Federal Budget Has Windsor's Mayor Feeling 'Optimistic'

Windsor's Mayor is optimistic about the 2017 federal budget.

The budget dedicates $11.2 billion to cities and provinces for affordable housing over 10 years as part of the second wave of the government's infrastructure program, $5 billion of which is to encourage housing providers to pool their resources with private partners to pay for new projects.

Drew Dilkens says the social housing funding will help relieve a financial burden on many communities across Canada. "We all have a social housing deficit in terms of our ability to keep that housing stock in good condition. $11.2 billion will go a long way to help every municipality upgrade their stock and hopefully, in some cases, add additional affordable housing stock to their inventory."

The budget also includes an "innovation and skills plan'' to foster high-tech growth in six sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and clean resources.

Dilkens believes there is an opportunity for the region to grow with that budget item. "I think from the Windsor-Essex context, agri-food and advanced manufacturing were part of that identified sector and I think that it is really important we get the details on how that innovation funding will flow. Certainly there are a number of organizations and businesses here that could benefit from a pool of money in those particular sectors."