Ontario provides $171,500 to Quinte Home Builders’ Association to support skilled trades


FRIDAY, AUG. 20, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE – The Ontario government is supporting an initiative which will help promote construction trades in the region and will provide an opportunity to connect people with information and education on careers in construction trades.  This will aid in promoting the viability of careers in local construction trades while contributing to the long-term success of the local economy and aid Ontario’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that the Quinte Home Builders’ Association (QHBA) will receive $171,500 from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) for its’ One Stop Shop Skilled Trades Website and Build Your Home in the Bay of Quinte project.

“Promoting the trades amongst underrepresented groups and matching skilled labour to meet the needs of local employers is critical to the growth and sustainability of our region’s economy as we continue to recover from COVID-19,” said Minister Smith. “This project will help to develop an online local resource for job seekers, employers and other stakeholders, promote the trades as a career of choice, and promote living and working in trades in the region.”

Ruth Estwick, the Chief Executive Officer of the QHBA, explained that member construction employers across the region are experiencing labour shortages, and it is the role of the QHBA as the industry’s advocate to promote the trades as a career choice to all, and especially to underrepresented groups.

“There are so many benefits of working in in our industry and we want to ensure that we play a role in changing the perception of what it is like to work in a construction trade and attempting to remove barriers to employment for unrepresented groups is a significant part of that,” Estwick said. “This project will seek to connect people to jobs, and jobs to people, while providing a wealth of information and education to those seeking to learn more about a career in the trades. We also hope to encourage existing trades to discover what it’s like to work and live in this beautiful region.”

QHBA President Jon Van Huizen is extremely proud of the work the Association has done to bring to light the tremendous need for skilled tradespeople in our region.

“We are so proud of the investment by the Ontario government into this project which will help connect people to the information they need to start an exciting and well-paying career in the trades,” said Van Huizen. “Our industry is one of those sectors which provides critical work and economic benefits to the community, and skilled tradespeople are a key component of our industry’s workforce. When you add the benefits of living and working in this beautiful region, it is a win, win situation for everyone.”

“This important project will enhance all the great work the Association does in the skilled trades space and we are excited to launch it,” said Brad Newbatt, the Skilled Trades Advisory Group Chair.  “Skilled tradespeople are retiring at alarming rates in our region and filling those jobs would be difficult without the promotion of trades as a well-paying career option. This project will engage youth, women and other underrepresented groups to consider a skilled trade for their career choice and will assist our industry in closing the growing labour gap.”

Funding comes as part of the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the province’s 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.

"Across Ontario, there are well-paying and rewarding jobs that are waiting to be filled, including good jobs here in Bay of Quinte,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “By training people with the right skills we giving them a hand up to starting life-long careers and earning bigger paycheques for their families.”


  • Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
  • According to Statistics Canada, more than 500,000 people were employed in construction in Ontario in 2020.
  • The median hourly wage rate of constructions supervisors in Ontario in 2020 was $36.20 per hour.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, there were 13,380 job vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario, up from 11,075 in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.





Province increasing funding for Quinte Health Care hospitals by over $5.8 million in 2021-2022


FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2021  

BANCROFT – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that Ontario will provide a 3.6-per-cent increase in operational funding for Quinte Health Care hospitals in 2021-2022 with an additional $5,898,700 in new investment above estimated base and one-time funding in 2020-2021. 

The $169,960,095 in funding, which builds on increased investments over the past two years, is among $778 million across the province dedicated to meet current and future demands for service and it includes base funding and one-time allocations.  Built into the allocations are monies recognizing growth in the hospital sector as well as targeted funding toward key Ministry of Health priorities.  Funded initiatives include additional funding for priority services related to increasing volumes related to cancer, renal, cardiac, neuro-services, and stroke, as well as hip and knee surgeries and MRI scans.  

