FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2021
BAY OF QUINTE – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced the Ontario government is investing $847,600 to increase prevention and containment efforts in nine local long-term care homes during the second wave of COVID-19.
“This new investment will further enhance the ability for these homes to protect vulnerable residents and the hard-working staff caring for them as we continue to weather this global pandemic,” Smith said. “We need to continue to be diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19 while we continue to distribute vaccines to homes across the province.”
Homes in Bay of Quinte that will receive this additional funding include:
- Belmont Long Term Care Facility is receiving an additional $86,000, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $750,200.
- Crown Ridge Place is receiving an additional $48,000, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $378,100.
- J. McFarland Memorial Home is receiving an additional $70,100, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $451,700.
- Hallowell House is receiving an additional $80,500, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $709,300.
- Hastings Manor is receiving an additional $218,000, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $1,307,200.
- Kentwood Park Nursing Home is receiving an additional $66,900, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $393,900.
- Trent Valley Lodge is receiving an additional $182,500, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $484,300.
- West Lake Terrace is receiving an additional $50,700, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $380,500.
- Westgate Lodge Nursing Home is receiving an additional $44,600, bringing its total prevention and containment support since the start of the pandemic to $431,000.
The new funding will reduce the risk of the virus from entering long-term homes by covering eligible expenses related to the following:
- An immediate 24/7 health checkpoint to confirm staff and essential caregivers entering the building are properly screened for COVID-19 symptoms and potential exposure and to continue screening residents on an ongoing basis to support early detection and containment of any new infections;
- Additional prevention and containment activities, such as hiring new staff to carry out the added workload for essential services and/or to replace workers who are sick or in isolation;
- Cleaning, equipment, and operating supplies beyond typical levels for the home;
- Implementing infection control measures based on clinical evidence, advice from a physician or other regulated health practitioner with expertise in infection control.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Ontario government has invested $1.38 billion to ensure that our long-term care homes have the resources they need to battle COVID-19.
“We will continue to do everything we can to help stop the spread of this virus and protect our most vulnerable and the staff who have been working tirelessly to keep themselves safe,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “From the start of the pandemic, we have taken quick, decisive action to make sure that homes have access to the resources they need to care for our loved ones.”
Once an outbreak is declared in a home, the Province continues to work alongside local public health units, hospital partners, and all health-sector resources to help stabilize the situation and return the home to normal operations.
To address long-standing staffing challenges, the government has launched one of the largest recruitment and training drives in the province’s history to deliver on its commitment to provide an average of four hours of daily care for residents. The will make Ontario the Canadian leader in the provision of care. To implement its staffing plan (https://www.ontario.ca/page/better-place-live-better-place-work-ontarios-long-term-care-staffing-plan), the government is increasing annual investments, culminating in $1.9 billion annually by 2024-2025 to create more than 27,000 new positions for personal support workers, registered nurses, and registered practical nurses in long-term care.
- During the second wave, the province has enhanced testing requirements for long-term care homes, and deployed rapid tests through a proof-of-concept program, recognizing the importance of identifying a case of the virus before it can spread from the community into a long-term care home.
- The province’s vaccine strategy prioritizes the most vulnerable populations first, including health care workers and residents of long-term care homes, who are at higher risk of contracting the virus. The government has committed that the residents and staff in all long-term care homes in Ontario will be vaccinated by February 15, 2021 if they want to be vaccinated.
- To address urgent staffing challenges in long-term care homes, hospitals have deployed rapid response teams of health care professionals. Additionally, the Ontario Workforce Reserve for Senior Support program is recruiting Resident Support Aides. The province has also put in place a Personal Support Worker Return of Service program and is fast tracking Personal Support Worker education and providing supports for new nursing graduates. Community paramedics have also assisted in homes, providing care and help with testing.
- Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves - ca/page/keeping-ontarians-safe-preparing-future-waves-covid-19
- 2020 Ontario Budget/Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support Recover – budget.ontario.ca
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDAY, JAN. 17, 2021
Eligible businesses could receive $10,000-$20,000
BAY OF QUINTE - Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, is encouraging businesses negatively impacted through the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant.
