News

Province Helps Non-Profit Organizations in HKLB Rebuild and Recover from COVID-19

The Ontario government continues to support non-profit organizations so they are able to rebuild and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to deliver vital services to community members.

In Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, four non-profit organizations received funding under the Resilient Communities Fund for a total of $309,200.00 for 2020-21. The recipients included the Community Care Health and Care Network, Haliburton
Highlands Land Trust, The Land Between and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes. These grants are part of the first round of funding through the Ontario Trillium Foundation's new $83-million Resilient Communities Fund.

“Our community-based organizations provide crucial services to local residents and our government recognizes the importance of the continuation of these services especially during these challenging times,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “This funding will help these local non-profit organizations adapt to the challenges COVID-19 has presented and re-tool to better service the needs of community.”

The Resilient Communities Fund provides grants of up to $150,000 to help eligible nonprofit organizations. They can apply for a broad and flexible range of needs, such as mental and physical health and wellbeing supports for staff or volunteers, identifying new health and safety processes, or purchasing new technology and personal protective equipment. The fund will also provide grants to support capital needs, such as renovations and facility updates to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve.

“COVID-19 has resulted in a ‘triple threat’ of health, economic and social crises in Ontario, and this funding will help 486 non-profits adapt to those challenges, and ensure that they have the tools and resources to provide the best service to those who need it the most,” said Minister MacLeod. “As we work towards the province’s economic and social recovery, supporting programs like the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund will make a real difference in the lives of individuals and families.”

QUICK FACTS

  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario,
    and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 645
    projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
  • OTF has redirected provincial funding previously allocated for the 2020 Grow and
    Capital grant streams into the $83-million Resilient Communities Fund.
  • For more information on the OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund, and for a full list of
    recipients, please visit the OTF website.

January 04, 2021

MPP Laurie Scott Announces Additional Financial Relief for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock

In December, MPP Laurie Scott announced more than $1.7 million dollars in additional
provincial assistance for municipalities in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock as part of
Phase 2 of the Safe Restart Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“This new funding will help municipalities in HKLB develop a 2021 budget that reflects
the challenges of COVID-19,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha LakesBrock. “As we continue on the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery, our government is supporting municipalities so they are able to provide the critical services community members rely on.”

Local municipal funding is as follows:

Municipality

TOTAL 2021 FUNDING

Algonquin Highlands

$55,000.00

Brock Township

$137,000.00

Cavan Monaghan

$43,000.00

Dysart et al

$95,000.00

Haliburton County

$287,000.00

Highlands East

$56,000.00

Kawartha Lakes

$968,000.00

Minden Hills

$81,000.00

Total

$1,722,000.00


The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million across the province to provide financial relief for municipalities and 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 COVID19 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 $695 million announced today, $299 million is being allocated across all 444
municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are
finalized. An additional $396 million 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.

QUICK FACTS

  • The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement is a historic partnership that
    secured up to $4 billion in emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help
    them on the road to a safe recovery.
  • In August, an initial investment of $1.6 billion was provided so every Ontario
    municipality could address their operating pressures, support transit systems and
    help vulnerable people.
  • The Ontario government has provided $510 million to municipalities and
    Indigenous community partners through the Social Services Relief Fund to help
    protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19.
  • The province has made an additional three-year, $45-billion 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 in finding budget savings and
    efficiencies through the Audit and Accountability Fund and Municipal
    Modernization Program -- supporting municipalities with third-party audits and
    service reviews. Municipalities have already received $215 million through these
    programs.

December 30, 2020

Safer at Home Programs Provide Relief to Ontario Families

Toronto — The Ontario government is providing new financial supports for individuals, families and small businesses, as they do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the province's health care system during the Provincewide Shutdown. The province is expanding the Support for Learners program to include secondary school students and lowering electricity prices to a discounted off-peak rate 24/7 for all time-of-use and tiered customers.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy.

"We are asking people to make greater sacrifices to help contain this deadly virus, whether that's staying home or asking their employees to work from home where possible," said Premier Ford. "In response, our government is providing people and businesses with additional financial relief to help them get through this very difficult period."

In January 2021, students aged 13 through Grade 12 will be eligible for funding under an expanded Support for Learners program. Parents or guardians will receive a one-time payment of $200 per eligible student to help offset education expenses. Support will be available for those who attend a public or private school or who are homeschooled.

As part of the Provincewide Shutdown, elementary students will be studying virtually until January 11, 2021. Secondary students in Northern Ontario will be studying virtually until January 11, 2021 and secondary students in Southern Ontario will be studying virtually until January 25, 2021. This additional funding will provide support for families impacted by these recent restrictions. While transmission in schools remains low, these approaches will help further limit community spread of COVID-19.

