On April 6th, the Town of East Gwillimbury received a letter from Minister Steve Clark of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The letter addressed the need for coordination between municipalities and school boards to consider school and childcare needs earlier in the planning process. Minister Clark's statement resonates with many families who have moved into new housing developments only to find out that the local schools are either full or not available.
However, the reality is that municipalities and school boards are planned out until 2026/27, and they need funding from the Minister to make any changes. As Canada's fastest growing municipality, East Gwillimbury urgently needs the province to support school boards with increased funding, so they can get shovels in the ground and build new schools to meet the demand.
Furthermore, the town needs the province to work with the Region on wastewater capacity as it is all but capped without solutions being fast-tracked. East Gwillimbury is leading a housing boom, and it is essential that supportive services keep pace. Families need access to not only schools but also to daycare facilities, healthcare services, and other essential amenities.
The lack of funding for school boards and the inadequate wastewater capacity are just two examples of the broader issues facing municipalities across the province. These issues have become even more pressing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the need for robust and well-funded public services.
In conclusion, Minister Clark's call for coordination between municipalities and school boards to consider school and childcare needs earlier in the planning process is welcome. However, the reality is that funding is urgently needed to make any changes. The province needs to work with municipalities to find solutions to these pressing issues, including increased funding for school boards and waste water capacity, to support the growth and development of communities like East Gwillimbury.