St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik updates seniors on successes
Photo: St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik spoke to a crowded room of seniors at the Dunlop Drive Older Adult Centre on Monday during the City’s Seniors Day Trade Show and Forum. – Steve Henschel/Torstar
Mayor Walter Sendzik’s message to seniors was that St. Catharines is returning to the prosperity they remembered from their younger years.
“That energy is back,” said Sendzik, who spoke to a crowded room of seniors at the Dunlop Drive Older Adult Centre on Monday during the city’s Seniors Day Trade Show and Forum.
He was quick to point to recent successes, such as new affordable housing on Church Street, and more on the way for the core. He said industrial and commercial development is moving back to the city, including the rebirth of the Port Weller Dry Docks under Heddle Marine Services.
“The last dry docks on the Great Lakes is back,” he said, adding, “business and manufacturing is coming back.”
Sendzik touched on the arrival of GO Train service, placing high hopes in expansion of commuter rail to the city, along with new high-density housing developments filling out previously derelict sites such as that of the former St. Catharines General Hospital on Queenston Street. He cited the groundbreaking of a new District 1 Niagara Regional Police Station, and the upcoming Canada Summer Games in 2021 and its estimated $400 million economic impact.
“It’s once in a lifetime,” said Sendzik, who did touch on one area of perceived need for improvement, specifically St. Catharines’ efforts to establish itself as a compassionate city in relation to the intertwined issues of poverty, mental health, addiction and homelessness.
While efforts have been made in terms of a safe injection site through Positive Living, Sendzik said more needs to be done in terms of mental health support services.
“It’s going to be a long-term issue,” he said, before fielding a few questions from the audience.
While some residents focused on more hyper-local issues, such as curbing the speed of traffic on their streets, others touched on larger issues. One woman voiced her fears of an elderly neighbor being neglected, before being informed that both the region’s Seniors Services department and Crime Stoppers Niagara have reporting measures for such issues.
Another top-of-mind concern seemed to be long wait lists for long-term care facilities, which Sendzik acknowledged was a problem. He noted Linhaven on Ontario Street is undergoing an expansion, alongside others in the region.
“We have to meet the need so you are going to see a lot of money being spent,” he said.
Source: Niagara This Week