“By providing annualized funding increases, our government is delivering Quinte Health Care the stability it requires to ensure high levels of service in each of its four hospitals to meet the health-care needs of our growing communities,” said Smith. “These investments not only address our commitment to end hallway health care, but they also support one of the biggest economic drivers in our region.” 

Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, said the investments also recognize the importance of a strong hospital system as Ontario weathers the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 “The additional funding being announced today is partly due in recognition of the tremendous effort by Quinte Health Care over the past 16 months during the pandemic.  It also will aid in helping resume full operations, including overcoming the many backlogs that have been incurred,” said Kramp.  “We are proud to make this announcement at the North Hastings site emphasizing the important role that rural hospitals, such as this, play in providing compassionate care close to home." 

Stacey Daub, Quinte Health Care’s President and Chief Executive Officer, was pleased with the news. 

 “We are grateful for the investment in our community hospitals, and for the ongoing advocacy of our local MPPs Todd Smith and Daryl Kramp, who have been great champions for investing in, and strengthening, local health care,” said Daub. “This investment recognizes the unique role rural and medium-sized hospitals play in our communities and their importance to the health and wellness of the people we serve.” 

The announcement was also well received in the local community, said Kim Bishop, the Chair of the North Hastings Fund Development Committee. 

“This morning’s announcement, made at QHC North Hastings, is welcome news from the provincial government. For years, the funding of multi-site hospitals has been inadequate. This funding will allow health-care organizations like QHC to focus on sustainable care throughout the region. We are delighted the announcement is taking place in North Hastings, a clear indication North Hastings continues to remain a recognized, vital part of the health-care community that QHC serves,” said Bishop. 

Smith indicated the funding announcement does not include allocations from the $1.2-billion commitment the Province made in March to help hospitals recover from COVID-19, including $696.6 million to cover historic working fund deficits and $572.3 million to address financial challenges driven by COVID-19, including direct costs and loss of revenue streams.  Those allocations will be released later this year. 


  • The $778 million in new investments for 2021-2022 represent a 3.4-per-cent increase for the hospital sector. All public hospitals are receiving a minimum one-per-cent increase, while small, children’s and complex continuing care/rehab hospitals are receiving at least two per cent. 
  • According to Ontario Health data, Quinte Health Care’s base funding has increased annually over the past six years from $139,915,221 to $167,832,552. 
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario has invested over $5.1 billion to ensure that every person requiring care in hospital can access a bed. That funding has included the creation of 3,100 additional hospital beds, $760 million in 2021-2022 to help hospitals continue to respond to COVID-19, $300 million in 2021-2022 to reduce surgical backlogs, and a range of additional supports. 



Canada and Ontario partner to invest $1,869,172 in Bay of Quinte communities to respond to impacts of COVID-19

For immediate release 

BAY OF QUINTE — The health and well-being of Canadians are top priorities for the governments of Canada and Ontario. Communities across Ontario are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and need immediate assistance to ensure their municipal and community infrastructure is safe and reliable.

That is why both levels of government have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continue to look ahead to see what more can be done in these unprecedented times. This includes a combined investment of $22.2 million to support infrastructure in communities to help protect the health of residents, create jobs, and promote economic recovery. 

Today, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis and MPP Todd Smith announced $1,869,172 in joint funding for five projects within the City of Belleville, the City of Quinte West, the County of Hastings, and the County of Prince Edward to improve municipal infrastructure.

This investment is being made through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, a cost-shared, application-based infrastructure funding opportunity.

The Government of Canada is investing over $1,495,337 toward these five projects while the Government of Ontario is contributing more than $373,834.

Funding announced today will support upgrades to improve and protect important municipal buildings such as town centres and emergency and healthcare facilities. Additional investments will rehabilitate recreational and community infrastructure across Eastern Ontario, and include improvements to local trail and pedestrian path systems. These investments will provide thousands of residents with access to modern recreational infrastructure where they can safely maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

The supported projects are as follows:

City of Belleville – Community Trail, Park, and Playground Enhancements, $920,000

This project will upgrade five parks and create a new dog park within the City. The work will involve upgrading play structures in Cascade, Haig, and Stanley Park, extending the trail and adding furnishings in Bird Park, while upgrading spectator facilities at Mary-Ann Sills Park.  That work includes moving light poles, pouring concrete pads for bleachers, and adding fencing.  In addition, a new dog park will be created north of Hwy 401 by fencing in an area and adding bleachers.

