This Week in Lloyd: Rail Safety, Waterways, and a Breezy Appearance

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield works a ways from the Royal City, but he’s still working for the people in his riding. So what has he been up to lately? This is “This Week in Lloyd.”

Reminder #1: Community Health Gets $1.1 Million

As reported earlier this week, Guelph Community Health Centre received $1.1 million to expand their Safer Supply Program. The money will allow the CHC to expand its pilot program from 10 people to as many as 150 people per year over the next two years. “Safe supply projects are one way to support people with opioid use disorder as they provide an alternative to the toxic illegal drug supply,” Longfield said. “Not only do they prevent overdoses, but they also connect patients with essential health and social services, including treatment, which may be more difficult to access during COVID-19.”

Reminder #2: More Money for Seniors’ Programming

In another announcement this week, Longfield revealed new funding for nine seniors’ programs in the Guelph area from the Federal government via the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The SEED, the Priory Park Baptist Church, the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, St. George’s Church, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation, Church of the Apostles, Stone Lodge Retirement Residence, the Guelph Chinese Canadian Cultural group, and the City of Guelph all received a portion of the $176,657 in Federal funding.

More Money for Rail Safety

To complete the hat trick of major funding announcements this week, the Federal government is coming up with $21 million in funding for new projects under the Rail Safety Improvement Program. This money will support 135 initiative across Canada for things like grade crossing safety improvements, fencing, pedestrian crossings and overpasses, plus the implementation and research into new safety technologies.

“As we work to increase frequency and speed of trains to reduce commuting times, and reduce automobile and transport truck traffic and the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical we invest in rail safety,” Longfield said in a statement. “Increasing rail safety awareness and improving lighting, signals, level crossings and separating pedestrians from train traffic are critical to saving lives.”

A Question of Protecting Waterways

In Question Period this week, Longfield got his turn to ask a query of the government, and he directed it to Neil Ellis, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Guelph’s MP asked about the protection of waterways and the preservation of soil health in Ontario, and how the Federal government is investing $4.2 million in setting up living laboratories in Ontario, like they have in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and parts of the Prairies. “The research will focus on reducing runoff from agricultural land into Lake Erie, improving water quality, conserving soil health and increasing biodiversity. Those are the tools farmers need to set the stage for tomorrow’s agriculture,” Ellis said.

Tense Times at Breezy Breakfast

In case you missed Longfield’s appeared live at the weekly Breezy Breakfast meeting on Zoom, and now you can catch the podcast version of the May 13 meeting that also aired this week on CFRU. To quote the podcast page entry, “Tempers may have flared at times in this rapid-fire round of questioning that included discussion on housing, the BDS movement, climate action, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.” Download the episode or stream it here.

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