Ontario is Protecting Seniors' Health and Safety

TORONTO — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, issued the following statement regarding Ontario's older adults in response to COVID-19:

"The health and wellness of seniors is of the utmost importance to our government. That is why yesterday Premier Doug Ford announced a $5 million investment to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures.

We would like to reassure all Ontarians that the province has been diligently monitoring the developing situation in all: long-term care facilities, retirement and seniors' homes. The health, wellbeing and safety of all Ontarians is paramount to our government.

In order to ensure a safe, healthy and secure environment for residents, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended that licensed retirement homes only allow essential visitors—people visiting residents who are very ill or require end-of-life care—until further notice. Licensed retirement homes will continue to actively screen essential visitors and staff before they enter the home.

It is recommended that no other visitors should be permitted to enter these premises. Instead, they should be asked to keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available.

This recommendation was not made lightly.

We recognize visits provide important social connections and improvements to quality of life for many residents and families may feel frustration, sadness and even anger considering this change. However, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the health and well-being of Ontarians—especially retirement home residents who may be more vulnerable to such diseases, as well as their families and staff—is our number one priority.

During this extraordinary time, it is as important as ever to be aware of all our older Ontarians and people with disabilities who may be vulnerable to social isolation. We encourage everyone to check in on elderly family members, people with disabilities and neighbours in your community with a phone or video call. We also encourage those who are able to help with errands such as picking up groceries for those who should remain at home and self isolate."

Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

For individuals with loved ones living in a retirement home with questions regarding this procedure, please contact the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority at 1-855-ASK-RHRA or at

March 17, 2020

Ontario Moves Forward with Child Care Retrofit in Cannington

LINDSAY - Ontario's Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, has provided the Durham District School Board with approval for a child care retrofit at McCaskill's Mills Public School. 

The retrofit will include an infant room with 10 new, modern child care spaces. Cannington-area families with children younger than 12 years will benefit from these modern learning spaces. 

Minister Lecce was joined by Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure, Laurie Scott, at the Boys and Girls Club of Kawartha Lakes in Lindsay to announce details of the new project.

"Laurie Scott has been a strong advocate for families in this region and for this child care initiative," said Minister Lecce. "Our government approved the new retrofit at McCaskill's Mills Public School so parents can access high-quality child care."

"Today's announcement is excellent news for parents, children and caregivers in our community," said Minister Scott. "I'm proud to belong to a government that is making the kinds of investments that will continue to make life easier for families."

In 2019-20, Ontario is investing more than $2 billion and is committed to creating up to 30,000 new child care spaces in schools to build a stronger child care and early years system. In fact, a new report from the Ministry of Education shows that the province's public and private sectors have already created over 19,000 licensed child care spaces in 2018-19. During that period, 268 child care spaces were created in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.

November 13, 2019

Ontario Improving Transit in Kawartha Lakes

CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES — Ontario is working to support municipalities and get people moving by investing up to $790,000 for new transit infrastructure projects in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

"These transit projects will make a real difference in people's lives," said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. "Better public transit creates stronger communities. It helps people spend less time commuting to work and home, and more time doing the things they love with those they care about most."

The funding includes new buses, bus routes and bus stops plus a new transit hub and expanding Lindsay Transit's bus maintenance facility. Investments will also include transit software upgrades, five new replacement buses, seven bus-mounted bike racks, and more bike routes linking riders to road networks.

This project is being nominated under the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a 10-year, $30-billion fund that provides support to help municipalities repair or build critical infrastructure. This is part of the government's 10-year, $144-billion strategic infrastructure capital plan, which includes over $90 billion for public transit and provincial highways over the next decade.

The project in the City of Kawartha Lakes is in addition to 56 new transit projects being nominated outside of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. These transit projects are worth more than $100 million in provincial funding. As of today, Ontario has nominated 350 infrastructure projects to the federal government to get people moving and grow the economy. The projects are now with the federal government for final funding decisions as they are reviewed for eligibility under the ICIP program. Some projects could begin as soon as fall 2019.

"Ontario is ready to get shovels in the ground and get people moving," said Scott. "With our plan, businesses, families and workers can count on an Ontario that will move faster than ever before."

"Our government's transit vision is helping to get people moving by improving our transportation network and creating a better transit experience for commuters," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "We're continuing to work with municipalities to make smart investments in our roads and local transit services that keep them reliable for workers, families and businesses."

August 16, 2019

Closing Cell Gaps in Eastern Ontario with a $71 million investment in EORN

[LINDSAY] — Ontario is taking a giant step towards improving mobile broadband and curing cellular dead zones in eastern Ontario today, as the province announced $71 million in funding. The investment will make people safer and lead to greater economic growth.


“Our government has committed to help people get the broadband and cellular connections they need,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure. “This is a matter of public safety and economic opportunity.”


About 10 percent of rural eastern Ontario has no mobile broadband connection, leading to dropped calls, missed emergency services and a lack of opportunity.


With today’s announcement, Ontario is committing $71 million to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s (EORN) project to virtually eliminate coverage gaps in the region. The public-private initiative requires contributions from the federal government as well private sector and municipal partners. Total estimated value of the project is $213 million.


“Mobile broadband connectivity is essential to the public safety and economic prosperity of HKLB and our entire region. I am thrilled that our government has committed to this critical $71 million investment in our region,” said MPP Scott.


“I’m very excited that this project has been endorsed by the province. People in Eastern Ontario are counting on it,” said City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor and EOWC Chair Andy Letham. “This project will not only make us safer through enhanced emergency response communications, but it’s also a critical link for our business community in order to be competitive.”


