This morning, I joined Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk to announce our government has approved the City's request for a Class EA exemption to speed up needed widening of Bell Boulevard to four lanes from Sidney Street to Wallbridge-Loyalist Road. The Province has also committed $1,666,500 to project costs, pending a federal contribution, through the ICIP Rural and Northern stream. For more, see the news releases page.
Ontario government announces $15 million in transition funding for wineries, cideries, and distilleries
I was pleased to have Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman join me at Three Dog Winery in Prince Edward County to announce $15 million in transition funding supporting the continued growth and prosperity of wineries, cideries and distilleries as our government completes its review of the beverage alcohol sector. For more, see the Press Releases page.
Human trafficking is an appalling crime that robs the safety, livelihood and dignity of those being exploited and abused.
This morning, I stopped at the OnRoute in Trenton for #ProjectOnRoute, which is raising awareness that Ontario - and the 400-series highway corridors, in particular - is a major hub for this despicable act. Nearly two-thirds of police-reported cases in Canada occur in this province.
In the majority of cases, victims are female with youth and Indigenous women identified as being especially vulnerable. Nearly 75 per cent of human trafficking victims identified by police are under age 25 and the average age of entry into sex trafficking is 13 years old.
To find out about Ontario's efforts to stop trafficking and help survivors, visit Ontario.ca/humantrafficking.
To get help, report a tip, or find community services, contact the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 or www.canadianhumantraffickinghotline.ca.
On Thursday, June 20, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith was sworn in as Ontario's new Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. Here, he poses with Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell and Premier Doug Ford during the swearing-in ceremony. Smith said he's eager to jump into his new portfolio and consult with stakeholders. For more, see News Releases.
My wife Tawnya was at the Tim Hortons on Dundas Street in Belleville this morning volunteering for the annual Camp Day campaign. All proceeds from coffee sales today at Tim Hortons restaurants in the Quinte region and across Canada and the United States help send kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to camp. You can also buy bracelets or make donations to support the initiative.
I was pleased to be at the Studio Theatre in Wellington on Friday to announce 2019 funding for three local performing arts festivals. The Festival Players of Prince Edward County will receive $56,750, the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival will receive $10,000 and Comedy Country will receive $4,533.
Pictured with me are (bottom row, from left) Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival board members Kathie Oliver, David Oliver, and chair Maureen Dunn, Festival Players managing director and producer Paul Flicker and associate producer Brianna Gorsline, and (at back) Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson.