FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2020
BELLEVILLE– Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced this morning the Province of Ontario will contribute $53,572 toward three municipal economic development projects.
Appearing on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman, Smith noted that the City of Belleville, the City of Quinte West and Prince Edward County each had a project approved through the updated Rural Economic Development Program (RED), which helps rural and Indigenous communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers, invest in local infrastructure, and create jobs.
“Through the RED program, our Province is assisting municipalities in gathering knowledge that will help their businesses grow and thrive as they enhance visitor experiences,” said MPP Smith. “These projects will put Bay of Quinte in a better position for recovery as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As part of the Province’s recent $3.3-million commitment in cost sharing for 58 successful projects in the program’s first intake, the Bay of Quinte riding will see the following projects supported:
- The City of Belleville will receive $30,372 to invest in a WiFi communications system for its downtown area. The system will enhance visitor experiences and support local businesses. It will also allow the City to track residential data to contribute to strategic planning. The project will include installation and one year of data analytics. Completion is expected in June 2021.
- The City of Quinte West will receive $13,000 to conduct a Business Retention and Expansion study with a focus on its commercial and retail sector. The project is ongoing.
- Prince Edward County will receive $10,200 to conduct a training series for local agricultural producers who sell directly to their consumers or have interest in doing so. Eight workshops will be held with topics ranging from pricing to regulation, marketing and social media.
Each of the municipalities submitted its proposal as part of a streamlined application process, which was started last year in an effort to reduce the burden on applications.
“Supporting local jobs and removing barriers to investment and economic growth in rural communities is more important than ever,” said Minister Hardeman. “As the economy reopens, our investments in the RED program will have a very real impact for communities across rural Ontario.”
“We are very pleased to receive this Red funding for the downtown Wi-Fi project. The ability to provide free Wi-Fi to shoppers and dining guests is a service which will definitely enhance our visitors’ experience but its more than that. We are excited about the analytics software component because it will provide the City and its partners with visitor data that will enable us to build upon our strong points and target our business communications in a more focused strategic way.”
Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville
"This funding announcement will allow the City of Quinte West to move forward with our Business Retention and Expansion survey of the commercial, retail and technology sectors in the city. The information gathered through the survey process will outline current strengths, challenges and opportunities for the City and community partners to implement strategies and actions that will further develop the local business economy."
Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West
“Value-added agriculture has grown in popularity in recent years, offering outstanding economic development potential for our rural community. The workshops we have offered - in part, thanks to Rural Economic Development (RED) funding - have helped hundreds of people to tap into that demand and make invaluable connections with others working in this area.”
Mayor Steve Ferguson, Prince Edward County
Municipalities, not-for-profit entities, Ontario Indigenous communities / organizations or local services boards are eligible for the Rural Economic Development program and costs are shared according to which of the two streams under which the project may fall.
- The RED program offers two project streams:
- Economic Diversification and Competitiveness: Projects that remove barriers to business and job growth, attract investment, attract or retain a skilled workforce, strengthen sector and regional partnerships and diversify regional economies.
- Strategic Economic Infrastructure: Minor capital projects that advance economic development and investment opportunities.
- For the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream, the province will contribute up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $150,000 while for the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream, the province invests up to 30 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000.
Rural Economic Development Program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/rural-economic-development-program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2020
BELLEVILLE– Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, met Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, at the Glanmore National Historic Site to announce more than $630,000 in funding to help propel the local arts and tourism sectors.
"Our sectors were hit first, the hardest and will take the longest to recover,” said Minister MacLeod. “As our government moves forward with reopening the province, we are proud to support numerous organizations that build up our unique communities and put our tourism industry on a path to recovery.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the government has continued to invest in Ontario’s tourism and creative sectors. Through Community Museum Operating Grants, the Celebrate Ontario program, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the government has invested more than $280,000 to enrich local and visitor experiences. Local examples include:
- $34,293 to support the Glanmore National Historic Site
- $25,664 to the Festival Players' of Prince Edward County to support their 2020 theatre season
- $27,550 to the Empire Theatre to support their Rockfest event
- $11,965 to support the Mariners Park Museum
- $29,183 to support the Macaulay Heritage Park
“Arts and culture are vital to the wellness of our Bay of Quinte community and they provide a demonstrable economic benefit as tourism drivers,” said MPP Smith. “I’m pleased that our government recognizes this and continues to prioritize support for these industries as we collectively work to overcome the uncertainty of this pandemic.”
Additional funding to deliver locally driven tourism marketing programs was also made possible through a partnership between Destination Ontario and Destination Canada designed to incentivize Ontarians to explore their local communities. The local Regional Tourism Organization has received $350,000 to deliver a much-needed boost to businesses.
Our government is committed to continuing its work with our province’s tourism and arts sectors to ensure that as the economy gradually reopens, Ontario will be in the best position to welcome the world back to our province.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020
BAY OF QUINTE – Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced the Province is keeping transit riders and operators safe and reducing the transmission of COVID-19 by providing three local municipalities with $63,964 to cover additional cleaning costs for municipal transit systems in light of the pandemic.
As part of a $15-million investment across Ontario, Belleville will receive $32,876, Quinte West will receive $21,848, and Prince Edward County will receive $9,240. This enhanced municipal transit cleaning funding builds upon recommendations in the recently released safety guidance for public transit agencies and supports safe and reliable public transit that will get people moving, reduce congestion, and drive economic growth.
“Our government’s top priority is keeping people safe as we reopen the province,” said Smith. “This enhanced cleaning will give Bay of Quinte residents confidence that they can continue using public transit safely to access work, shopping, appointments and other priorities. In turn, our businesses will benefit from that confidence.”
Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, said the funding is also a recognition that municipalities have also felt a financial impact from COVID-19.
“We recognize that municipal transit agencies across the province are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Mulroney. “That is why we are providing funding for enhanced cleaning on public transit systems and continuing to work closely with our municipal partners to support safety on public transit.”
Today’s announcement is part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. This $17-billion immediate response provides urgent support to help Ontario’s businesses, workers, seniors, families, students, Indigenous peoples and communities, and vulnerable populations during COVID-19.
The action plan includes $3.3 billion of additional resources for health care, $3.7 billion to support people and jobs, and it makes available $10 billion for people and businesses through interest and penalty relief measures to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.
"COVID-19 has presented many financial challenges for the City of Belleville -- including how to sanitize our buses in order to keep our transit riders and staff safe. Our cleaning costs have more than doubled during this time and no fares have been collected so this service has been a costly one to maintain. These funds are a recognition of the work our transit staff have been doing and we certainly appreciate this financial support."
Mitch Panciuk, Mayor, City of Belleville
“As Prince Edward County gradually reopens, our residents will once again need safe and reliable public transit to get to and from their work and appointments. Our public transit provider, Quinte Access, is taking extra precautions with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, and we welcome the Province of Ontario’s additional support for this additional safety measures.”
Steve Ferguson, Mayor, Prince Edward County
"We are so pleased to be receiving this funding from the Province. Keeping our Quinte Access buses clean has been a top priority for the City of Quinte West during the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will allow us to continue offering our public transit users the safest possible experience."
Jim Harrison, Mayor, City of Quinte West
- A Framework for Reopening Our Province – www.ontario.ca/page/framework-reopening-our-province
- Guidance for transit agencies and passengers –www.ontario.ca/page/guidance-public-transit-agencies-and-passengers-response-covid-19