Ontario nominates Quinte West’s King Street corridor project to federal government for ICIP funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

Quinte West – Todd Smith, the Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, announced today the Province of Ontario has nominated Quinte West’s King Street corridor reconstruction project for Investing in Canada Infrastructure Project (ICIP) funding.

Smith explained through ICIP’s Rural and Northern stream, a multi-level funding model, the Province must submit projects for federal approval.  Pending federal approval, the Province would contribute $1,666,183.37 toward the reconstruction of 2.8 km of roadway along King, Division, Catherine and Dufferin streets. 

Above ground, the reconstruction includes new asphalt, curbing, and sidewalks as well as the construction of active transportation lanes on King and Division streets. Roundabouts may also be considered to increase safety. Below ground, the City plans to replace water and sewer mains that are over 50 years old and to add fibre optics conduit for modern communications needs.

 “This project will improve vehicular and pedestrian safety in a well-travelled area of Quinte West that provides access to Trenton Memorial Hospital, schools, and downtown businesses. It will also refresh vital water and sewer infrastructure, providing longevity and reliability for another generation,” said Smith. “I’m pleased our government is committed to the health and prosperity of Quinte West.”

Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison was pleased the Province nominated the project.

“We are very thankful for the provincial government’s support. This is one of many infrastructure projects that we are looking forward to completing and we are looking forward to the federal government’s support as well.”

In a competitive process, Quinte West’s application was reviewed for its adherence to both federal eligibility criteria and provincial priorities.

The Province has committed $250 million through the Rural and Northern stream, part of a $10.2 billion investment in the 10-year ICIP program. For each approved project, Ontario will provide up to 33 per cent of project costs. The Rural and Northern stream is one of four funding opportunities under the agreement.  Intakes from municipalities under the Public Transit stream are currently being reviewed, while streams for Community, Culture and Recreation and Green projects will open later this year.

Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott said the government is pleased to use the ICIP model to invest in what matters most to the communities it serves.

“We’re continuing to work with municipalities, families, and businesses to make smart investments in our infrastructure and keep it reliable,” said Scott. “Our investments are creating jobs and growing the economy, shaping the future for hard-working Ontario families.”

Work cannot begin on Quinte West’s King Street corridor or any of the other projects the Province has nominated for funding until approvals come from the federal government.  Smith is urging an expedient review and confirmation the project will proceed.

“This is an important project for Quinte West in so many ways. We need to get the green light as soon as possible so the City can start public consultations and get shovels in the ground without delay.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Budget 2019:  budget.on.ca

Grants Ontario – List of Grants by Ministry: http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/GrantOpportunities/GrantsbyMinistry/index.htm

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Ontario to provide City of Belleville up to $3 million for Sagonaska Bridge structural upgrades

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019

Belleville – The Province of Ontario will provide the City of Belleville up to $3 million for structural work to extend the life of the Sagonaska Bridge, Todd Smith announced today.

The Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services explained the funding is provided through the Ministry of Transportation’s Connecting Links Program, which supports infrastructure renewals on municipal roads and bridges that join segments of provincial highway.

With the Province contributing 90 per cent of eligible costs, the City will be able to replace extension joints, effect structural repairs, and add waterproofing to the six-lane, two-span bridge over the Moira River, built in 1978. Smith noted that while the structure had not been upgraded in its lifespan, it was starting to show signs of severe deterioration.

“This important structural link on Hwy 62 has endured weathering over the years and it had become a concern for the City,” Smith said. “Our government is committing to investing to offer peace of mind the Sagonaska Bridge and other valuable links will in good maintenance for years to come.”

Smith noted the route via North Front and Pinnacle streets is one of just four major north-south arteries in the City. It is heavily used by local residents to reach shopping destinations and Hwy 401 and serves as a major access point for the downtown, public-service facilities like Belleville General Hospital and Loyalist College, as well as Prince Edward County.