"While Ontario schools remain safe, we won't take any chances following the holidays — we will pivot to teacher-led online learning to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said Minister Lecce. "We are providing direct financial support to parents of elementary and now high school children to help them get through this pandemic."

Application instructions will be available on the Support for Learners web page starting in January 2021. Secondary school student applications will be open from January 11, 2021 to February 8, 2021. The application deadline for Support for Learners for children or youth aged 0 to 12 and for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs is being extended to February 8, 2021.

This support is part of over $900 million in direct financial support that the Ministry of Education has provided to parents since the start of the pandemic.

To support people as they stay home during the Provincewide Shutdown, the government will hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers on a temporary basis starting January 1, 2021. This low rate will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for a 28-day period. The off-peak price will automatically be applied to bills of all residential, small business, and farm customers who pay regulated rates. 

"As we enter a Provincewide Shutdown, our government is ensuring that all households have stable and predictable electricity bills when they need it most," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "Staying home means using more electricity, especially during the day when electricity prices are usually higher. We will continue to support hardworking families and small businesses doing their part by staying home."

The province is also making it easier for families and businesses to get the support they need to help pay their energy bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business, or registered charity customer with an overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 to help cover their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 for each. Newly eligible customers can apply for these enhanced benefits through their local utility, starting in January 2021.


Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover provides a total of $13.5 billion in direct support for families, workers and employers, in addition to $11.3 billion in cash flow support.
  • As part of the commitment to keep students safe, the government made available $1.3 billion to support the safe reopening of schools - the most robust and comprehensive plan in the entire country. This includes an additional $381 million from the federal government’s Safe Return to Class Fund.
  • To date, the new Support for Learners program has received almost 1.3 million applications and provided more than $175 million in funding to support over 850,000 children and students since November 30, 2020.
  • According to data reported by school boards as of Friday, December 18: approximately 99.64 per cent of students in Ontario have not reported a case of COVID-19; approximately 92 per cent of schools across the province have had either no cases or one case reported within the last 14 days; and approximately 80 per cent of schools do not have a reported case of COVID-19.
  • In March, the government suspended time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour 24/7 for time-of-use residential, small business, and farm customers for a period of 45 days.
  • From June 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020, the government introduced a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour to provide relief to time-of-use customers.

December 23, 2020

Ontario Cancelling Passenger Road Tests Across Ontario

TORONTO - As a result of the Provincewide Shutdown, on December 26, the Ontario government will cancel all in-vehicle passenger tests across Northern Ontario until January 9 and for all 27 public health unit regions in Southern Ontario until January 23. This action is being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"We know that these measures may be a serious inconvenience for people waiting for a road test," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "However, these are unprecedented times and our number one priority remains protecting the health and safety of individuals, families and workers."

Road test cancellations are without penalty. DriveTest clients will receive a credit in the system in order to rebook their test when the Provincewide Shutdown period ends and the region is at a lower-risk COVID-19 level.

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members.

DriveTest centres will remain open for essential indoor services, such as knowledge tests, with capacity limits and COVID-19 preventative measures in place. The ministry will also continue to offer commercial road testing and other commercial vehicle services during the shutdown to ensure the continued safe movement of essential goods and services.  


Quick Facts

  • The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
  • Visit DriveTest.ca for more information about DriveTest services in your area.

December 23, 2020

Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives

TORONTO — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO, William Osler Health System.

"The number of daily cases continue to rise putting our hospitals and long-term care homes at risk," said Premier Ford. "We need to stop the spread of this deadly virus. That's why, on the advice of Dr. Williams and other health experts, we are taking the difficult but necessary decision to shutdown the province and ask people to stay home. Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of all Ontarians."

In response to these exceptional circumstances, the Provincewide Shutdown would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures similar to those in other jurisdictions. It would help stop the trend of high COVID-19 transmission in communities, preserve health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations and those who care for them, and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Restricting indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household (the people you live with). Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household.
  • Prohibiting in-person shopping in most retail settings - curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.
  • Restricting indoor access to shopping malls - patrons may only go to a designated indoor pickup area (by appointment only), essential retail stores that are permitted to be open (e.g. pharmacy, grocery store), or, subject to physical distancing and face covering requirements, to the food court for takeout purchases. Shopping malls may also establish outdoor designated pickup areas.
  • Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take out, drive-through, and delivery only.

