Ontario's Government for the People Taking Immediate Action to Replace the Province’s Crumbling Public Safety Radio Network
Massive province-wide modernization project will build new state-of-the-art infrastructure
Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is taking immediate action to keep Ontarians safe and protect communities by replacing the province’s crumbling Public Safety Radio Network, which front-line and emergency responders rely on during emergencies.
“Modernizing this network is long overdue,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. “We need to ensure that our front-line and emergency responders deserve to have reliable, modern tools and resources in place to do their jobs and have our system in line with the North American Standard.”
This multi-faceted project will ensure Ontario’s more than 38,000 front-line and emergency responders ¾ including OPP police officers, paramedics and hospital staff, fire services, provincial highway maintenance staff, as well as enforcement and correctional officers ¾ can count on the communications infrastructure, network and equipment they need when responding to emergencies.
“Paramedics use this radio network every day to relay vital lifesaving information to receiving hospitals. Improving this network is essential to ensure time critical decisions are made in support of patient care,” said Doug Socha, Chief, Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services.
“Ontario’s Public Safety Radio Network is one of the largest in North America and yet one of the last not to comply with the North American standard,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “The daily service outages experienced with the network compromise our front-line and emergency responders’ ability to react to emergencies and put the safety of the public at risk.”
The modernization project will:
- Rebuild the network’s aging infrastructure (telecommunications towers, antennae, shelters and technology) that provides essential public safety radio coverage across the province
- Provide front-line and emergency responders as well as their dispatchers with the state-of-the-art radio equipment and consoles they need to manage calls and ensure the right responders get to the right place with the right information at the right time
- Provide maintenance services to restore network connection and repair equipment for a duration of 15 years
The new network is expected to be fully operational by 2023, with new service phased in by 2021. Infrastructure, equipment and services required to set up and maintain the new network will be acquired through a multi-vendor procurement process. The new network will also present potential opportunities for generating revenue, which will benefit taxpayers. In the meantime, a risk mitigation strategy has been developed to ensure that public safety is not compromised and the current network is maintained until the new network is fully operational.
Province securing more than 1,100 hospital beds and creating 6,000 new long-term care beds to ease hospital gridlock in communities that need it most.
[Prince Edward County] – Ontario’s Government for the People is delivering on its promise to end hallway health care by taking urgent action to expand access to long-term care, reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.
Quinte Health Care has been approved for one-time funding for 2018/19 of 2.8 million – which supports approximately 23 beds. QHC continues to remain at or above capacity at all four hospitals on a regular basis – and are planning for the flu season ahead which generally means an increase of approximately 30%.
“One patient treated in a hallway is one patient too many,” said Todd Smith, MPP Bay of Quinte. “This move will reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.”
On October 3rd, Premier Ford and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott announced as an immediate measure, Ontario is moving forward with a new investment of 90 million to support 1,100 beds and spaces across the province that will help alleviate the strain on the health care system during the flu season.
“We are extremely grateful for this gesture of support. It sends a clear message to our care providers, to our patients, and to our communities that this government recognizes the significant pressures facing hospitals across Ontario, including the four QHC hospitals. This funding investment will allow us the financial resources needed to care for a higher number of patients as we face the pending flu season.” - Mary Clare Egberts, President and CEO, Quinte Health Care.
Premier Doug Ford and Minister Elliott also announced that Ontario is moving forward with building 6,000 new long-term care beds across Ontario, 128 of which have been approved for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte in Deseronto. This represents the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds that the government has committed to build over the next 5 years.
“We have taken early action on our Long-Term Care commitment – an exciting announcement less than 100 days into our mandate,” said Ford. “We told the people of Ontario we’d make our hospitals run better and more efficiently, and we’d get them the care they deserve. Today, we’re keeping that promise.”
Taken together, these actions will ease pressure on hospitals, help doctors and nurses work more efficiently, and provide better, faster health care for patients and their families.
“Hallway health care is a multi-faceted problem that will require real and innovative solutions,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government will continue to listen to the people who work on the front lines of our health care system as we develop a long-term, transformational strategy to address hallway health care.”
Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is planning to provide those who are struggling with opioid and other drug addictions the first steps towards treatment through new wraparound health and social services beginning in January 2019.
“Ontario’s Government for the People is moving forward with a new, enhanced pragmatic approach to overdose prevention and treatment services,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Services provided under the new Consumption and Treatment Services model would be focused uncompromisingly on connecting people to treatment, and providing more and better support to those struggling with addiction.”
Organizations would need to apply to provide treatment and rehabilitation services, and would also need to offer connections to health and social services, including primary care, mental health supports, housing, and employment. Before and after each site is selected, consultations would be held to ensure the voices of communities are heard. Sites would also need to have a plan in place to ensure community concerns are addressed on an ongoing basis.
Consumption and Treatment Services would replace the former Supervised Consumption Services and Overdose Prevention Site models. Existing sites could apply to continue operating under the planned new model.
Under the new model, each site would implement an ongoing monitoring and reporting plan, as well as adhere to a comprehensive enforcement and audit protocol. This would help review performance, provide measurable outcomes and ensure compliance.
The new model would continue to feature life-saving overdose prevention and harm reduction services, as well as a new focus on connecting people with treatment and rehabilitation services.
It is anticipated that approved sites could begin to transition to the new model beginning in January 2019, with all approved sites expected to be in place by April 2019.
Ontario is planning to expand access to addiction treatment by creating more detox beds in high need communities.