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City looks to enhance public Wi-Fi

By Joel Wittnebel

The Oshawa Express


A set of community projects are set to get a boost after the City of Oshawa received its first chunk of FedDev dollars from the federal government.

Among a list of five projects pitched to the federal government as part of its Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Programs (CIP 150), Oshawa received grants to go towards three of the projects.

Following the signing of a contribution agreement, the city will receive $45,000 for the rehabilitation of washrooms and flooring at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, $170,000 for work on the Northview Community Centre’s roof and $150,000 for the expansion of free public Wi-Fi service.

“It’s always nice to get some money from the government to do some great things,” says Mayor John Henry.

Henry says the expansion of wireless Internet services in city facilities will improve upon systems already in place, as well as help make the push into new areas.

“Today, data is everything, everybody works from a mobile device or laptop,” he says.

“Even if you’re in a community centre watching your kids, you’ll do a little bit of work, so that helps us.”

Currently, the federal government is reviewing applications for the second phase of CIP 150. For that, the city is looking for funding to assist with the rehabilitation of Glen Stewart Park and the replacement of a pedestrian bridge within Oshawa’s harbour lands.

The CIP 150 program is part of a initiative launched in the federal government’s 2015 budget, allocating $150 million to repair, rehabilitate and expand existing community infrastructure.

So far, more than 380 projects across the province have been approved for funding by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.