What does the Ontario budget mean for Windsor?

The province is pledging big dollars for a high speed rail link between Windsor and Toronto, and cash to fix up a portion of a main city road.

Billions for high speed rail and millions for Huron Church Road

China's CRH high-speed trains sit on tracks at a maintenance base in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province in 2012. The Ontario Liberals pledged $3 billion for a Toronto-Windsor high-speed corridor in Wednesday's budget. (The Associated Press)

In Wednesday's provincial budget, the Ontario Liberals pledged big dollars for a high speed rail link between Windsor and Toronto, and cash to fix up a portion of a main city road.

The commitment for the rail line comes in at $11 billion for construction. What was not said is how much of the high speed link this money announced today will pay for, without a definitive price tag or timeline given. Stations are planned for Windsor, Chatham, London, Kitchener, Guelph, and Toronto's Union Station, with a connection to Pearson International Airport.

But Windsor West NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky is skeptical.

"On the surface it looks like Christmas morning and people have woken up and got everything that they've asked for," said Gretzky. "The Liberals have had 15 years to deliver on these things and they chose not to."

Free prescription drugs

Senior citizens in Windsor are also applauding the Liberals promise to provide free prescription drugs to anyone 65 and over. It would cover more than 4,400 drugs, cost $575 million by 2021 and come into effect August 1, 2019. That's if the Liberals are re-elected.

Watch 84-year-old Marie Benotto react to the plan.

Windsor senior gets emotional over Liberal promise for free prescription drugs


3 years agoVideo
Some senior citizens in Windsor, Ont. say it's a financial struggle to live a normal life. The Liberals say free prescription drugs would save the average senior $240 a year. 0:45

Huron Church reconstruction

The second line item from Wednesday's budget that impacts Windsor is $3 million for reconstruction of Huron Church Road between Dorchester Road to Malden Road.

For Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP Percy Hatfield it's less about what was in the budget, and more about what was missing.

He said many local items on his agenda were left out of the Liberals re-election budget. Things like money to widen Hwy. 3 between Essex and Leamington, money to help move the University of Windsor's law school to the downtown Paul Martin building or funding to keep the Canadian Club Brand Centre open.

"It's like a last-moment Hail Mary pass, let's put it out there, let's throw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks," said Hatfield. "See if people will forgive us for all of our scandals."