Ontario's Reconnect Festival and Event Program now open for applications



BELLEVILLE – The Ontario government is launching the application process for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, a new $9-million initiative to help municipalities and event organizers safely reconnect people to their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and devastating impact on our local festivals and events,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “This important investment through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will continue to support Ontarians as they reconnect and experience all their local communities have to offer.                                                          

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development and the implementation of health and safety measures. This funding will be used to ensure public safety requirements are met, while developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in and live streamed music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year’s Eve displays that light up iconic buildings.

“Our government recognizes the important contributions that festivals and events make toward our regional economy,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “I am pleased that we are supporting local event organizers in creating safe, innovative experiences that help reconnect people with their communities and provide a positive economic impact during this unprecedented time.”

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from Oct. 8 to Dec. 1, 2020.


  • Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $36 billion in spending.


  • Learn about how to apply to for funding through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program at https://www.ontario.ca/page/available-funding-opportunities-ontario-government.
  • Visit Ontario’s website, www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.




Infrastructure Ontario elevates new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in market update



PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, was pleased to see Quinte Health Care’s Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital redevelopment has been moved from the planning stage to the pre-procurement stage of Infrastructure Ontario’s latest quarterly P3 Market Update.

The update includes analysis of projects the Province has committed to through the public-private partnership funding model, including projections about timelines and cost. Some 40 projects across Ontario are included in the report with an estimated value of over $60 billion.

Specifically, Infrastructure Ontario is anticipating that a Request for Qualifications to build the new hospital will come in Spring 2021 with a Request for Proposals following in Winter 2022. Contracting is expected in 2023, though the Ministry of Health continues to review timing and cost details in light of the Province’s ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery work. The inclusion comes on the heels of Smith’s announcement in June that the Province has moved the project to Stage 3 in a five-step capital approvals process.

“The inclusion of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in this latest update is welcome news for our community. It is proof that our government recognizes the importance of this project for health-care delivery in the region and is prepared to move forward,” said Smith. “Further, this project will provide an economic boost for local tradespeople during the construction phase.”

The Province will commit to funding 90 per cent of capital costs for construction of the 18-bed facility, while the funding model tasks the community to raise the balance and provide funding for new equipment. The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) has launched a Back The Build campaign to raise its estimated share of $16.5 million. To date, more than $11.3 million has been pledged. Smith is encouraging residents to visit www.pecmhf.ca to learn how they can support the project.

Stakeholders with Quinte Health Care, the PECMHF, and Prince Edward County expressed satisfaction that the redevelopment is among the priority projects reaching the pre-procurement stage.

“It takes a significant effort and collaboration to get to this exciting point of our mission to build a new Quinte Health Care Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital,” said Brad Harrington, QHC Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “We are immensely grateful to the Ontario government and to MPP Todd Smith for the unwavering support we have received for a new hospital to serve the residents and visitors of Prince Edward County for generations to come.”

“I am absolutely thrilled with the market update!” said Shannon Coull, PECMHF Executive Director. “This is another significant milestone as we move through the building process. Our new hospital in Prince Edward County is moving ahead because of the important partnerships and collaborations involving the municipality, provincial government, Prince Edward Family Health Team, PECMH Auxiliary, Quinte Health Care and our incredible donors. We are full steam ahead – and, we truly are building Ontario together.”

Steve Ferguson, Mayor of Prince Edward County, added: “A redeveloped Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital is vital for the health and well-being of the community. I am pleased to see the continued progress of this vital project and the ongoing support from the provincial government.

Smith was also pleased to see that a significant redevelopment project at Kingston General Hospital, which provides more acute health-care services to Bay of Quinte residents, and an expansion to Napanee’s Quinte Detention Centre, which could provide additional employment for local residents, were also included for procurement within the next three years.

Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure added the projects represent a significant contribution to the Province’s plan for growth, renewal and long-term recovery.

“The projects in this update, valued at more than $60 billion, show progress on many important priority infrastructure projects including subways, highways, health care and community safety.”


  • The P3 Market Update includes a total of 40 P3 projects including: 17 civil (such as transit, subways, highways), and 23 social (including 17 health care, five community safety, and one children’s treatment centre). Fourteen of these projects are currently in procurement. Another 26 projects are in the pre-transaction phase. In addition, 12 projects are currently in the planning phase (which are not included in the 40 total).
  • Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown agency overseen by the Minister of Infrastructure, is responsible for delivering projects under Ontario's P3 model.


Ontario to provide $1,442,292 for infrastructure renewal at Quinte Health Care hospitals




BAY OF QUINTE– Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals will be receiving an allocation of $1,442,292 in 2020-2021 through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.

The funding will support QHC to keep up with hospital maintenance and repairs.

“Providing a reliable, safe and comfortable environment at QHC hospitals is a top priority for our government,” said Smith. “This annual infrastructure allocation, coupled with recent enhancements to base funding, will ensure these hospitals are well equipped to meet emergent health-care needs in our communities. I know these investments will positively affect patients and front-line health care workers.”

Brad Harrington, QHC Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, was pleased to receive the allocation, which represents a $226,511 increase over 2019-2020.

“We are pleased to receive these funds so that we can ensure our hospitals are in a good state of repair,” said Harrington. “Some of the projects this year’s funding will help with include the heating boiler replacement at Trenton Memorial Hospital, the dry sprinkler replacement at North Hastings Hospital, and the fire alarm panel upgrade at Belleville General Hospital. These are all important projects that will help keep our hospitals safe and running smoothly.”

The Province also remains committed to health care modernization in Prince Edward County as it continues to support QHC’s redevelopment plan for a new facility. Smith announced in June that the Ministry of Health has authorized the project to proceed into Stage 3 and consider detail drawings for the build.

Across the province, the Ontario government is investing $175 million this year to address critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance in 129 hospitals. This includes $50 million to address projects related to COVID-19 and other urgent priorities.

“Maintaining hospital infrastructure is another example of how our government is ensuring that Ontarians have access to health-care services they depend on, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our ongoing investments to support essential projects like repairing roofs and windows and adding more isolation spaces can make a big difference to a patient’s experience. It’s part of our plan to build the capacity we need to end hallway health care.”

As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario’s world-class health care system into the 21st Century, the funding will not only address urgent needs but also assist with the ongoing response to COVID-19 through HVAC upgrades to enhance safety, increase capacity and bolster infection prevention and control measures.


  • Ontario is investing an additional $7.4 million to address ongoing urgent and/or emergent infrastructure renewal needs for community health service providers who met specific criteria on a priority basis, through the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund.