$6.4M in ICIP shared funding from federal, provincial and local levels boosts 7 infrastructure projects in Hastings-Lennox and Addington
March 31, 2021 — Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program funded projects announced today for Hastings-Lennox and Addington will help fix problems with major trail bridges and recreation structures in Hastings County, revitalize the Tamworth-serving community centre located in Stone Mills, and boost local transit, among the seven projects previously approved by local and provincial authorities.
“We have listened and patiently advocated for these three-partner projects since the Province quickly approved and recommended the municipal and not-for-profit community group applications, some as long as two years ago,” said Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP Daryl Kramp. “We are pleased that all levels of government are now on board and work will soon commence across our two counties of Hastings and Lennox and Addington for these much-needed projects.”
In Centre Hastings, the Moira Lake Trail Bridge south of Madoc, a former railway trestle that is currently unusable, will be entirely replaced with a new bridge, restoring access to the trail for its more than 5,500 users. Price tag: $994,749
The 550-km Hastings Heritage Trail network managed by the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance had a project approved to repair 21 smaller bridge structures and repair various sections through grading and resurfacing. Price tag: $3,105,001
Two projects in the Town of Deseronto will address the needs of two user groups. The Deseronto Community Centre will replace an aging roof, add a new HVAC system, and create a multi-use outdoor sports pad. Price tag: $673,050 Deseronto Transit users will see a major needed upgrade to their popular inter-municipal transit system. ICIP funding will cover the costs of two accessible transit buses and one specialized accessible transit van, new bus shelters and other safety improvements. Price tag: $385,327
The Municipality of Marmora and Lake will see improvements to the much-used Legion Park softball diamond -- Price tag: $40,142, and the Kiwanis Club of Tweed will rehabilitate the Tweed Kiwanis Memorial Park to make it more accessible for all users. Price tag: $423,952
In Lennox and Addington County, the Township of Stone Mills will make a number of major improvements to the Stone Mills Recreation Centre with the ICIP funding. New refrigeration piping will be embedded in a brand-new arena floor, the rink boards will be replaced, and there will be alterations to the Zamboni entrance. Price tag: $1,000,000
The joint funding -- $2.6 million from federal government, $2.2 million from the province through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure and the Public Transit Infrastructure streams, and $1.6 million from the applicants -- was announced today by Hon. Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Hon. Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; local MPP Daryl Kramp, and David Gerow, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance
Kramp announces 256 new LTC beds for Madoc and Napanee - Ontario makes major Long-Term Care investments province-wide
March 18, 2021 — Two projects announced today by MPP Daryl Kramp will add 256 new Long Term Care beds to Hastings-Lennox and Addington. They are part of the Ontario Government’s historic investment today in 80 new long-term care projects that will lead to an additional 7,510 new and 4,197 upgraded long-term care spaces across the province.
“These projects are important additions to our two counties, and I’ve been proud to advocate for both of them to bring these much-needed beds to Madoc and Napanee,” said Kramp. “A lot of people have worked for this moment and many more people will benefit from these new facilities in the coming decades. I salute all involved.”
- The brand-new Clare McFaul Long-Term Care home in Madoc will have 128 care spaces in a modern campus of care setting on a 6.5 acre site beside a 60-acre conservation area.
- Lennox & Addington County General Hospital in Napanee will build 128 spaces in a brand-new facility on their well-established campus.
“In 2018 we promised to add 30,000 LTC beds and these local projects are part of that commitment,” said Kramp. “I couldn’t be more proud than I am here today,” he told a Zoom media conference.
These 256 new beds announced today are in addition to the 62 new beds announced for Napanee in November as the venerable Village Green LTC home in Selby was approved to move a few miles south and expand capacity from 66 to 128 with a brand-new facility.
These projects will modernize Long-Term Care locally and across the province, and reduce waitlists and contribute to ending hallway medicine. Province-wide, these investments also support key government priorities, including eliminating three and four bed ward rooms, creating campuses of care and providing new spaces for Indigenous, Francophone and other cultural community residents.
“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”
Criteria for selecting the projects being announced today included:
- Upgrading older homes in response to lessons learned around improved Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures, particularly the elimination of three and four-bed rooms;
- Adding spaces to areas where there is high need;
- Addressing the growing needs of diverse groups, including Francophone and Indigenous communities; and,
- Promoting campuses of care to better address the specialized care needs of residents.
H-L&A retirement homes given $223,780 to help with Covid costs
March 16, 2021 — The Ontario Government is investing $30 million to help the retirement home sector cover COVID-19 related costs such as hiring, training and testing additional staff, and sanitizing residences and purchasing supplies to prevent and contain the spread of infection. This funding is in addition to the $30.9 million the province provided retirement homes earlier in the pandemic.
“I’m pleased to see our retirement homes in Madoc, Tamworth, Napanee, Stirling, Marmora and Amherstview receive an additional $223,780 to help with their covid costs,” said MPP Daryl Kramp. “It’s been a tough year but they’ve kept our loved ones safe and secure.”
"Retirement home operators are working tirelessly to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents and staff safe," said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. "Our government's additional funding will enable retirement homes to purchase more critical supplies like PPE, products to carry out deep cleaning, or to support more on-site testing to help further prevent and contain outbreaks."
Ontario has more than 770 licensed retirement homes and many are run by small operators who urgently need the government's support to deal with rising costs related to fighting COVID-19. Ontario's retirement homes have been working cooperatively with public health officials across the province to ensure best practices are being followed to prevent and control COVID-19 and to help get residents and staff vaccinated.
"The safety and protection of the seniors who live in our communities and the staff who provide their care are our number one priority," said Cathy Hecimovich, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA). "We are grateful to work with a government that recognizes the vital role retirement communities play in Ontario's continuum of care for seniors. Thank you for your continued support of the retirement community sector as we work together to keep Ontario's seniors safe."
Under the leadership of Gen. (Ret'd) Rick Hillier, Ontario's three-phase vaccination plan is making steady progress. To date over 56,000 residents and over 23,000 workers in retirement homes have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and of them over 35,000 residents and 15,000 staff have received both doses.
"Our priority since the start of the pandemic has been clear -- protecting people's health. That means ensuring retirement home operators and staff have the resources they need to keep people safe," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. "Making sure our seniors are protected and cared for is part of our plan to do whatever is necessary to defeat COVID-19."'
Ontario Govt invests $850,492 to support the 19 municipal govts in H-L&A
with additional Covid financial relief for critical services & capital projects
March 4, 2021 — The Ontario Government is providing $850,492 in new provincial funding to help
the 19 municipal governments in Hastings-Lennox and Addington address ongoing COVID -19-
related operating costs. The new financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services
during the pandemic and keep capital projects on track.
“This has been a tough year for local governments as well as their citizens,” said MPP Daryl
Kramp. “And this new financing from the province is going to really help local municipalities deal
with some of their additional costs.”
Today’s announcement is part of the province’s $500 million investment to help ensure the stability
of Ontario’s 444 municipalities as they plan for the year ahead. The funding is being prioritized to
help municipalities hardest hit by the pandemic and can be used for personal protective equipment,
cleaning supplies and by-law enforcement, and similar uses.
“Our government continues to adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as it evolves, and we
know our municipal partners are on the front lines of this effort – providing the critical services
people depend on every day,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“Our municipalities have been clear that they need ongoing operating funding in 2021, and it is
important that we step up and provide that support so our municipal partners can continue to
deliver the services Ontarians rely on each and every day.”
This provincial investment builds on the previous $1.39 billion in operating funding that was
provided to municipal partners through the joint federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. The
second phase of the Safe Restart Agreement was allocated to all Ontario municipalities in
December 2020, to ensure that no community entered 2021 facing an operating deficit from 2020.
“Municipalities are important partners in the fight against COVID -19,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy,
Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.
“We know the global pandemic has created significant financial challenges for communities across
the province. That’s why we have been there with support from the very beginning. I encourage our
federal partners to step forward with additional investments as all three governments work together
to protect people’s health and jobs.”
The Ontario Government will provide its next update on provincial finances and the government's
plan to continue the fight against COVID -19 in the 2021 Budget, to be delivered no later than
March 31, 2021. The 2021 Budget will build on the $45 billion in support set out in Ontario’s Action
Plan: Protect, Support, Recover to continue protecting people’s health and supporting Ontario’s
economy through COVID-19 and beyond.
The H-L&A allocations are as follows:
Addington Highlands, Township of $ 47,975
Bancroft, Town of $ 10,548
Belleville, City of $ 201,754
Carlow/Mayo, Township of $ 9,000
Centre Hastings, Municipality of $ 12,096
Deseronto, Town of $ 9,000
Faraday, Municipality of $ 9,000
Greater Napanee, Town of $ 134,349
Hastings, County of $ 83,527
Hastings Highlands, Municipality of $ 19,955
Lennox and Addington, County of $ 251,664
Loyalist Township $ 128,116
Madoc, Township of $ 9,000
Marmora and Lake, Municipality of $ 13,935
Stone Mills, Township of $ 67,056
Tudor and Cashel, Township of $ 9,000
Tweed, Municipality of $ 16,517
Tyendinaga, Township of $ 9,000
Wollaston, Township of $ 9,000
For immediate release
Canada and Ontario invest in accessible Community Hub in Bancroft
Bancroft, Ontario, February 11, 2021—Canadians everywhere are feeling the impact of COVID-19, on their families, their livelihoods and their way of life. Together, Canada and Ontario are working to reduce the impact of the pandemic, ensure health and safety, rebuild businesses, and promote job creation, growth and investment. Investments in Ontario’s infrastructure during this extraordinary time provide an opportunity to make our communities more sustainable and resilient.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Daryl Kramp, Member of Provincial Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; and His Worship Paul Jenkins, Mayor of the Town of Bancroft, announced funding for the construction of the North Hastings Community Hub.
The Government of Canada is investing $749,960 in this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream (CCRIS) of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing $624,904, while the Town of Bancroft is contributing $500,036.
The project involves the construction of an accessible 4,000 square foot Community Hub, which will include new space for the North Hastings Public Library. Located on the ground-floor of a new, three-storey mixed-use building with twenty affordable housing units, the new Community Hub and public library will better serve the needs of the residents of North Hastings, a community which sees large population influxes every summer.
All orders of government continue to work together for the people of Ontario to make strategic infrastructure investments in communities across the province when needed most.
“Better public spaces are at the heart of inclusive, sustainable and welcoming communities where people want to live, work and raise a family. The federal contribution of more than $749,000 to the North Hastings Community Hub will make the community more accessible and inclusive for residents and visitors. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Our government is proud to be supporting the building of the North Hastings Community Hub with an investment of almost $625,000. Once completed, the citizens of Bancroft will make great use of this new community space and I am delighted that it is receiving funding under this federal-provincial program. I look forward to the future and the many roles it will serve for our community.”
Daryl Kramp, Member of Provincial Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure
- Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
- Across Ontario, the Government of Canada has invested more than $8.2 billion in over 2,770 infrastructure projects.
- Across the province and over the next ten years, Ontario is investing approximately $320 million and Canada is investing approximately $407 million under the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This stream supports the construction of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities that improve community infrastructure (community centres, and libraries), and support upgrades to recreational venues (arenas, and both indoor and outdoor recreational spaces) and cultural spaces (theatres, museums).
- Ontario is investing over $10.2 billion under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green, and rural and northern community and other priority infrastructure.
Federal infrastructure investments in Ontario
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map
Ontario Builds Project Map: https://www.ontario.ca/page/building-ontario
Ontario investing $5,946,200 to expand Community Paramedicine
for LTC Program in Hastings and Prince Edward counties
February 11, 2021 — The Ontario Government is investing $5,946,200 over the next four years to expand the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care Program to Hastings and Prince Edward counties. This initiative, delivered by Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services, will help more seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe while living in the comfort of their own homes for longer.
Hon. Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced the funding allocation.
“As we work to build and modernize long-term care capacity in our communities, this innovative program will ensure residents waiting for a bed receive regular care from specially trained paramedics,” said Smith. “This investment will provide seniors and their families additional peace of mind their care needs are being supported as they transition to long-term care.”
Kramp said the proactive program will also have a positive impact on local health care.
“Protecting the health and safety of all Ontarians is a top priority. This funding will help our vulnerable citizens stay at home and out of the hospital,” said Kramp. “That not only benefits them, but it also serves to eliminate hallway health care and ease local pressures on our frontline health-care services.”
The $5.9M for Hastings and Prince Edward is part of an annual commitment of up to $54 million by the Province’s Ministry of Long-Term Care to expand the program to additional communities across Ontario following a successful launch in five communities last fall.
The program, which will be funded through 2023-2024, will provide:
- Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods, such as online or virtual supports;
- Non-emergency home visits and in-home testing procedures;
- Ongoing monitoring of changing or escalating conditions to prevent or reduce emergency incidents;
- Additional education about healthy living and managing chronic diseases; and,
- Connections for participants and their families to home care and community supports.
Operational funding will be covered by 75% of the investment over the next four years, while the remaining allocation can be used to provide vehicles, equipment, and supplies.
Chief Doug Socha, of Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services, said families receiving proactive care from paramedics within the community have strongly embraced the concept and expressed gratitude that the Province is providing new funding to expand the scope of programming to meet local needs.
“Our area has a high number of clients on the long-term care waitlist, and a high number of older adults living at home needing support,” said Socha. “We plan to immediately train additional community paramedics in the expanded clinical care protocols to add to our existing program so we can increase the care in the community.”
Rick Phillips, the Warden of Hastings County, said he was pleased to see this service extended to local residents.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news indeed,” said Phillips. “It will directly benefit people who are on waitlists for long term care by helping them stay in their homes longer and that is really important.”
“I want to thank Minister Smith and MPP Kramp who have been strong advocates for our community paramedic operations. Their support was critical, I believe, to today’s announcement, “ said Phillips. “Community paramedics play a critical role in supporting patients in their homes and have been on the frontlines of the battle against Covid-19. With this new money they can do much more to support our residents across Belleville, Quinte West, Prince Edward County and all Hastings County.”
Carol Smith Romeril, Quinte Health Care V-P and Chief Nursing Officer, applauded the news.
“This is an excellent initiative that will help keep people home, where they are most comfortable, without having an extended hospital stay. This will help ensure individuals receive the right care in the right place, and help preserve hospital resources for those that need them the most,” said Romeril.
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care, said the program is yet another way Ontario is collaborating with health system partners to innovate and meet resident care needs as the Province builds a modern patient-centred care model and responds to Covid-19.
“The community paramedicine program provides our seniors, their families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care space,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Expanding the program across the province means that more of our loved ones can access services from their own homes, potentially even delaying the need for long-term care, while still providing the quality care and service they need and deserve.”
Hastings and Lennox & Addington to end lockdown and stay-at-home order Wednesday with 3 adjacent counties
February 8, 2021 — The announcement of the end of the month-long stay-at-home lockdown for Hastings and Lennox & Addington counties and a return to regional colour-coded pandemic safety control zones on Wednesday, February 10th was embraced today by MPP Daryl Kramp. Hastings and Lennox & Addington will both be in the Green-Prevent category, as defined by Ontario Regulation 364/20 as amended on February 4, 2021: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200364
“I welcome this response to the dropping covid numbers and am proud of our counties, along with adjacent Renfrew, Frontenac and Prince Edward counties for leading Ontario in controlling and limiting the pandemic’s spread,” said MPP Kramp. “The local health units have helped us keep safe and have continued to provide sage advice to local citizens and to the government.”
“Our local success is being recognized on Wednesday as we are the first counties in Ontario to emerge from January’s stay-at-home lockdown,” said MPP Kramp. “Now we have to remain safe and help our local business recovery by shopping local and supporting jobs in our communities.”
The return to the regional approach was announced this afternoon by Premier Ford, after consultation with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams. The Government is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures until covid numbers show improvement in each area.
The decision to lift the restrictions on the initial five counties was based on the improving local trends of key indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, improving hospital capacity, and available public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management. The return to the Green-Prevent level will commence Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. and they will also no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order.