Previously, the Connecting Links program provided $157,000 for detailed design work for the Sagonaska Bridge. This further investment is a natural progression to preserve a key piece of infrastructure.

Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk welcomed the funding.

“We are very pleased to learn of the Ministry of Transportation’s decision to provide $3 million, through their 2019-2020 Connecting Links program, for the Sagonaska Bridge rehabilitation project,” Panciuk said. “The bridge carries Hwy 62/Pinnacle Street over the Moira River and is a critical connection point within the City’s road network. With this support, we are prepared to proceed quickly and get this initiative underway.”

Smith was pleased to be joined by Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP Daryl Kramp as he met Panciuk and other City of Belleville officials for the announcement Monday.

The Connecting Links Program covers 352 km of roads and 70 bridges in 77 municipalities across Ontario. For 2019, the Province has approved $30 million in funding to support 25 projects in 23 municipalities. Design, construction, renewal, rehabilitation and replacement costs are eligible to be funded.

Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said the fund is a good example of how the Province is partnering with municipalities to create positive change.

“We are investing in municipal roads and bridges to keep families safe and to support jobs and growth in local communities,” said Mulroney. “We are working with municipal partners to make investments to help ensure Ontario’s transportation system works for everyone.”

Eligible municipalities will be encouraged to apply for the 2020-2021 Connecting Links Program during an intake later this year.

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Ontario investing in 76 new long-term care beds and upgrades to 84 existing beds at H.J. McFarland Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2019

 

Picton – A Government of Ontario investment announced today will transform Prince Edward County’s H.J. McFarland Memorial Home into a modern 160-bed long-term care facility.

This afternoon, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services welcomed Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton to share this much-anticipated development about the 44-year-old municipally operated home.

Fullerton announced that the government is adding 76 new long-term care beds and upgrading 84 existing beds to modern design standards. When complete, the home will include specialized services for behavioral, dialysis, dementia and patients recovering from an illness or injury.

Smith welcomed the announcement.

“This investment will allow Prince Edward County to offer the care residents and families deserve in a state-of-the-art facility for years to come,” said Smith. “With an aging population with a median age seven years older than the provincial average, the need here is real.  The County has been hoping for these beds since the Picton Manor closed in 2012 and, today, we have delivered.”

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson was grateful to receive the news.

“The municipality welcomes the provincial government’s commitment to long-term care in our community,” said Ferguson. “As a popular retirement destination, the demand for long-term care will continue to grow in the coming years. With the support announced today, we will redevelop H.J. McFarland Memorial Home in order to expand access and enhance the care we offer in a warm, welcoming and modern environment.”

A medical doctor with years of family practice in the Ottawa area, Fullerton said the new beds will help take pressure off hospitals, allow doctors and nurses to work more efficiently and provide better, faster health care for Ontario families and patients.

Smith was excited about how that commitment might ease pressure and improve patient experiences and wait times at Quinte Healthcare Corporation (QHC) hospitals.

“In the Quinte region and across Ontario, we have people in hospital beds that would be more appropriately housed in long-term care facilities, like McFarland Home, but there haven’t been open beds available to them,” said Smith.  “By addressing this long neglected issue, we can free up hospital beds for more acute services and work to eliminate hallway health care.”

Today’s announcement was also greeted with enthusiasm by QHC’s vice-president and chief nursing officer Carol Smith Romeril.

“Added long-term care beds is wonderful news for those in the community who require this type of care. From a hospital perspective, more long-term care beds means that patients no longer requiring hospital-level care have an appropriate place to go. This frees up beds in our hospitals for patients truly in need of the acute care that our hospitals provide,” said Smith Romeril.

Fullerton indicated the increased bed allocation at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home is part of the government’s commitment to add 15,000 long-term care beds over the next five years.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Announcement video: Government of Ontario announcements YouTube channel

Ministry of Long-Term Care website: www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-long-term-care

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