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


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.


Announcement video: Government of Ontario announcements YouTube channel

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


MPP Todd Smith named Minister of Children, Community and Social Services in cabinet shuffle



Toronto – Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith is welcoming his new assignment as Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, announced this morning at Queen’s Park.

“It’s the third largest ministry in government, so it’s a big, big responsibility,” said Smith. “I’m happy and honoured the Premier has chosen me to take on this really important file.”

The Ministry administers social assistance programs like Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, developmental services and autism programming, the Family Responsibility Office and a wide range of community supports including those for women and children fleeing domestic violence and Ontario’s Indigenous communities.

Smith said he’s eager to start working on his new responsibilities.

“It’s an exciting file that’s important in the Quinte region and in communities right across the province. I’m ready to jump in head first to meet with stakeholders and families that are affected to better understand the challenges they’re facing,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to working with all my teammates around the cabinet table and my new associate minister for children and women’s issues, Jill Dunlop, to ensure our government continues to provide for these families and ensure they have the services they need and the Province is providing those in a sustainable way.”

Looking back on the Government House Leader position, which Smith held for the duration of the 42nd session of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario alongside roles as Minister of Government and Consumer Services from June-November 2018 and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade from November 2018 to June 2019, the local MPP was proud of the work the government accomplished while he held that position.

“What a great role that was.  As Government House Leader I helped shepherd 20 different pieces of legislation to pass – which is a record. We wanted to have somebody experienced in that role in the first year as we were moving legislation through the House as quickly as we could. I was pleased to serve,” said Smith.

Smith is pleased to see six new faces join cabinet and looking forward to continuing to deliver on the government’s promises as it enters its second year.

“The shakeup that happened today is ensuring we have the right people in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Our Premier always refers to our caucus as an all-star caucus and we have some very, very bright new additions added to the good team already at the cabinet table. It’s a positive all around.”


Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website





MPP Smith announces red-tape reduction intiatives for automotive sector and manufacturing

WINDSOR — The Ontario government has announced further actions to help create and protect jobs in the auto sector. In February, the government launched its Driving Prosperity auto plan aimed at addressing challenges in the sector around competitiveness, innovation and talent. The government made it a priority to reduce red tape and restore Ontario's competitive advantage. Today, it is delivering on that promise.

"Every piece of red tape we get rid of is another dollar saved and another job created," said Todd Smith, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden. "Our government is reducing red tape because when our job creators spend less time filling out paperwork, they spend more time creating and protecting jobs for Ontario families."

Ontario is making a series of regulatory changes to get government out of the way of job creators in the auto sector — and other manufacturing sectors across the province, including the Bay of Quinte. This includes tackling a costly and burdensome regulatory irritant in the auto sector. Currently, automakers who put a few litres of gas into a vehicle fresh off the assembly line to drive it to a distribution centre must apply for an exemption from having their plant regulated as if it were a gas station. The proposed change would exempt all auto plants from this unnecessary requirement.

"We're making it faster, easier and cheaper for companies to comply with the regulations that we do need, while at the same time removing regulations that do nothing to protect workers' health and safety," said Smith. "With less red tape, Ontario will see more investment. That means we need shovel-ready land to help attract the next Honda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, GM or Ford. And that's why our government announced a Job Site Challenge to identify job sites ready for the next auto assembler."

The government will launch the Job Site Challenge later this summer, outlining site criteria and inviting municipalities and private land developers to bring forward site proposals. These sites will be evaluated, and those that are deemed workable will be internationally certified by site-selection professionals. The first certified sites should be available to investors in Fall 2020. They will then go through a rapid approvals process for the licences, permits and environmental approvals required to build or expand a plant.

Quick Facts

-The auto sector employs over 100,000 people directly in Ontario in auto assembly and parts manufacturing, providing well-paying jobs across all skill levels. It contributes almost $14 billion to Ontario’s economy.

-The manufacturing sector, including the auto sector, accounts for $91 billion in GDP in Ontario and directly employs over 760,000 workers in the province.

-The government is working to reverse the serious erosion in Ontario’s industrial base. From 2003 to 2009, Ontario lost 320,000 manufacturing jobs, and it has had no net gain since then.

Background Information

Cutting Red Tape to Drive Prosperity in the Auto Sector and Other Manufacturing Sectors

Additional Resources

Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector

Ontario Passes Legislation to Cut Red Tape and Create Jobs

Ontario Open for Business


“The steps being taken today by Ontario will reduce duplicative and inefficient regulation, while at the same time introducing certain amendments that more accurately reflect the current business environment in which the auto industry operates. These actions will help manufacturing become more cost-effective and competitive in a global market.”

Mark Nantais
President, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association

“The Canadian Propane Association is pleased to see the government moving swiftly to update outdated and costly regulations in our industry. The current requirements pose an undue burden on our members, and we welcome and encourage changes that bring common sense to our industry.”

Nathalie St-Pierre
President & CEO, Canadian Propane Association

“We welcome today’s announcement by the Government of Ontario, which will further reduce the regulatory burden for manufacturers. Specifically, we were pleased with measures to modernize environmental compliance practices, modernize workplace health and safety requirements, and provide employers with free and instant access to employee training verification. We look forward to working with the Government of Ontario towards achieving a world-class, agile regulatory system that supports innovation and investment, while protecting the environment, and the health and safety of Ontarians.”

Dennis A. Darby
President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)