"Our number one priority will always be protecting the health and safety of all individuals, families and workers across the province," said Premier Ford. "But we must also consider the severe impact COVID-19 is having on our businesses. That's why we have been listening to business owners, and we are strengthening and adjusting the Framework to allow more businesses to safely re-open and get people back to work."
To support the province's economic recovery, the government has updated the Framework to allow for a safer approach to retail. Under Green-Prevent it requires businesses and organizations to screen in compliance with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health or other public health official by, among other things:
- posting signs at all entrances to the premises, in a location visible to the public, that informs individuals on how to screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises -- https://covid-19.ontario.ca/screening/customer;
- actively screening every person who works at the business or organization before they enter the premises https://covid-19.ontario.ca/screening/worker ;
- to have safety plan and post it; and,
- individuals to maintain at least two metres of physical distance and wear a face covering, including when attending organized public events and other gatherings, with limited exceptions.
The updated Framework also requires:
- passive screening except for indoor malls and other sectors required to screen in accordance with advice, recommendations and instructions from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health as per the original Framework;
- all retailers and sectors to have safety plan and post it;
- individuals to maintain at least two metres of physical distance and wear a face covering, including when attending organized public events and other gatherings, with limited exceptions.
Other measures include a requirement for individuals to wear a face covering when attending an organized public event or gathering (where permitted) if they are within two metres distance of another individual who is not part of their household (both indoor and outdoor). All other requirements for gatherings and organized public events would be maintained.
Due to the fact that public health trends are improving in some regions faster than others, the current Stay-at-Home order will be amended and individual orders making it applicable to each public health region will be made as deemed possible for other health units in the province. At this time it is proposed that the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply to 28 public health regions until Tuesday, February 16, 2021. For Toronto, Peel and York regions, it is proposed that the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until Monday, February 22, 2021. Final decisions will be subject to review of the trends in public health indicators at that time.
"While we have seen some progress in our fight against COVID-19, the situation in our hospitals remains precarious and the new variants pose a considerable threat to all of us," said Minister Elliott. "As we cautiously and gradually transition out of the provincewide shutdown, we have developed an emergency brake system giving us the flexibility to contain community spread quickly in a specific region, providing an extra layer of protection."
"While we are seeing our numbers trend in the right direction, our situation remains precarious as the variants of concern remain a serious risk," said Dr. Williams. "This is not a re-opening or a 'return to normal' and we must continue to limit close contact to our immediate households and stay at home except for essential reasons. By continuing to follow all public health and workplace safety measures, we can continue to reduce the number of new cases and the strain on our health system."
Recognizing the risk posed by new variants to the province's pandemic response, Ontario is introducing the "emergency brake" protocol to allow for immediate action if a public health unit region experiences rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission or if its health care system risks becoming overwhelmed. If this occurs, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical officer of health, may advise immediately moving a region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt transmission.
In addition, the provincial emergency declared under s 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA) will be allowed to terminate at the end of February 9, 2021. While the provincewide Stay-at-Home order will cease to apply in some regions as of February 10, 2021, everyone is strongly advised to continue to stay at home, avoid social gatherings, minimize travel between areas with different rules, and limit close contacts to their household. Employers in all industries should continue to make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
Enforcement of residential evictions will remain paused in the public health unit regions where the provincial Stay-at-Home order remains in effect. This will ensure people are not forced to leave their homes. In regions where the Stay-at-Home order is lifted, the regular process for residential eviction enforcement will resume.
Orders currently in force under the EMCPA have been extended to February 23, 2021 and will be extended further if necessary. O.Reg.55/21 (Compliance Orders for Retirement Homes) is currently in effect until February 19, 2021.
"While the declaration of emergency will be ending, the risks posed by COVID-19 and the new variants remain serious concerns," said Solicitor General Jones. "That's why extending the stay-at-home orders for most of the province is necessary to protect our communities, our most vulnerable populations, and stop the spread of COVID-19. We continue to urge all Ontarians to follow public health guidelines and stay home, stay safe, and save lives."
The Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to consult with public health and other experts, review data, and provide advice to the government on the appropriate and effective measures that are needed to protect the health of Ontarians. Municipalities and local medical officers of health may have additional restrictions or targeted requirements in their region.
Ontario’s additional investments keeping students and staff safe
Include expanded testing, enhanced school protocols as students return
February 4, 2021 — As more students return to class, the Ontario Government is providing an additional $381 million, through the federal Safe Return to Class Fund, to keep schools safe from COVID-19. Although transmission in schools has been low, this funding will be used to improve air quality and ventilation in schools, support online learning, promote student mental health and hire additional staff. With this new funding, schools will have been provided with more than $1.6 billion to better protect students, staff, and families.
“It’s been an impressive and continuous improvement for schools and students since last March,” said H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp. “Air quality has been a big focus with over 23,000 HEPA filters and 20,000 portable HEPA units, and nearly 3,000 other ventilation devices installed province-wide.”
"To protect Ontario students and staff, and with the aim of reopening all schools, we have again strengthened our plan with tougher measures and new investments," said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
"We agree with parents and medical experts that kids need to be learning in class - alongside their friends and teachers - as it is crucial for their mental well-being and development. We will continue to follow expert medical advice and work to get all schools open, for children in all regions of our province."
Ontario's plan to safely re-open schools draws on the advice of leading health experts and the best available data. Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and leading medical and scientific experts, including the Hospital for Sick Children, support the safe return to in-person learning for students and staff and are encouraged by Ontario's experience in safely re-opening schools in September.
As of February 1, 2021, more than 520,000 students across Ontario will be able to learn in-person. On February 8th an additional 700,000 students will be able to return and on February 16th the final 730,000 students will be able to return. To support their safe return, and on the best advice of experts, Ontario is introducing additional measures to further protect students and staff, including:
- Provincewide access to targeted asymptomatic testing for students and staff, using a combination of lab-processed PCR and rapid antigen tests;
- Mandatory masking for students in Grades 1-3, including outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained;
- Enhanced screening of secondary students and staff;
- New guidance discouraging students from congregating before and after school; and,
- Temporary certification of eligible teacher candidates who are set to graduate in 2021 to stabilize staffing levels, following high levels of absenteeism.
"With these enhanced measures, we are making good progress towards a province-wide return to in-person learning, while keeping the safety of children, teachers and schools at the forefront," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. "Moreover, I am pleased to be getting more children back in class, which greatly benefits their development and well-being."
Teachers and staff will be provided clear direction to discourage students from congregating and to ensure that all school safety guidance is followed. With the requirements for masking in schools being expanded, parents/guardians are expected to provide masks for their children to attend school each day. To ensure a back-up supply is available if needed, the Government of Ontario will be providing an additional 3.5 million masks for students with a high-quality standard.
Targeted asymptomatic testing has helped to identify cases early, inform public health action, and manage outbreaks. Expanding access to targeted asymptomatic testing will be a valuable tool for local public health units and schools. To support the expansion of targeted asymptomatic testing, the Ministry of Education has procured test collection capacity for up to 50,000 tests per week, to be deployed at the discretion of local public health units in collaboration with schools.
To address labour needs and high rates of staff absenteeism, the Ministry of Education has worked with the Ontario College of Teachers to introduce a new temporary certificate to help stabilize staffing levels in our schools. This will allow school boards to employ eligible teacher candidates when there are no occasional teachers available from their current lists. With this important change, we are helping schools with operational challenges to remain open. This decision underscores the shortage of available certified teachers in the province, following the hiring of over 3,400 net new temporary teaching positions.
To support families of eligible front-line workers in areas where elementary school is not returning to in-person learning on February 1, 2021, emergency child care will continue. Additional categories of workers eligible for emergency child care came into effect on January 27, 2021.
To date, Ontario has supported:
- the hiring of 3400 teachers (with an additional 800 projected to be hired);
- the hiring of 1400 custodians (with an additional 400 projected to be hired);
- the hiring of over 500 Principals, Vice-Principals and admin staff to support new virtual schools; and,
- the hiring of up to 650 educational assistants, mental health workers and professionals to provide special education and mental health supports.
On January 12, 2021, the Ontario government declared a second provincial emergency order to address the COVID-19 crisis, with enhanced enforcement measures.