City of Belleville – River Road sidewalk reconstruction, $202,996

This project will reconstruct the River Road sidewalk.

City of Quinte West – Centennial Park Waterfront Trail expansion, $447,002

 This project will expand active transportation infrastructure in Quinte West. The work will involve constructing a new pathway, planting trees, and adding sod, planting beds, accessible picnic tables, bike racks, benches, and solar lighting units.

County of Hastings – Hastings Manor Long-Term Care flooring project, $100,000

This project will replace the tile floor in the common areas and corridors on the second floor at the Hastings Manor in Belleville.

County of Prince Edward – Prince Edward County council chambers expansion, $199,174

The municipal building, Shire Hall, will be renovated by expanding the council chambers and public gallery and improving livestream technology and accessibility.


“I am proud to share the federal government’s investment in our community infrastructure to develop and renovate municipal buildings, community centres and cultural facilities, providing safe and inclusive spaces for all residents of the Bay of Quinte. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities. I am very pleased to see the positive changes in the Bay of Quinte as we continue to move forward with our provincial, municipal, and community partners.”

Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Commumities

“These grants through the ICIP partnership improve quality of life for people across Bay of Quinte by enhancing public spaces in our communities. The approved projects will extend safety and accessibility and create good jobs within our region. Our Province is pleased to work with the federal government to support local municipalities through this pandemic.”

The Hon. Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Member of Provincial Parliament for Bay of Quinte, on behalf of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure

"During the past year the importance of our outdoor recreational facilities has escalated as residents seek ways to safely enjoy the outdoors. This infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial governments enables us to improve current park spaces and create exciting new options for our community. We appreciate this support and will pursue planned outdoor initiatives with these resources."

Mitch Panciuk, Mayor, City of Belleville                         

"We are incredibly grateful to receive this funding. With it, we will improve and expand the outdoor recreation amenities available in Centennial Park. Residents are spending more time outdoors, and we look forward to further developing one of our most popular outdoor attractions."

Jim Harrison, Mayor, City of Quinte West

“The County of Hastings is pleased to receive $100,000 through the ICIP COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.  As our long-term care homes age, we undertake necessary yearly upgrades to ensure the safety of our resident but also just as important is ensuring that the home is maintained to the highest standards.  Hastings Manor is home to 253 residents who deserve to live in an environment that is safe and welcoming and feels like home.  This replacement of the 2nd Floor flooring is the final phase of the flooring upgrades required in the resident home areas and we are excited to have this project completed,” 

Rick Phillips, Warden, County of Hastings

The Shire Hall Council Chambers has provided the forum for public municipal meetings in some form for almost 150 years. This historically important space plays an important role in our local government. However, COVID-19 and the associated restrictions have served to reinforce the limitations of this space for our modern world. Thanks to this funding from the federal and provincial government, the County of Prince Edward will have the option to consider addressing the accessibility and technological challenges of the Council Chambers and reduce the barriers to participating in the democratic process at the local level.

Steve Ferguson, Mayor, County of Prince Edward

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada 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.
  • 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.
  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories.
  • The new COVID-19 Resilience stream will provide up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding for infrastructure projects across Ontario, including: up to $700 million for education-related projects; an allocation-based program that will deliver up to $250 million to municipalities to address critical local infrastructure needs and; up to $100 million for long-term care projects. Part of the local government infrastructure funding includes a minimum of $6.5 million in shared federal-provincial funding for Indigenous and off-reserve education projects.

Associated links

Investing in Canada Plan Project Map


Ontario Builds Project Map