What are the big issues Oshawa will have to grapple with in 2022?
It seems obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away as we have all hoped and prayed that it would in 2021.
The pandemic is likely to become an epidemic that will be with us on a permanent basis and cities like Oshawa will be permanently involved in it.
Oshawa has other ongoing issues to deal with, such as problems with the city center, growth in the north, potential changes from extended lakefront and port hours, and the need to find more affordable housing, especially in the center of the city.
Oh, and there are also a couple of elections: a provincial election in the spring and a local election in the fall. So you will see politicians twice in 2022 putting up the signs and looking for your votes.
1. The city’s economic recovery for companies and private individuals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants, which will drag on into the new year, will be an ongoing theme. As upper-tier government support wanes, lower-tier communities will need to adopt new approaches and find the means to deal with hybrid, remote working, and other “new normal” situations. It’s hard to say where COVID will take us in 2022, and it would be stupid to predict where we’ll be in six months to a year.
2. As has been the case for years, the challenges of downtown Oshawa for politicians, corporations and social services alike will take center stage. A regional task force to investigate the problems of downtown Oshawa was set up last summer and announced by regional chairman John Henry and Mayor Dan Carter. It includes members from Lakeridge Health, Durham Regional Police, Durham Regional Health Department, Durham Region Social Services, and the City of Oshawa and will conduct a full investigation of all downtown issues. The recommendations and measures proposed by him are expected in the coming years.
3. Growth in Oshawa, particularly north of Taunton Road, is set to continue for the next decade and needs to be well managed by the city as it seeks to balance the needs of new residents with the needs of existing residents to contain tax increases. The tension of needs between “old” and “new” Oshawa will only increase over the years.
4th. As housing costs soar every year, the need for affordable housing continues to grow. This is especially important in a city like Oshawa, which has an admitted homelessness and poverty problem. Any measures that the city or region can take to increase the supply of affordable housing in the city in 2022 will be greatly appreciated by everyone, given the need to find housing for those who cannot or do not have one , is crucial for the city.
5. As a recognized “jewel” of Oshawa, a lot has been invested in Lakeview Park in recent years, not least $ 2 million for a state-of-the-art playground that was a monster hit not only in Oshawa, but also in the entire region. Residents want more of the park in 2022 and have urged the council to keep it open until midnight year round so they can use it as often as possible. Oddly, if anything, Oshawa never took full advantage of Lakeview Park as a travel destination. Maybe it’s time.
Story behind the story: We wanted to take a look at our Oshawa crystal ball and try to anticipate the biggest problems of the coming year. Growth, downtown Oshawa, and the recovery from COVID-19 are all huge in Oshawa. The port of Oshawa and the lakefront are also important aspects of the city and the desire for affordable housing will be an issue not only in 2022 but also in years beyond.