The COVID-19 resources provided to school boards to support safe and healthy learning environments are in addition to the landmark investment of over $25.5 billion in education, which represents an increase of over $700 million for the 2020-21 school year.
In recognition of the additional costs facing many families during this period, Ontario is providing support through an expanded Support for Learners program -- https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-learners . Since the start of the pandemic, Ontario has allocated nearly $900 million in direct financial support to families. Applications under the Support for Learners program close on February 8, 2021.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has invested more than $42.5 million in student mental health, including an additional $10 million announced on January 20, 2021, to respond to the extension of virtual learning.
Kingston Health Sciences Centre receives $467,200 for in-patient
mental health beds as part of Province’s investment of $12 million
into Ontario mental health Roadmap to Wellness program
January 27, 2021 — The Ontario Government is adding two mental health beds in the Kingston
Health Sciences Centre as part of a $12 million investment to add new mental health beds in
hospitals and to expand programs that support the mental health and well-being of seniors across
The $467,00 investment in the Kingston Health Sciences Centre is welcomed by Hastings-Lennox
and Addington MPP Daryl Kramp.
“Kingston has one of the leading medical centres in the country and this funding will allow them to
do even more for the communities they serve, said MPP Kramp. “Our collective mental health is
under pressure as we all work hard to get through the covid pandemic. This investment in Kingston
Health Sciences will make a difference in local lives.”
This funding is part of the mental health and addictions plan Roadmap to Wellness, which delivers
high-quality care and builds a modern, connected and comprehensive system to support those
dealing with mental health and addictions issues.
This investment includes:
- $10.9 million this year to create an additional 46 in-patient mental health beds in 16 hospitals
across the province;
- $1.1 million to support the operations of the Baycrest Hospital Behavioural Neurology Unit;
- Up to $164,000 in additional funding to support the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s
(CAMH) Wellbeing in Later-Life education and awareness program for seniors; and,
- Enhanced support to the Seniors Safety Line with an additional investment of up to $130,000.
This funding has already flowed to hospitals so they could proceed quickly on making the beds
Daryl Kramp, MPP 1-855-229-6676
MPP Daryl Kramp announces more financial relief for municipalities
Will help ensure local government avoids operating deficits in 2021
December 16, 2020 — Today, MPP Daryl Kramp announced that the 19 municipalities all or partly
within his riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington will receive an additional $1,825,000 in Safe
Restart Agreement funding. The discretionary funding will be used to offset operating costs for
critical services and help ensure the municipalities, which include the two county governments of
Hastings and Lennox & Addington do not carry an operating deficit into 2021.
The City of Belleville, which receives $575,000 of this new funding, is one-third in MPP Kramp’s
riding and two-thirds in Minister Todd Smith’s Bay of Quinte riding.
“This funding will provide our communities with the support they need to continue delivering critical
services that we all rely on every day,” said MPP Kramp. “Today’s announcement will help them
develop a 2021 budget which reflects the reality of COVID-19 and give them the confidence they
need to proceed with capital projects that will safely drive economic growth.”
The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695M province-wide for municipalities to help
ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021.This investment builds upon the first phase of
the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer.
“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster,
by helping them to enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” said Steve Clark,
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound
financial position to begin the new year, they can better focus on keeping their capital projects on
track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”
Of the $695M announced today, $299M is being allocated across Ontario’s 444 municipalities to
help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized. An additional $396M is
also being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and who have
demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering their 2020 operating deficits.
The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement is a historic partnership that secured up to $4B in
emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help them on the road to a safe recovery.
In August, an initial investment of $1.6B was provided so every Ontario municipality could address their
operating pressures, support transit systems and help vulnerable people.
The Ontario government has provided $510M to municipalities and Indigenous community partners
through the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect vulnerable people.
The province has made an additional three-year, $45B commitment to help communities recover as part
of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. This includes critical investments in health and other
initiatives, to ensure Ontario is more resilient in the future.
Ontario is also supporting municipalities through the Audit and Accountability Fund and Municipal
Modernization Program -- delivering $215M through these programs.
Province funds northern communities and events in H-L&A
as part of $3.25M in Tourism support for RTO 11 region
December 8, 2020 — Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, joined Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington to announce local tourism support in RTO 11, the vast tourism region stretching between Ottawa, Algonquin Park, the Quebec border and just south of Highway 7.
“In this vast area which includes northern Hastings and Lennox and Addington counties in my riding, the thousands of lakes, rivers, trees and wildlife of the Canadian Shield epitomize Canada's great outdoors,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “It’s the area the Group of Seven captured in their iconic paintings, and the economic impact of covid-19 to the outdoors-oriented businesses here -- over 80% of the local economy -- which enable others to enjoy our backyard, has been devastating.”
“Thank you to Minister MacLeod for putting this program together and helping us prepare for the full re-opening of the northern places we all hold dear in the coming months.”
Hastings - Lennox and Addington is receiving over $258,000. This includes library and other support of $74,803 going to 10 communities, $28,100 to the Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini Algonquin First Nation to plan a program to support entrepreneurs, $4,918 for Tweed and Company Theatre, $6,622 for the Tweed Elvis Festival and $15,000 for the Tweed Stampede and Jamboree.
“Ontario and RTO 11 Region have many tourism attractions and programs within the local communities.” said Minister MacLeod. “These organizations were hit the hardest, and our government is committed to supporting these local agencies as they work through and overcome the effects of COVID-19.”
An investment of $350,000 into the regional tourism organization to deliver locally driven marketing programs is made possible through a partnership between Destination Ontario and Destination Canada designed to incentivize Ontarians to explore their local communities.
Through the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Creates and other granting programs, the Province has provided over $2.9 million in funding to the tourism attractions within the regional tourism organization 11.
“We are very grateful for the additional financial support extended to our region from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries,” said Nicole Whiting, Executive Director of Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (RTO 11),” Our communities are surrounded by world class natural assets, but it is the character of our people that brings our natural environment and our rich culture and heritage to life. The investments made will help to preserve an incredible legacy of collaboration, creativity and resilience.”
Our government is committed to continuing its work with our province’s tourism and arts sectors to ensure that as the economy gradually re-opens, Ontario will be in the best position to welcome the world back to our province.
The government is also investing over $150,000 in local festivals and events through the Celebrate Ontario program to help reinvigorate our province’s $36 billion tourism industry that supports over 400,000 jobs.
Ontario Trillium Foundation https://otf.ca
Ontario Arts Council https://www.arts.on.ca
Ontario Creates https://ontariocreates.ca
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-heritage-sport-tourism-culture-industries
November 30, 2020
Starting today families can apply for the funding online
VAUGHAN — The Ontario government is again providing financial relief for families facing new education-related expenses in the COVID-19 era with support totalling $380 million. Starting today, parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete a simple online application through the Support for Learners web page. Applications will remain open until January 15, 2021.
The new Support for Learners program will provide direct one-time payments to help offset additional learning costs, whether their children attend school in person, online or a mix of both. Funds can assist with additional education expenses during COVID-19, such as workbooks, school supplies, technology and developmental resources. The funding also assists with additional childcare costs, whether the child is in child care or at home. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
The program was launched today by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, at the Civic Centre Resource Library in Vaughan.
"During this very difficult period, our parents have been the unsung heroes in the fight against COVID-19, whether it's screening their child before school or assisting them with remote learning," said Premier Ford. "Parents have been there for us, and our government will continue to be there for them. That's why we're providing additional payments to help families with some of the costs of learning and childcare as we battle the second wave of COVID-19."
"COVID-19 has imposed many costs on families in this province, which is why we are again providing financial support directly in the pockets of working parents," said Minister Lecce. "Our priority remains keeping schools safe and open, and supporting families every step of the way through this incredible challenge."
"Whether kids are attending school online, in-person, or a mix of both, every parent in Ontario is feeling the strain of COVID-19," said Minister Phillips, "We have heard from parents that new expenses to support their kid's education in this COVID-19 era are straining their pocketbooks. This $380 million investment in families builds on the $378 million provided to parents during the first wave of COVID-19. So, for example, an Ontario family with three children, including one with special needs, would receive $1,300 this year to help cover the costs of an accessible workspace and technology to enable learning online. This is money well spent."
Parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete one application per child to receive a one-time payment of:
· $200 for each child aged 0 to 12; or
· $250 if their child or youth is aged 0 to 21 with special needs
The government is committed to expanding support for those who need it most. Support for Learners is available to parents if their child is attending a publicly funded, private, First Nation operated or federally operated school (either in-person or online), is homeschooled, is enrolled in child care, or is at home.
This investment is in addition to the initial $378 million investment the government provided in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19, released in March, which assisted parents while Ontario schools and childcare centres were closed during the first wave of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Taken together, the Support for Families and Support for Learners programs provide significant pocketbook relief for parents with at-home learning costs and child care.
Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is the next phase of a comprehensive action plan to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
Ontario’s Action Plan: Ontario’s Protect, Support Recover 2020 Budget
$180.5M to connect workers with jobs, help industries find skills they need
November 9, 2020 — The Ontario Government is providing $180.5 million as part of Budget 2020 to connect workers in the tourism and hospitality sector and others most affected by the pandemic to training and jobs. Part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, this investment includes a skilled trades strategy, an additional $100 million of dedicated investments through Employment Ontario for skills training, a redesigned Second Career program, and $59.5 million to acquire in-demand skills.
“These Budget 2020 initiatives will help job seekers, particularly those hardest hit by COVID-19, get the skills they need,” said H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp. “This training supports workers and employers alike. It also addresses long-standing gaps in skills training which, unaddressed, would be a barrier to a strong economic recovery.”
Between February and May 2020, Ontario employment declined by 1,156,500, or 15.3 per cent. Among those most affected by the pandemic include workers in the tourism and hospitality sector, youth aged 15 to 24, and women. While there has been a strong recovery in jobs, employment in October remained 287,400 jobs below its pre‑COVID‑19 level and unemployment remained at 9.6 per cent.
“Now is the time to invest in retraining our workers, so they are ready to contribute to the recovery of our province,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover will help job seekers, particularly those hardest hit by COVID-19, to get the skills they need.”
To help people upgrade their skills, the government is investing an additional $180.5 million over three years in micro-credentials, employment services and training programs, including apprenticeships. The Province is taking comprehensive action to help get people back to work and contribute to Ontario’s economic recovery, including a focus on the groups and sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
“We are committed to taking action to support Ontario’s workers, and Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Our Skilled Trades Strategy will support businesses and help prepare people for jobs by creating a flexible skilled trades and apprenticeship system that will best prepare Ontario workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover includes an additional $100 million of dedicated investments through Employment Ontario for skills training, a redesigned Second Career program, and $59.5 million to acquire in-demand skills
From June to October, employment in Ontario has risen by 868,600 jobs.
Ontario’s real GDP is projected to decline by 6.5 per cent in 2020 and rise by 4.9 per cent in 2021. Ontario’s economic growth is expected to continue after 2021, with real GDP projected to rise 3.5 per cent in 2022 before moderating to 2.0 per cent growth in 2023.
Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to release a fiscal outlook that reflected the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in its March 25, 2020 Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
We know the wages of PSWs do not reflect the critical role they played throughout the pandemic, in addition to their ongoing care of our loved ones. That’s why our government is investing $461 million to temporarily bridge that gap and ensure this vital profession receives the appreciation and respect it deserves.
We all have a role to play in ensuring our schools and communities remain safe. The screening tool, available for all parents, students and staff to use to help screen for symptoms of illness every day, will provide a consistent and accessible method of screening students and staff for COVID-19 symptoms prior to them arriving at school.
Users will simply respond to clinician-informed symptom and risk questions, and the tool will then immediately inform respondents whether it is safe to attend school that day.
Stay Safe. Stay Positive. Stay Informed.
Together we are making a difference.
Ontario is investing $175 million this year through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals across the province.
So pleased to announce that Kingston Health Sciences Centre will receive $4,815,429 and Lennox and Addington County General Hospital will receive $72,438.
This funding will help hospitals maintain their infrastructure and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients to receive care.
Our government’s investment of $7.65 million will help victims and survivors of human trafficking access the services they need to rebuild their lives.
Ontario’s anti-human trafficking strategy is expanding assistance provided by front-line victim services organizations to human trafficking victims and survivors for accommodations, meals, dental care, transportation, mobile phones and court-related expenses.
If you require assistance please call:
Victim Services of Kingston and Frontenac: 613-548-4834
Victim Services of HPEL&A: 613-771-1767
Ontario launches independent Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission
Findings will help protect residents and staff from future outbreaks
Our government today launched an independent commission into COVID-19 and long-term care. Three commissioners will investigate how COVID-19 spread within
long-term care homes, how residents, staff, and families were impacted, and the adequacy of measures taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus. MPP Daryl Kramp said the Commission findings will be important to everybody in the province.
“We all want to know what happened at the affected long-term care homes,” said Kramp. “And we all
want to make sure everything possible is done so that it can’t happen again.” The LTC commission will provide the government with guidance on how to better protect long-term care home residents and staff from any future outbreaks.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "As Premier, I made a commitment to our long-term care residents and their families that there would be accountability and justice in the broken system we inherited," said Premier Ford. "Today, we are delivering on that promise by moving forward with a transparent, independent review of our long-term care system. We will do whatever it takes to ensure every senior in the province has a safe and
comfortable place to call home."
Three commissioners have been appointed for the expertise and experience they bring to addressing the commission's mandate:
- Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco (Chair) ― appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 2005 and holds a distinguished career practising criminal and civil litigation law spanning 33 years.
- Angela Coke ― served as a former senior executive of the Ontario Public Service where she spent more than 27 years committed to the transformation of government operations, consumer protection reform, and the development of a strong professional public service.
- Dr. Jack Kitts ― served as President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital from February 2002 until his retirement in June 2020. He is known nationally for his focus and expertise in patient experience, performance measurement and physician engagement.
This independent commission has the power to conduct an investigation, including compellingpersons to give or produce evidence, issuing summons, and holding public meetings. The commission's findings are delivered within the timeframes set out by the Minister of Long-Term Care in the Terms of Reference, allowing investigations to be completed in months, rather than years. The commissioners are expected to deliver their final report by April 2021.
"The people of Ontario deserve a timely, transparent and non-partisan investigation," said Minister Fullerton. "That is why our government is launching this independent commission to help us identify ways to prevent the future spread of disease in Ontario's long-term care homes. I look forward to receiving their report and recommendations to make Ontario's long-term care homes a better place for our most vulnerable seniors to live and receive the care they deserve."
While the work of the commissioners is underway, Ontario will continue to move forward with system improvements, including implementing the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into Long-Term Care Homes, acting on essential learnings from COVID-19, and supporting the accelerated development of new, modern long-term care beds.
The Ontario government has committed to investing a historic $1.75 billion to create new and redevelop existing long-term care beds. The province is also updating design standards to include air conditioning for any new and renovated homes, beginning immediately.
The Ontario government recently announced a new funding model, to make it more attractive for operators to build long-term care homes and bring aging homes up to modern design standards — providing seniors with the quality care they deserve.
Nearly 78,000 Ontario residents currently live in 626 long-term care homes across the province.
More than 38,000 people are on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed (as of March 2020).
Previous public inquiries, such as the Public Inquiry into Long-Term Care Homes, took two years to
In 2003, the Ontario government appointed an independent commission to investigate the
introduction and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) under the Health Protection
and Promotion Act. The commission interviewed 600 people and held six days of public hearings.
Ontario takes steps to improve child welfare system; new focus is on prevention and early intervention to keep families together
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 — The Ontario government’s plan to modernize the child welfare
system, released today, was welcomed by MPP Daryl Kramp.
“The launch of this strategy to re-design the child welfare system is a clear signal our government
is committed to making changes to better support children, youth, families and communities,” said
Kramp. “These changes will make a real difference in the lives of many Ontarians.”
The strategy focuses on strengthening families and communities through prevention, early
intervention and seeking more permanent homes for children and youth in care when they cannot
stay in their own homes or communities.
“Children and youth in care experience significantly worse outcomes than those in a family setting,
such as lower graduation rates, a higher risk of homelessness and more involvement with the
justice system,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues.