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are advised to stay home as much as possible with trips outside the home limited to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, or supporting vulnerable community members. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.The Chief Medical Officer of Health will assess and apply lessons learned thus far to the COVID-19 Response Framework to ensure appropriate and effective measures are in place to protect the health of Ontarians and enable economic recovery after the Provincewide Shutdown ends. This will include an assessment of how a revised approach for the safe reopening of retail may be operationalized, according to the latest available evidence.

"This was not an easy decision before the holidays, but we have reached a tipping point," said Minister Elliott. "We continue to see sharp increases in hospitalizations and occupancy in intensive care units is reaching concerning levels. Urgent action must be taken to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed. By implementing a Provincewide Shutdown, we can work to stop the virus in its tracks, safeguard hospital capacity, and save lives."

The government is also providing $12.5 million to implement a High Priority Communities Strategy to contain the virus in high-risk communities. The strategy will take a tailored, community-based approach to fund community agencies in 15 priority communities in the York, Peel, Durham, Ottawa, and Toronto regions. The funding will also allow for the hiring of community ambassadors to make people aware of available services and assistance, for coordination of increased testing opportunities and for the arrangement of wraparound supports for those who are COVID-positive. Additional funding of $42 million will also be available to establish isolation centres. 

The province will work with our local municipal partners to establish new isolation centres to help those who may need to isolate following testing.

"We continue to see the number of cases in the province grow and the trends in public health indicators worsen. Additional measures are needed provincewide in order to interrupt this concerning growth," said Dr. Williams. "We must work together to enable everyone to follow these new and time-limited restrictions and protect our health system and our communities."

The government is working to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces by supporting essential businesses in doing whatever is necessary to keep workers safe. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is leading a multi-ministry COVID-19 Safety Team. The team will partner with local authorities to carry out additional enforcement blitzes in sectors where they are needed most.

New School Protocols

While transmission in schools remains low, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the winter break on January 4, 2021. This action is being taken in support of the Government's broader efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Schools located in the following Public Health Unit regions can resume in-person instruction on January 11, 2021 for both elementary and secondary students:

  • The District of Algoma Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Sudbury and District Health Unit
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit

For schools in all other Public Health Unit regions, elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021, and secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning. During this period, child care centres, authorized recreational and skill building programs and home-based child care services will remain open. From January 4-8, 2021, when elementary students move to remote learning, before and after school programs will be closed and emergency child care for health care and frontline workers will be provided. As part of the government's efforts to protect the most vulnerable, boards will be required to make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning for whom remote learning is challenging.

"While our schools are not a source of rising community transmission, we can play an important part of the solution to save lives from COVID-19," said Minister Lecce. "During this period, students will pivot to teacher-led online learning, with child care provided for our frontline workers. We are taking proactive and preventative action to protect schools following the holiday break to ensure kids can continue in-class learning — something we believe is so important — for the remainder of the year."

The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant

The government recognizes that small businesses impacted by these necessary public health measures will require additional support so they can continue serving their communities and employing people in Ontario once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. That is why the government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help navigate this challenging period.

"Ontario's business owners have shown remarkable resolve and ingenuity throughout the pandemic. They know better than anyone what they need to come through this very difficult time, so they can continue to serve and employ people in their communities," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "The new Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide significant financial support to eligible small business owners in addition to the other supports made available to our small business community."

Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020;
  • Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level; and
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open will not be eligible for this grant. More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is available here. Further details, including how to apply, will be announced in January 2021.

Businesses that are impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown will also be eligible for the property tax and energy cost rebates. In November, the government launched a program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills for businesses that are required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. These Ontario Small Business Support Grant rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions. Business can apply for the rebates here.


Quick Facts

  • Currently, hospitalizations for COVID-19 have increased by 74 per cent over the last four weeks and are more than 15 times higher than they were at the beginning of September. Intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy for COVID-19 has more than doubled over the last four weeks and is 20 times higher than at the beginning of September.
  • Ontario currently has 915 COVID-19 patients requiring acute care, 265 patients in ICU, with 152 on a ventilator.
  • Based on the latest modelling data, cases across the province are continuing to grow and the number of people requiring an intensive care bed is projected to rise well above 300 people within the next 10 days.
  • Some jurisdictions around the world, including those in Canada have implemented similar time-limited measures to respond to a dramatic resurgence in cases. Based on their experiences, measures of four to six weeks are expected to interrupt transmission of COVID-19 in Ontario.
  • Municipalities and local medical officers of health may have additional restrictions or targeted requirements in their region.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, or if you have been advised of exposure by your local public health unit or through the COVID Alert App. Visit Ontario.ca/covidtest to find the nearest testing location.
  • The Ontario Small Business Support Grant is part of the Province’s more than $13.5 billion in support for people and jobs outlined in the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. It is also in addition to $4.8 billion to address critical areas to support a strong long-term recovery that helps workers, employers and communities get back on their feet, while building the foundation for recovery and growth.
  • To find the right supports, visit COVID-19: Support for People, which has information about the many available and free mental health services and supports.
  • To stay safe you can download the COVID Alert App free from the Apple and Google Play app stores.
  • To date, as part of the province’s COVID-19 immunization program, over 3,000 frontline health care workers have been vaccinated.
  • Schools continue to be safe, and according to data reported by school boards, as of Friday, December 18: approximately 99.64 per cent of students in Ontario have not reported a case of COVID-19; approximately 92 per cent of schools across the province have had either no cases or one case reported within the last 14 days; and approximately 80 per cent of schools do not have an case of COVID-19.

