A Message from Doug Downey
The government of Ontario is taking the next steps to help bring high-speed internet access to every community by the end of 2025. Recently, the province launched a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) as part of a new competitive bidding process to connect more than 300,000 homes and businesses in unserved and underserved areas.
This new RFQ process is part of the commitment of nearly $4 billion as part of the 2021 Ontario Budget to meet the promise of connecting every region to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. This is the single largest investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history. This makes Ontario one of the few jurisdictions in Canada with its own comprehensive and proactive plan to achieve 100 per cent connectivity.
The new procurement process, led by Infrastructure Ontario, builds on the province’s recently announced investment of up to $14.7 million for 13 new projects under its Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program. This investment is providing up to 17,000 homes and businesses with access to reliable high-speed internet. It also builds on a range of other previously announced provincial initiatives that will connect another 70,000 homes and businesses throughout Southwestern and Northern Ontario.
Under the new and innovated procurement process, qualified internet service providers (ISP) will later bid – through a series of reverse auctions – for opportunities to provide connectivity throughout Ontario. The ‘reverse auction’ process will solicit interest from prospective ISPs interested in the procurement process. Details on the process, and of the lots, will be shared with ISPs. In addition, ISPs will submit qualifications on their ability to deliver high-speed internet and will be evaluated for qualification in the next stage of the process.
Interested participants will be provided information on available service areas for bidding that will include geographical maps, approximate number of underserved areas and unserved premises to be connected, as well as an estimate reserve price (i.e. maximum available subsidy).
The RFQ process is currently scheduled to close on October 14, 2021. Interested participants can submit questions to Infrastructure Ontario between the RFQ launch, which is September 9 and September 22, 2021. In the coming months, the government plans to announce the results of the reverse actions, along with additional details on how it will help ensure every region in Ontario has access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.
Township of Springwater Council Meeting Highlights: September 1, 2021
Next Council Meeting: September 15, 2021
This summary is not a full representation of the meeting. For the official record, please refer to the minutes in the next Council Agenda. Past Council Meetings are available for viewing on the Township’s Youtube channel.
Public Meeting – 45 Huron Street
A Public Meeting was held regarding a Zoning By-law Amendment for the lands at 45 Huron Street in Minesing. A severance to divide the subject lot into two parcels was granted by the Ontario Land Tribunal on the condition that the residential parcels comply with the requirements of the Zoning By-Law.
The proposed amendment would satisfy this condition by permitting a reduction to the minimum lot area requirement. Following the public meeting, the application was referred back to staff for a further report.
MZO – Snow Valley Yorkwood Ltd.
Council received a delegation from Celeste Phillips regarding a request for support of Ministerial Zoning Order – Snow Valley Yorkwood Ltd. The Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) would override the municipal planning process to facilitate the development of the subject lands at Sunnidale Road and Wilson Drive for industrial purposes. Through the presentation, Ms. Phillips spoke to the lack of serviced industrial lands in Springwater and the employment opportunities that could result from the proposed industrial development. Following the delegation, Council voted to forward the request to the County of Simcoe to be addressed as part of the County’s Municipal Comprehensive Review process.
Award for Aggregate Production
Winters Aggregates Limited was awarded the tender for aggregate production at a cost of $167,199.00 plus HST. The work includes crushing and hauling aggregate materials at the Township’s pit on Flos Road 10 East as well as adding fresh gravel to four municipal roads.
2022 Municipal Election – Voting Methods
Residents will once again have a number of options for casting their ballot in the 2022 Municipal and School Board Election. Council voted in favor of utilizing in-person electronic voting as well as remote internet and telephone voting. The Municipal Election will take place on Monday, October 24, 2022.
Newcomer Recognition Awards Sponsorship
Council has approved a “Bronze” level sponsorship in the amount of $500.00 for the 9th annual Newcomer Recognition Awards hosted by the County of Simcoe. The Newcomer Recognition Awards celebrate outstanding community leaders and champions who take decisive action to enhance the lives of newcomers in Simcoe County. This year’s ceremony will be hosted virtually in November.