“That is why we are transforming the child welfare system, to ensure more families stay together
and children and youth in care have the supports they need to be safe, succeed, and thrive as they
transition from care to adulthood.”
The strategy to redesign the child welfare system has five pillars that focus on:
Strengthening family well-being through community-based prevention services that keep
children safe in family-based settings;
Improving the quality of residential care provided to children and youth;
Promoting the development of stable and lifelong connections and supports for youth, with a
focus on education and employment opportunities;
Improving the adoption experience and focusing on family-based options over group care where
Creating a more efficient and effective child welfare system that is financially sustainable.
The new child welfare strategy was developed with input from youth, families, caregivers, First
Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, lawyers, community organizations, frontline workers and child
welfare sector leaders. They participated in over 100 engagement sessions over the past year and
provided over 3,000 responses to an online survey.
“We are committed to taking the time to get this right and keep children and youth at the heart of
everything we do,” said Minister Dunlop. “Their safety, well-being and future success is of utmost
More than 12,000 children and youth are in the care of children’s aid societies in Ontario. This
includes children and youth in kinship care, foster care and group care placements.
$4B Safe Restart agreement supports municipalities and transit and provides new funding for many priority programs in Ontario
The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is
providing up to $4 billion in urgently needed one-time assistance to Ontario's 444 municipalities.
The historic agreement was welcomed by MPP Daryl Kramp.
“Municipalities have been working hard to deliver services while cutting costs wherever they can,”
said Kramp. “But the fall-out from the pandemic has put them in a tough situation. This money will
make a big difference locally.”
The funding will help local governments maintain critical services people rely on every day,
including public transit, over the next six to eight months. Details on specific allocations will be
provided in the coming weeks. This funding is part of the province's made-in-Ontario plan for
renewal, growth and economic recovery.
The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and
Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and
Housing, and Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.
"By working together, we have united the country in the face of the immense challenges brought on
by COVID-19 and secured a historic deal with the federal government to ensure a strong recovery
for Ontario and for Canada," said Premier Ford. "I want to thank Ontario's 444 local leaders who
supported us through our negotiations with the federal government and through each stage of
The agreement includes $777 million from the federal government and $1.22 billion from the
province in support for municipalities.
"Ontario's municipalities are the backbone of our great province," said Minister Clark. "Our
government is committed to working hand in hand with our municipal partners to help them emerge
stronger and enable them to lead economic recovery in every community."
The Safe Restart Agreement will help ensure a strong and safe recovery for Ontario through
investments in testing, contact tracing and data management; health care capacity and mental
health; protecting vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness and seniors
in long-term care facilities; securing personal protective equipment (PPE); child care for returning
workers; and support for municipalities and public transit systems.
Pleased to announce a completely redesigned funding model that will spur the development of much needed long-term care homes. This plan with help small operators in rural communities navigate the high cost of development.
Happy Canada Day
Today we celebrate the creation of Canada 153 years ago. And we did something else in 1867, we gave the name Ontario to our province. Yes, also on July 1st, Canada West became Ontario. So, July 1st is a double birthday for the people of our province.
Canada Day is a day to reflect on how very blessed we are to live in a free independent country. We are blessed locally with our family values and community ties.
This year we have all faced great challenges, our strength, honour and convictions have brought us through.
It's time to embrace our past, look forward to our future with optimism as we enter the second half of 2020.
Although we may be celebrating differently this year…..we certainly have much to celebrate.
From my family to yours, Happy Canada Day.
Motion to Extend Emergency Order
I’m honoured today to have the opportunity to speak on the Motion by the Government House Leader to further extend the Declaration of Emergency first declared on March 17th in response to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
Definition of Emergency – Emergency is a sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action.
That was Ontario Regulation 50/20.
The Declaration was no paper tiger. It has given real powers to government to do the best for the people, under circumstances none of us ever wanted to contemplate.
In a few minutes I will get to the real difference these powers have made.
But let’s look at these powers.
These Emergency powers have allowed the Government of Ontario to move swiftly on multiple fronts and in powers given to our Health Units and municipalities, even as it temporarily overrides some of the decision-making powers residing in other tiers.
The Ontario Government took Covid-19 seriously from the start and set up the Covid-19 Command Table headed by Helen Angus, Deputy Minister of Health in January. The Command Table, which also includes Dr. David Williams, was further expanded at the start of March.
The Command Table advises the Premier and his Cabinet every step of the way.
Now, everyone is told or taught at some point in their lives that giving more powers to government is a one-way street – they won’t be given back.
The Government has used the March 17th declaration to both take away and then to give back.
In both situations using the advice of health experts and data analysis.
For example, the March 17th broad closure of establishments was revoked on June 12th with Ontario Regulation 264/20 and replaced with qualified openings with safety protocols in place.
Another example. The limitation on the size of social gatherings, originally set at 5 on the advice of the Command Table, was doubled to 10 on June 12th.
And we all know that the Staged re-opening of Ontario has been implemented in full consultation with the Command Table. Expert advice has been heard and acted upon, in both closing and re-opening the Province.
And since the March 17th Declaration, the extensions to the Declaration have each been for modest periods that allow implementation, and careful reflection upon the course taken to that date.
I remind the Legislature that the previous extensions to this Declaration have been for 14 days, then 28 days at the peak of new cases in Ontario on April 14th, then 21 days, then another 28 days on June 2nd, taking it to June 30th.
This Motion seeks to extend it by a further 15 days.
This careful approach has followed the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act’s wording that:
- all actions must be evaluated to limit their intrusiveness,
- only apply to the areas where necessary, hence the opportunity to account for regional differences, and,
- will be in effect only for as long as is necessary.
And that is why we are here today.
The Government did not throw a six-month blanket over the province back in March, hoping to smother Covid-19. Instead, it has matched the Declaration period to the Command Table’s views of the emergency level being addressed.
And that’s why it is good news that the ask in this extension is for only 15 days.
It’s another positive sign that we can start emerging from the toughest restrictions of the Emergency Declaration.
Yes, our collective war in Ontario against Covid-19 is being won. And that’s on all of us, for we have all listened and tried to become experts on infection control, at home, at work, and as we travel between our homes and our work.
Successes don’t come merely by words on paper. They come from team effort, from professionalism in applied health and ethics, from insight and oversight.
And they come connected to the efforts of all 14.5 million Ontarians across our province.
During this pandemic I’d like to pay tribute to the health professionals across Ontario and in particular those in my Eastern Ontario riding.
Dr. Kieran Moore and his team in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit have been heralded for their work in suppressing Covid-19, to make it one of the healthiest parts of the province.
Indeed, as of this morning I am advised, there have been no Covid-19 cases among patients in the 27 retirement and long-term care facilities covered by this health unit.
That took a lot of individuals working with great diligence. My hat is off to them.
Dr. Moore, I am advised, used all the inspectors at his command to ensure health care facilities were as safe as possible as early as possible.
The results have shown the value of his “health first” attitude. Bureaucracy in KFL&A didn’t get in the way, it paved the way for success.
Dr. Moore previously served Hastings, the other County in my riding, as interim medical officer of health a few years back. So he knows the whole area very well.
Hastings County is now served by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Piotr Oglaza and his team. They, too, have worked with the broader community in these trying times and the Covid-19 numbers in Hastings are also below the provincial average despite the risks associated with re-patriating Canadians for quarantine at CFB Trenton in which they played a key role.
Hospitals in Kingston, Bancroft, Belleville, Napanee and Quinte West have worked tirelessly to keep Covid-19 out of our communities with testing and serious health protocols.
These hospitals and all their working parts – the people from these communities who perform all the vital hospital functions – have worked hard to keep at-risk patients separate from the potentially Covid-19 afflicted and take care of prior patients who would be most at-risk.
They and their staffs at all corners deserve great respect for their efforts and successes.
Many signs and symbols have popped up and been displayed on houses, stores and billboards thanking this front line of the medical brigades. Our communities ‘get it’, and fortunately few of them have ‘got it’.
Tools and the toolbox
The emergency declaration gave all of our health professionals, civic politicians and provincial Cabinet Ministers the tools and the toolbox they needed, allowing decisions to be made rapidly and on the fly.