December 22, 2020

Ontario Taking Further Action to Prevent Chronic Wasting Disease from Entering the Province

The Ontario government is taking further action to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD) from entering the province. These measures will better protect wildlife populations and support continued hunting opportunities.  

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease that affects members of the cervid family - deer, elk, moose, and caribou. While it has not been detected in Ontario, it is important to remain vigilant. CWD was discovered in 2018 on a Quebec deer farm close to the Ontario border. It has also been found in all five U.S. states bordering Ontario.

"It's important that we do everything we can to prevent CWD from entering Ontario," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "The changes we've made will help protect Ontario's wildlife and support sustainable hunting, which creates jobs and makes an important economic contribution to our province."

Following public consultation, the government has amended regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to:

  • prohibit people from importing into Ontario live, captive cervids from outside of the province, with some exceptions;
  • prohibit people from moving live cervids from one part of Ontario to another, with some exceptions;
  • expand the existing prohibition on the use or possession of lures, scents and attractants made from cervid parts to include any purpose beyond hunting; and
  • expand the existing prohibition on import of high-risk parts of cervids hunted in other jurisdictions.

"Keeping chronic wasting disease out of Ontario is a critical part of protecting farmed cervids and keeping our food supply as safe as possible," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "The measures announced by Minister Yakabuski today, along with my ministry's testing program, will increase our confidence that Ontario remains free of the disease."

In December 2019, Ontario released a CWD Prevention and Response Plan that will ensure the province has the right measures in place to minimize the risk of the disease entering or spreading within the province. These additional changes will enhance the protections that are already in place.


Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s cervid farmers are encouraged to follow national guidelines for cervid farm-level biosecurity to help protect their herds and consider enrolling in the Voluntary Herd Certification Program through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Canadian Sheep Federation.
  • The province conducts an annual CWD surveillance program, which would help detect the disease at an early stage and minimize the risk of it spreading throughout the province.
  • Since 2002, the government has tested more than 13,000 wild deer and elk for CWD; all test results have been negative.
  • Deer hunters spend more than $275 million annually in Ontario, which helps support jobs in many rural and northern communities.

December 17, 2020

Province Helps Agricultural Businesses in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock Capture Online Presence

The Ontario Government is investing over $3.5 million to support more than 700 businesses in the Ontario agri-food sector to establish or expand their online presence, helping provide consumers with more access to local food.

Under the Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative, 22 businesses in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will each receive provincial grants of up to $5,000. The grants will be used to establish an online marketing presence and are providing a total of $97,698.60 in financial support for businesses in HKLB.

“Our government will continue to provide supports that help local agri-food businesses to adapt to the challenges COVID-19 presents,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “Developing an online market place not only allows people to expand their business, it also increases safe options for community members to buy locally sourced products.”

With $3.5 million in Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) funding, food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations have developed or expanded e-commerce ventures this year, which are helping to broaden their marketing channels, increase online sales and provide consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.

“This support has helped many Ontario agri-food businesses to better and more quickly adapt to the retail challenges of this unprecedented time and to modernize their operations for the future,” said Minister Hardeman. “COVID-19 has changed the way we shop, and our investment in e-business will go a long way to safely connect more retailers with more consumers.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to more than 4,200 projects, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership
  • The funding is in addition to other programming launched this year to assist the sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including:

December 16, 2020

Additional Provincial Funding to Protect Vulnerable People During COVID-19

LINDSAY — As the public health situation continues to evolve, the Ontario government
is building on the previous two phases of the Social Services Relief Fund with an
additional $120 million to improve the delivery of critical services, renovate and
purchase shelter facilities, and provide longer-term housing solutions.

This investment is part of our government’s $510 million commitment to help protect the
health and safety of vulnerable people across the province.

