bradford Bypass, Community Centre revitalization in letter to mayor

In response to a letter sent to all election candidates from Mayor Rob Keffer, Liberal candidate Daniella Johnson notes her support of the Bradford Bypass and other key town projects, issues

York-Simcoe Liberal federal election candidate, Daniella Johnson, has voiced her support for the Bradford Bypass project, and other town projects in a letter addressed to Mayor Rob Keffer.

Earlier this month, Mayor Keffer penned a letter to all four York-Simcoe federal election candidates, Conservative incumbent Scot Davidson, Liberal candidate Daniella Johnson, People's Party of Canada candidate Michael Lotter, and NDP candidate Benjamin Jenkins, outlining the main concerns for The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. 

The list of priority projects included the building of the Bradford Bypass, with Keffer asking each candidate for their support with the project and for any financial assistance that can be provided to expedite its construction. 

"This transportation investment is critical to the economic vitality of Simcoe County and York Region," wrote the mayor. 

In her response letter, Johnson said she understood the need to efficiently move traffic away from East Gwillimbury and Bradford’s residential neighbourhoods and to provide traffic congestion relief on local roads. 

"The Bradford Bypass has been on local and regional plans for decades, and the federal Liberal government affirmed earlier this year that the provincial processes that are underway should address any environmental concerns," she wrote.  "Those processes must continue so the project can move forward properly.  Alongside historic investment in regional transit and our commitment to electric vehicles, a re-elected Liberal government will continue to support the infrastructure that is necessary to ensure people and goods—particularly agricultural products—can get where they need to go as efficiently as possible." 

Her letter also addressed the mayor's request for support of the Holland Marsh Phosphorus Recycling Facility and revitalization of the BWG Community Centre. 

She noted how the federal Liberal government's $16 million funding to support the $40-million recycling facility which will reduce phosphorous pollution in the Holland River and Lake Simcoe by up to 2.5 tonnes per year.

"I support this project wholeheartedly, and also want to highlight our proposed $1-billion fund to support restoration of large lakes such as Lake Simcoe," she said, adding that the Liberals will also invest an additional $200 million in the Natural Infrastructure Fund to help fund community-led public green space projects, like the proposed Holland River and Canal trail system.

As for the BWG Community Centre revitalization and Bradford Public School Community Hub, retrofit grants are available to help support the projects. 

"If elected as your MP, I will work to ensure this important project can access existing federal grants for community spaces," she said.  "I understand this project ties into overall downtown revitalization, and want to highlight that our historic pandemic support for businesses will continue throughout the economic recovery, including a new program of microgrants of up to $2,400 to small Main Street businesses so they can afford the costs of new technology."

The letter also outlined her support for creating more affordable housing options, the continuation of the Gas Tax Fund, and COVID-19 recovery. 

Her commitment to affordable housing includes three steps: unlocking homeownership, building more homes, and the creation of a Home Buyers' Bill of Rights. The plan includes banning blind bidding, establishing a legal right to a home inspection, and banning new foreign ownership for two years. 

Johnson highlighted her support for a national proof of vaccination system and procuring enough vaccines for all Canadians. 

"We must continue to do whatever it takes to finish the fight against COVID-19, including supporting municipalities through these trying times, so you can continue to best serve the people you represent," she said. "An internationally recognized proof of vaccination document will allow Canadians to travel safely both at home and abroad. This measure will allow Canadians to return to normal faster, and will speed up our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic."

She promised to continue the Gas Tax Tranfer to support the municipality's ability to repair local roads, like the $2.2 million road reconstruction occurring in Bradford this summer, as well as to help fund municipal transit systems.

"We need to continue to invest in public transit," she said. 

She also promised federal financial support for rural broadband internet. 

"I am pleased that there are several projects in Bradford West Gwillimbury underway with federal financial support, and if elected I will work to ensure everyone can connect to reliable high-speed internet," she said. 

Election day is Sept. 20. 

Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Community Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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