The Legislature didn’t need to re-convene on a moment’s notice, because they had the tools they needed at that moment. And this allowed proper due diligence to look down the road and evaluate and re-evaluate essential services and make decisions such as what the staged re-openings should look like.
The emergency declaration isn’t taken lightly – it is the most powerful tool in the Government’s toolbox.
And it is a tool the Government has wielded with care, and with the hope that it can abandon that need sooner rather than later.
The fact that the Emergency Powers were put in place to save lives, seems to be missed by some speaking today. They see it as a political football, one that can be exploited. And they are trying to do so.
This misses entirely the great efforts of our front-line personnel to save lives, of our truck drivers to deliver food and other necessities, of store personnel to put themselves on the line.
This misses entirely the lessons learned through this pandemic. And the false conclusions presented are a demeaning of all of us who have done so much to keep ourselves and our families healthy.
The public knows now how well our immune systems operate daily, fending off suffering and death as we breathe in what now sounds like a witch’s brew of toxins and infectants. Yet, until the corona virus trio appeared we didn’t all see the high stakes because public health has come so far in the past century.
Fortunately, our health pros have been aware and kept our political leaders aware of the big, lurking risks. That’s why we had the Emergency Powers Act ready to use when needed.
As it says in Section 7 of the Act, it’s there “to promote the public good by protecting the health, safety and welfare of the people of Ontario.”
And the Emergency Powers Act has been applied that way, following the careful guidance of the best public health experts in our province. And the best data and data modelling of those who have devoted and dedicated their lives to saving our lives and those of our loved ones.
These powers have been in place for years, ready to be used when needed.
Governments of every stripe have their fingerprints on them. They were not pulled out of a dusty secret safe in the Whitney Block next door.
The Premier and Cabinet members have been available and talking to the public and the media every day. They have responded decisively when presented with new information. The Premier has used his own truck to deliver Personal Protective Equipment.
The Health Units are local because they know and monitor local health every day and year, not just in this year of a Covid-19 world pandemic.
All of our municipalities have official roles on our local health units. I’m fortunate to have 19 municipalities in my riding and the elected and professional officials who serve the health units and connect them to the people deserve great credit for their efforts to make the right local decisions at the time that works best. None of these decisions are easy – there’s no rear-view mirror on how it was done before.
This is new ground for everyone except the top experts who have modelled this in readiness. And that’s why our Premier talks about Ontario’s population of 14.5 million and the tremendous collective effort displayed by all.
In Loyalist Township, in L&A, named for the founding United Empire Loyalists who in 1784 established Upper Canada which became Canada West and then Ontario in 1867, Mayor Ric Bresee led the municipal efforts.
In Faraday Township, in Hastings, it was Reeve Dennis Purcell who presided over meetings that determined the local closures and openings.
In Stone Mills, in L&A, Reeve Eric Smith has shown his dedication to the people he serves.
All in Hastings, the Town of Bancroft, led by Mayor Paul Jenkins, the Town of Deseronto, led by Mayor Dan Johnston, and the Municipalities of Tweed with Mayor Jo-Anne Albert, Centre Hastings with Mayor Tom Deline, and Madoc and its Reeve Loyde Blackburn have all been very engaged in their successful community responses.
Greater Napanee Mayor and L&A County Warden Marg Isbester has been active and her leadership has been well-noted.
In the North, Hastings Highlands Mayor Vic Bodnar, Municipality of Marmora & Lake Mayor Jan O’Neill and Township of Limerick Reeve Carl Stefanski have all been in contact with my offices regularly during this pandemic.
In northern L&A Henry Hogg Reeve of the
Township of Addington Highlands has worked to represent his citizens.
From the Township of Wollaston, in Hastings, Reeve Barbara Shaw has been helpful to me and to her area. The same has been true in the Township of Tyendinaga where Hastings Warden and Reeve Rick Phillips has been very active.
None of these municipal elected officials knew the important roles they would perform this year. And all have been torn, as have we all, between the need for safety and the need to not destroy decades and centuries-old businesses.
This is the tension between freedom and safety, the challenge of all civilizations to date. It is real, and these people are among those toiling in the background, conferencing by Zoom and telephone, and directing municipal employees to do safely the things which need to be done.
We’d all like to snap our fingers and have everything return to normal, but a responsible Government knows there is no magic bean or potion that can make that so.
Our Government’s steady hands on the tiller have steered us closer to shore but we’re not there yet. Our professionals just need the time to keep the new case numbers dropping, the recovery numbers rising and the other numbers improving.
This 15-day extension will make sure they have that time. It’s the least we in this Chamber can do to keep the numbers going in the right direction.
My vote will be clear and it is to support the professionals who are saving our brothers, mothers, sisters and fathers, our neighbours, our friends, our heroes from yesteryear and tomorrow. My vote is not for hypocrisy.
I call on others to join me in a virtual hug for everyone who has done so much.
Our government made a promise to parents that we would update the math curriculum so students can improve their grades and develop the skills they need for the future.
We are focusing on getting back to basics with our four-year math strategy, including introducing our brand new elementary math curriculum, to make sure our students succeed.
To support Ontarians, DriveTest centres are reopening on June 22 for G1 & M1 knowledge tests. Customers will be served according to their birth month. Plan your visit at DriveTest.ca before you go. #planahead
Ontario Completes Widening of Highway 401 in Kingston
Expansion from four to six lanes will improve safety, better connect communities and support economic growth
KINGSTON — June 18, 2020 — Today, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced completion of the widening of Highway 401 from four to six lanes, from west of the Cataraqui River Bridge to Highway 15 in Kingston. This highway expansion will better connect communities, ensure the safe and reliable movement of essential goods, and support economic development in the region.
“Investing in critical highway infrastructure is a key part of our plan to support local communities, drive economic growth, create jobs and keep families safe,” said Minister Mulroney. “The completion of this project will reduce congestion and enhance safety along this vital commercial corridor.”
“The increase in lanes on Highway 401 is great news for Kingston and families across our entire region,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. “The Highway 401 and Highway 15 interchange provides access to the Canadian Forces Base, as well as many businesses and distribution centres located at the east-end of Kingston. It’s an essential part of our province’s supply chain and serves as a major access point to the City of Kingston for commercial, recreational and local traffic.”
“Almost 60,000 vehicles travel this stretch of highway every single day,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “The new Cataraqui River Bridge, located over the Historic World Heritage Rideau Canal, and the one additional lane in each direction, will help traffic move safely along this important stretch of Highway 401, long the busiest highway in North America.”
- Approximately 60,000 vehicles travel this section of Highway 401 every day.
Ontario Government supports Belleville ICU expansion,
provides increased annual funding for Quinte Health Care
BELLEVILLE—June 10, 2020 – The Ontario Government is building critical health-care capacity in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties through investments of close to $14 million in Quinte Health Care (QHC) for its hospitals in Picton, Trenton, Belleville and Bancroft.
Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, announced today the Province is providing a 6.1% increase in operating funding for QHC. This reflects the annualization of a $5-million increase announced in 2019/2020 as part of a top-up fund to support small- and medium-sized hospitals, plus an additional investment of $4,661,555 in 2020/2021.
The government will also invest $4.3 million in one-time capital funding to increase capacity in Belleville General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit to 18 beds from the current 14. Expansion construction is to begin this summer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of having modern, functional hospital facilities with sufficient capacity to meet any eventuality,” said Smith. “Today, we’re delivering on our promise to rebuild our health-care system with tangible commitments to support the front lines of care.”
“These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures,” said Kramp. “That is why our government is investing millions in hospitals to ensure their ongoing readiness. This includes funding for up to 1,000 acute care beds, 500 critical care beds, and assessment centres. Our goal is clear. We are going to protect the health of Ontarians.”
Stuart Wright, the Chairman of QHC’s board of directors, had long advocated for the Province to address funding inequities affecting multi-site hospitals. He expressed satisfaction the government has listened.