“Our government is actively working to keep vulnerable community members safe and
respond to the changing needs presented by COVID-19,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock “This additional funding will help address the
increased demand for shelter services and build longer-term solutions for housing.”

The City of Kawartha Lakes will receive an additional $349,500 contributing to a total of
$3,962,949 in Social Services Relief Funding. The municipality will be using the new
funds towards the expansion of A Place Called Home in Lindsay. The renovation
includes building a new 19 bed shelter along with 5 new affordable housing units, one 4-
bedroom house and four 1-bedroom apartments.

“We thank the province for continuing to make these important investments in our
community, says Hope Lee, Manager, Human Services (Housing). Assisting A Place
Called Home to rebuild the shelter is a priority focus of the municipal recovery strategy.
The Social Services Relief Funding will make this rebuild possible ensuring that those
experiencing homelessness in our community have a safe place to find shelter.”

“Our government continues to respond to the pandemic with significant investments for
our municipal and Indigenous partners,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs
and Housing. “As the public health situation continues to evolve, we are providing more
support, so our partners are in a better position to protect those who need it most.”

QUICK FACTS

  • In March, Kawartha Lakes received over $1.8 million for Phase 1 of the Social
    Services Relief Fund which was allocated to support emergency housing,
    homelessness prevention and food security programs in Kawartha Lakes and
    Haliburton County
  • In October, Kawartha Lakes received more than $1.7 million as part of Phase 2
    of the Social Services Relief Fund to help improve shelters and create
    opportunities for longer-term housing through the renovation and expansion of A
    Place Called Home in Lindsay

December 14, 2020

Ontario Legislature Adjourns for 2020 after Successful Fall Session

TORONTO — The Ontario government wrapped up a successful session of the legislature today after delivering on a commitment to protect the health and safety of the people of the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the accomplishments this fall are initiatives to support families and communities, and the adoption of Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support and Recover that will set the stage for economic recovery and job creation across the province.

Over the past year the government moved quickly to implement measures to enable the Legislative Assembly to operate safely, including the introduction of physically distanced summer meetings of the Assembly. These measures allowed the government to work quickly to respond to the pandemic.

"Our response to this pandemic was unique among governments in the country as we acted swiftly to ensure the continuity of essential government operations throughout the pandemic," said Government House Leader Paul Calandra. "Without innovative COVID-19 measures at the Legislature, our government could not have been as effective in its response to this once-in-a-generation public health challenge."

During the fall session, the Ontario government achieved the following legislative accomplishments and made some necessary adjustments:

  • Passage of 36 bills, which is broken down as 10 Private Members' Bills and 26 Government Bills, including 6 emergency COVID-19 bills which were expedited by unanimous consent of all parties;
  • Completion of a historic committee study on the economic impacts of COVID-19 at the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, which heard from more than 520 witnesses and over 200 hours of public consultation;
  • Introduction of two new forms of debate; the Take-note Debate, which is a special debate, lasting up to four hours, intended for the House to consider provincially-significant matters; and the Report-stage Debate which allows a Bill to be debated for up to 30 minutes when reported back to the House from committee;
  • Introduction of a system of recorded voting in the lobbies, adjacent to the Chamber. This is modeled on the British Parliament and has allowed the full participation of Members at a time when it has not been possible for all Members to be present in the Chamber at once.

"While we started 2020 with a very different focus than we ended it, our priorities have not changed, we are always working on behalf of all the people of Ontario," added Minister Calandra. "We will continue to fight against COVID-19, strengthen the provincial economy and build a brighter, and more prosperous future for every individual, family and worker in the province."

December 09, 2020

Province Provides Funding Support to Haliburton-Highlands Region Tourism Organization

Haliburton – Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, joined Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington to announce local tourism support for Haliburton-Highlands to the Ottawa Valley Regional Tourism.

“Ontario and the Haliburton-Highlands to the Ottawa Valley Region have many tourism attractions and programs within their 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.”

Our government is committed to continuing its work with our province’s tourism and arts sectors to ensure that as the economy gradually reopens, Ontario will be in the best position to welcome the world back to our province.

“Haliburton and the surrounding area is one of the most photographed regions in our province and is a brilliant jewel in the natural beauty within Ontario,” said Laurie Scott, MPP Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “The provincial funding announced today will help support the families and businesses who work in the local tourism sector which has been hampered this year by the impact of COVID-19.”

The province is investing over $350,000 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.

“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.”

Through the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Creates and other granting programs, the Province has also provided over $2.9 million in funding to the tourism attractions within the regional tourism organization 11.

Additional Resources

 

December 08, 2020