To date, the federal government has not committed to funding.


Ontario is hopeful the federal government will commit to funding their share of the project.


“Last week the federal Liberals said the people of Ontario’s priorities were their priorities,” said Minister McNaughton. “Well, this is a huge priority in eastern Ontario. It’s about public safety, economic growth and development and convenience. We are investing in people and building our province’s future.”


With today’s announced support for EORN, the provincial government is fulfilling a commitment to invest in cellular and broadband infrastructure.

June 03, 2019

Ross Memorial Hospital Receives Health Care Infrastructure Funding

Ross Memorial Hospital Receives Health Care Infrastructure Funding

News release from Ross Memorial Hospital:

Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) is pleased to be one of 128 Ontario hospitals receiving Health Renewal Infrastructure Funding this winter. MPP Laurie Scott visited RMH to make the announcement on February 15, and to tour the areas where the projects are underway.

Ross Memorial Hospital is receiving $400,000 for the following urgent repairs:

· A set of safety doors in the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) must be replaced to ensure a safe environment for patients, physicians and staff.

· Roof replacement is required on the Obstetrical Unit and the 4th floor skywalk (stretching from the Surgical Unit to the orange elevators and stairwell).

“We’re grateful for the support of the provincial government through this funding program to address these urgent repair projects,” said Veronica Nelson, RMH Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Maintaining the integrity of our building is vital to our ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for our patients and staff, every night and day.”

“The health and safety of patients, families, and staff is a top priority for our Government,” said MPP Scott. “We continue to make investments to improve our health care system and work toward ending hallway health care. I am pleased to see that this funding will enable RMH to undertake important repairs to enhance the safety of their facility.”

The Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) assists hospitals in upgrading, improving and maintaining their facilities. Grants through the HIRF supplement hospital needs on a priority basis. This allows hospitals to decide where to invest the money and lets them proceed quickly with projects. 

February 19, 2019

Statement regarding Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs

I am pleased to announce that Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs will re-open to the public as of this Wednesday December 19, 2018.

I would like to acknowledge the work done by the provincial government, Ontario Gaming East LP and Kawartha Downs to ensure the re-opening of the slots at Kawartha Downs.

I would also like to thank the loyal customers of Shorelines Slots and the community of Cavan Monaghan for their patience and support throughout this process.

Shorelines Slots looks forward to once again welcoming you at Kawartha Downs.

December 17, 2018

MPP Scott introduces reforms to protect double hatters

MPP Scott introduces reforms to protect double hatters

Local MPP and Ontario Minister of Labour Laurie Scott has introduced reforms to protect full-time firefighters who also serve as volunteer firefighters (double hatters).

Full-time professional firefighters have risked serious consequences such as fines or dismissal if they also chose to serve as volunteer firefighters. Minister Scott’s reforms, included in last week’s Fall Economic Statement, would eliminate these unfair penalties and empower double hatters to serve their communities without the fear of legal repercussions.

“Local fire departments and municipalities in our riding have been asking for protection for double hatters for a long time, and I’ve been personally advocating on this issue for over fifteen years,” Scott said. “As Minister of Labour I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to protect these heroes from unfair punishment and empower them to serve their communities and save lives,” she continued.

The Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service welcomed the reforms to protect double hatters. Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst said, “I support Minister Scott's legislation to protect the freedom of full-time firefighters to volunteer without the fear of fines or job loss. Allowing 'double hatters' will strengthen fire departments across Ontario and reinforce public safety in our community. This is a long overdue change that will benefit the City of Kawartha Lakes."

“We have several double hatters in the Kawartha Lakes, and I'd like to thank our Kawartha Lakes Professional Firefighters and double hatters for always maintaining a respectful working relationship,” Chief Parkhurst added.

Fire departments and chiefs across the province have also reacted positively to the changes introduced by Minister Scott. President of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) Chief Stephen Hernen said, "We commend the Ford Government for acting on these long-standing issues, and look forward to continuing to work together, protecting our firefighters, and ultimately keeping Ontario's residents safe."

Following Minister Scott’s speech at the OAFC Annual General Meeting last Wednesday, she was named a Honourary Fire Chief for her long-standing advocacy on this file.

On Saturday, Minister Scott met with volunteer firefighters, Haliburton County Fire Chiefs, and municipal officials at the Minden Hills Fire Hall to discuss the changes to protect double hatters in Bill 57. Minden Hills Fire Chief Mike Bekking said, “Fulltime fire firefighters should be able to service their community as volunteers and we welcome the government’s policy change, making it easier to volunteer in smaller communities and finally putting this issue to rest. I feel volunteers should be thanked for their service, not punished”.

November 29, 2018

A Lift for Local Low-Income Workers and Families

The Government of Ontario is putting more money back in people’s pockets in Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock by introducing one of the most generous tax cuts for low-income earners in a generation: the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit (LIFT).

Those who earn $30,000 or less would pay zero provincial personal income tax on their 2019 tax returns. Low-income individuals will save up to $850 per person and couples will save up to $1,700 together.

“This tax break will make a real difference for low-income families and workers in Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock,” said MPP Scott. “It will put more money in their pockets and help make life more affordable.”

In all, 1.1 million people in Ontario will benefit from this tax relief measure. Individual incomes just over $30,000 a year and family incomes over $60,000 a year will see graduated tax relief, as well.

“I am pleased to see that every single dollar of these savings is going to those who need it the most,” added MPP Scott.

The tax credit will take effect on January 1, 2019.

“In a few short months, our Government has provided more than $2.7 Billion in much-needed tax relief to the people of Ontario,” concluded MPP Scott.

November 15, 2018