“MPPs Todd Smith and Daryl Kramp made a commitment last October that the one-time funding dollars announced at that time would be a bridge that leads to the eventual right-sizing of QHC’s annual base funding,” Wright said. “Today, our local MPP partners have fulfilled that commitment, putting our hospital funding levels on par with other hospitals in Ontario. Thank you for seeing the inequity and taking the actions needed to correct this long-standing challenge.”
Mary Clare Egberts, QHC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said the Intensive Care Unit upgrade will benefit patients not just from Belleville, but across the region.
“I am exceedingly grateful for the support needed from the province to move ahead with expanding the regional Intensive Care Unit, located at Belleville General Hospital,” Egberts said. “Expanding the unit is integral to meeting the increased patient care needs of the sickest patients in the areas served by all four QHC hospitals. This will allow our team of dedicated staff and physicians the appropriate space required for extending safe, quality patient care for acutely ill patients.”
Both announcements are reflective of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, released March 25. At that time, the government committed to an additional $935 million in new investments for Ontario hospitals; $594 million will support hospitals in meeting current and future demand for regular services – a three-per-cent increase from 2019-2020. And $341 million was committed to ongoing readiness to treat an increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
Short-term Rentals Given Green Light to Re-open Friday, June 5th
Announcement will quickly kick-start summer cottage season
June 4, 2020 —
“This is a critical, positive decision for the economy of Hastings-Lennox and Addington and the livelihoods of thousands of people and businesses which depend on renting summer accommodations and serving renters with provisions and outfitting amenities,” said Kramp, who has strongly advocated for the sector.
“We have all worked hard in this area to suppress Covid-19 and been successful doing so. There have been many personal sacrifices to get us to this safe point where we can welcome our traditional tourist traffic and regular seasonal visitors back to our water-filled great outdoors.”
The Government continues to build on the gradual, staged approach outlined in A Framework for Re-opening our Province, A Plan to Restart Ontario: Stage 1, by easing restrictions based on the latest medical advice. This follows re-opening of provincial parks for day use, the reintroduction of backcountry camping at provincial parks and the re-opening of marinas and golf courses.
“Many local people rely on the rental of these properties to provide all of or supplement their incomes,” said MPP Kramp, “Owners will need to consult health and safety guidelines related to the tourism and hospitality sector when considering how they can re-open their doors to guests.”
Operators and guests need to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, and wash hands frequently. Health will remain the top priority as the Government proceeds cautiously and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Importance of Agri-Food Sector and Consumer Goods
- The agri-food sector and the contributions of its workers are critical to ensuring the province’s consumer goods supply chain remains strong.
- We have been taking action to support our supply chains during this time, including working with stakeholders to reinforce public health protocols, making investments to increase operational capacity and helping to address labour challenges.
- To support our farming and food-processing sector in delivering the essential service it provides, we’re enhancing training and educational safeguards in these workplaces, related to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
- We’re doing even more to address challenges our front-line workers face that may inhibit their ability to do their key work functions.
- By working together to keep our food supply chain strong, we continue to demonstrate our true Ontario spirit to support one another and keep essential goods on the shelves during this unprecedented time
The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.
Details of the new program were announced today by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
"The vast majority of Ontario's small businesses and landlords are struggling during this extraordinary public health emergency," said Premier Ford. "That's why we are doing everything we can to support them through these tough economic times, so they can hit the ground running when we are in a position to open up the provincial economy. I want to thank the federal government for partnering with us to help our small businesses and commercial landlords. I look forward to working together to also provide much-needed support to residential renters ahead of May 1."
The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months.
Partnering with the federal government on the OCECRA builds on the provincial government's approach to supporting business during COVID-19. As part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the government has implemented a series of cash flow supports amounting to $10 billion to help support jobs and the economy, including:
- Doubling the Employer Health Tax exemption for 2020, cutting taxes by $355 million, benefiting roughly 57,000 employers;
- Eliminating penalties and interest to businesses who miss filing or remittance deadlines for various provincially administered taxes for five months starting April 1, 2020, providing up to $6 billion in cashflow for about 100,000 Ontario businesses;
- Postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021, providing stability for Ontario's property taxpayers;
- Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, providing municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses;
- Implementing the new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit for businesses that make eligible capital investments in designated regions of the province where employment growth has significantly lagged behind below the provincial average.
Ontario has also suspended time-of-use electricity rates for eligible small businesses, as well as residential and farm time-of-use customers, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour, for 24 hours per day, seven days a week for 45 days, for all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.
"To help stop the spread of COVID-19, businesses have closed their doors and employees have stayed home and that has been working, but it has also created significant financial hardship," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "By subsidizing rent payments, reducing taxes, extending deadlines, and eliminating penalties and interest, we're helping to ensure businesses can start up quickly when the time is right."
The Ontario government has also worked with the federal government to develop the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. This program will help businesses meet cash flow requirements through guaranteed loans.
"Ontario's small and medium-sized businesses are vital to our economy and include some of the hardest-working people in the world who have rolled up their sleeves to support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "This package of supports will help them get through these difficult days and resume normal operations as soon as possible."
"In the months ahead, small businesses will be critical to Ontario's economic recovery. Together with our federal partners, we are ensuring we support our small businesses today, so that they can continue to create opportunities for hardworking Ontario families tomorrow," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "With rents coming due, it's extremely important that the federal government move quickly to implement this program and get small businesses and property owners the support they urgently need."
- The Province’s $241 million investment in OCECRA is part of the $17 billion Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- The government has retroactively, to January 1, 2020, raised the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption to $1 million from $490,000 for 2020, providing additional EHT relief of up to $9,945 per eligible employer.
- Starting January 1, 2020, Ontario reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent.
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses
- See how your organization can help fight COVID-19.
- Information and advice to help your business navigate the economy during COVID-19.
- Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Pandemic Pay in the Broader Public Sector. This is a payment increase that would provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employees’ hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month. Both of these payments would be in effect for 16 weeks. Those eligible to receive the payment would be frontline staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals.
Visit the government's webpage for the latest and most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Ontario. It’s updated every day at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m
Our Government is providing temporary emergency relief to support households and businesses impacted by #COVID19. As of 12:00 a.m. today, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24/7 for 45 days.
Companies have actively offered to join the fight against COVID-19 and help protect the health and well-being of people across the province.
This initiative will remove barriers allowing Ontario’s manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs.
Does your business have the ideas and products that will meet the evolving challenges of #COVID19? Find out how you can help on Ontario Together: www.ontario.ca/ontariotogether
The Hastings-Lennox & Addington Constituency Offices
Daryl Kramp's Constituency Offices are open to provide assistance when dealing with all Provincial Agencies, Boards, Commissions, and Ministries.
If you need help or are seeking information on provincial matters, please don't hesitate to contact our office at 343-600-3310.
Together we can make a difference.
EORN high-speed internet and cellular service receives
Province of Ontario green light for $71M funding
MPP Kramp hails jobs and municipal / provincial cooperation
Ontario announces funding for 6 infrastructure projects in H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp hails local investments as “ready to go”
Bridge replacement north of Tweed, 3 major road projects, Newburgh street drainage among important
projects ready to put ‘shovels in the ground’
Tweed – May 10, 2019 – MPP Daryl Kramp (Hastings-Lennox and Addington) welcomes today’s 5- project
announcement from Monte MacNaughton, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure, at the site of the
now-closed bridge over the Skootamatta River on Hawkins Bay Road, which will be replaced.
“This infrastructure investment in our riding will help a lot of people as it replaces this
important bridge, rehabilitates roads across our riding and fixes a long-delayed road drainage
problem in Newburgh,” said Kramp, flanked by the Skootamatta River and Minister MacNaughton, just
off Highway 37 north of Tweed. “It’s now up to the federal Government to pay their agreed-upon
share so we can get people working.”
The 5 projects in H-L&A riding are among the first 49 projects in a 10-year, $30-billion
infrastructure program known as the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Program
funding combines federal, provincial and other partner contributions for critical local and
infrastructure projects. The program will soon support public transit, roads and bridges, and other
crucial social infrastructure such as culture and recreation projects across the entire province.
The first 49 projects are worth a combined $78 million.
Pleased to host a great group of students from Stirling Public School
MTO Eastern Region -
2019 Construction projects along Highway 401 to Kingston
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