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Cycling infrastructure funding secure

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Despite the cancellation of the province’s cap and trade program, cycling infrastructure funding promised to the region is secure.

Last December, Durham officials received notice the region will receive $2.2 million under the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) program.

The OMCC program was announced by the Wynne government in spring 2017 and was set to last through 2020.

This funding covers 80 per cent of costs for approved cycling infrastructure projects.

The region will chip in the remaining 20 per cent, equalling $554,238.

In July, the Ford government cancelled the cap and trade program and announced there would be no more funding issued under the OMCC program.

In a letter to regional council, staff indicated the $2.2 million will come through as planned, but with no future money rolling in, the list of potential projects would need to be reduced.

“At this time, certain projects are planned to advance under the OMCC program, and those with ongoing design work provide an early indication of which ones should proceed to construction within the program deadline [of Dec. 30, 2020],” the letter reads.

If projects that are already underway are not finished by that date, the possibility of losing provincial funding exists.

A municipal working group has been established to manage project implementation, and regularly review and update the list to ensure projects are still feasible by the deadline.