The grant, first announced last month, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict operations due to a province-wide shutdown enacted to stop an alarming rise of COVID-19 that could threaten health-care system capacity.
“We’ve asked our business owners to make sacrifices in the interest of protecting the public’s health and safety during the global pandemic,” said Smith. “Our government must do what it can to support these businesses through this challenging time. I’m pleased to see the portal is now open at ontario.ca/covidsupport and I encourage small business owners to visit, learn about the funding available, and apply.”
Small businesses who have been required to close or significantly restrict their services under the current province-wide shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant. They will be able to determine the best use of the funding, whether it be used to pay for employee wages, rent, inventory, or promotions and logistics.
Eligible small businesses include those that:
- Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the province-wide shutdown imposed across the province as of 12:01 a.m. Dec. 26.
- Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
- Have experienced a minimum 20-per-cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet other eligibility criteria.
Businesses that were required to close prior to the introduction of the province-wide shutdown and businesses currently permitted to open for in-person retailing with capacity restrictions will not be eligible.
Smith indicated businesses impacted by the province-wide shutdown are are also eligible for additional supports, including the government’s program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property taxes and energy bills.
Ontario is also providing a range of free digital counselling and technical support through its Digital Main Street program (digitalmainstreet.ca) and a one-time grant for businesses in eligible sectors with fewer than 10 employees to offset unexpected personal protective equipment costs.
The new support for Ontario’s small businesses is part of the more than $13.5 billion allocated in supports for people and jobs outlined in the 2020 budget Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, and Recover (budget.ontario.ca).
“Small businesses are the heart of Ontario’s economy,” added Vic Fedeli, the Province’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. “The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help thousands of small businesses get through this difficult time, while strengthening our province’s economic recovery.”
- Learn more about how Ontario is responding to COVID-19 at covid-19.ontario.ca.
- Find out more about how the public health measures and restrictions in place as part of Ontario's current stay-at-home order at covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions.
- Learn more about Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination plans at covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021
BAY OF QUINTE – Ontario is providing $1,466,200 in funding to three local municipalities under the Province’s Gas Tax Program, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte announced today.
As part of a $375-million provincial program, the City of Belleville will receive $835,335, the City of Quinte West will receive $541,241, and Prince Edward County will receive $89,625. Two cents from every litre of gasoline sold in Ontario is dedicated to the program and allocations are determined by a formula that weighs ridership and municipal population.
“This is excellent news for these three Bay of Quinte municipalities and the residents who rely on transit to access services and employment,” said Smith. “This funding will make necessary travel easier and, in turn, that will support economic recovery in our region.”
The funding can be used to extend transit service hours, buy new vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure. Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, said the money will flow early in 2021 to 109 municipalities delivering public transit in 144 communities.
“Our government is committed to helping municipalities sustain and improve public transit throughout the province,” said Mulroney. “Supporting transit systems is more important than ever as municipalities across Ontario struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will help ensure people have access to safe, reliable transportation to get to work or puck up essential items like a prescription.”
Last July, Ontario also provided up to $2 billion from the provincial and federal governments under the Safe Restart Agreement to support municipal transit systems with operating costs like vehicle maintenance, employee wages, revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and costs related to safety enhancements.
Currently, Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system across the province. Planning is underway for eastern Ontario.
“We are very pleased to receive word that the City of Belleville is receiving this Gas Tax Program funding from the provincial government. We are committed to strengthening our transit system and have made great strides in doing so even throughout this past pandemic year. We have made substantial upgrades, some of which include bus replacement, transit pass vending machines, accessible bus stops, many with new shelters, and a real time bus arrival monitoring system. These funds will help us continue to provide and improve our City transit service.”
Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville
"The best way to move towards the future starts with being able to move throughout the city. The provincial gas tax funding will greatly assist our ability to provide quality transit service to our residents."
Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West
- 2020-2021 gas tax funding by municipality: https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/59950/2020-21-gas-tax-funding-by-municipality