Ontario recognizes Bell Let’s Talk Day, supports mental health initiatives in Quinte region



Bay of Quinte – Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and addictions issue at some point in their lives. Every year, two million Ontarians go to their family doctor for a mental health or addictions challenge.

Today on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Canadians across the country are joining in on the conversation about mental health. Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte is encouraging Ontarians to come together to take action on mental health and help create positive change.

“Mental health affects all of us,” said Smith. “Everyone in our communities can get involved in the important conversations that are taking place on Bell Let’s Talk Day and take action to help those who may be struggling.”

Whether by phone, email or text, there is no better time than today for those in Bay of Quinte to reach out to one another, talk about mental health and how each member of this community can work together to help those who are struggling.

Ontario is committed to creating a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system that works for all Ontarians. That is why the province invested an additional $174 million to expand community-based mental health and addictions services this past year, including supporting people and families in Bay of Quinte by enhancing peer support programs, opioids addiction treatment and services, youth mental health supports, and supportive housing.

“I encourage everyone to take part in Bell Let’s Talk Day and help to create positive change,” said Smith.And I urge you to continue these important conversations not just today, but throughout the year so that together we can make a difference in our communities.”

Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new mental health and addictions services and expand existing programs. Locally, the Quinte region stood to benefit from $1,273,045 in new funding through the $174 million announcement last spring.  Service providers welcomed the investment.

"This funding is completely dedicated to front-line addictions and mental health clinical support for people who are seeking clinical recovery from the challenges associated with opioid use and to enhance clinical case management and counselling for both addictions and mental health,” said Addictions and Mental Health Services – Hastings and Prince Edward chief executive officer Gary Laws. “Many thanks to the Province for recognizing how imperative these supports are here to the citizens of Hastings and Prince Edward because this will create more opportunity to serve more clients.”

The Quinte Healthcare Corporation’s mental health program director Kerry-Lynn Wilkinson said the investment should also help limit hospitalization and re-hospitalization.

“Making additional investments in mental health in the region will strengthen services available to help individuals receive the care they need in the community, helping to reduce the number of individuals seeking mental health services at the emergency departments of QHC hospitals,” she said.

Also, the Province recently committed $900,000 toward a skills training program offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association to help people facing barriers find stable employment. 

“This is an incredible project that will help those who face barriers when it comes to finding work,” said Smith. “This will have a transformative impact not only on these individuals, but also on the public services that support them, and on our broader Quinte region economy.”

If you are in need of mental health supports, consider reaching out to service providers in our region...

Addictions and Mental Health Services - Hastings-Prince Edward - 613-976-4734

Canadian Mental Health Association - Hastings and Prince Edward - 613-969-8894

Children's Mental Health Hastings Prince Edward - 613-966-3100/613-476-8252

Peer Support South East Ontario -  613-969-0122






Belleville to receive $1,371,540 from Province to offset court-related policing costs


Belleville – The Ontario government is providing the City of Belleville $1,371,540.72 through the Court Security Prisoner Transportation Program this year to offset policing cost associated to the operations of the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse.

The funding, which has increased from the City’s 2019 allocation of $1,345,904.19, is part of $125 million distributed to municipalities across Ontario with courthouses. Allocations are based on the share of prisoner transports in each municipality in relation to the total across Ontario.

“We’re committed to working with our municipal partners to ensure that we have effective court security, while not creating too great a burden on their policing budgets,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.

Belleville Police Service Chief of Police Ron Gignac was pleased with the funding allocation.

“We thank MPP Smith and our provincial government for providing this funding that allows us to operate a safe and secure courthouse. Along with staffing the consolidated courthouse security, we are able to safely and efficiently transport those in custody to and from various correctional institutions,” said Gignac.



Smith announces $8.5 million for local municipalities through 2020 Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund



Bay of Quinte –This year, the Ontario government is delivering more than $8.5 million to address local infrastructure needs in three Bay of Quinte municipalities.

The funding is part of the government’s investment in small, rural and northern communities through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, said the Province continues to support its municipalities as they build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure.

“As MPP for Bay of Quinte, I am upholding my commitment to support our local municipalities by creating jobs, attracting economic growth and investment, and making our community the best place to live and grow, said Smith.

Total investment in Bay of Quinte municipalities are as follows...

                           County of Hastings…………………………….......………..…………………….…………….$50,000

                           County of Prince Edward…………………………………………........…………………$1,147,499

                           City of Belleville…………………………………………….…….……………..……………..$3,232,839

.                           City of Quinte West…………………………………………………………………….…….$4,157,747

                           Total for riding*…………………………..……............…...…………..$8,588,085

                            (Includes municipalities shared with Hastings-Lennox and Addington)

This funding is a part of Ontario’s approximately $200-million commitment to 424 communities, addressing their core infrastructure projects and asset management planning needs in 2020.

“This investment provides the predictable and stable infrastructure funding small, rural, and northern municipalities have asked for,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “With this OCIF funding, we are working directly with our municipal partners to deliver community infrastructure.”

Recognizing that municipalities have different infrastructure needs, the province uses a straightforward and transparent formula that examines various social and economic factors to determine funding allocations across the province.

Local municipal leaders welcomed news of the funding allocations.

“The City of Quinte West is very appreciative of this important infrastructure investment in our community and it will go toward improving our transportation networks. Our goal is to see that our residents, businesses, and essential services travel safely and efficiently throughout their day.”

Mayor Jim Harrison

City of Quinte West

 “We thank the provincial government for these infrastructure funds. These funds can help with many projects. We can proceed with our 2021 infrastructure project planning, knowing this money is now available. I would like to thank MPPs Todd Smith and Daryl Kramp for advocating for us.”

Mayor Mitch Panciuk

City of Belleville

"The County of Prince Edward appreciates the Province's ongoing commitment to investing in critical local infrastructure, especially in rural communities like ours. Our residents count on us to deliver affordable and high-quality infrastructure. Predictable and stable funding through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund is key as we look to repair and improve our roads, bridges, and water and wastewater infrastructure."

Mayor Steve Ferguson

County of Prince Edward

“The County of Hastings is always thankful for funding it receives from the Province of Ontario for the many services it provides for the entire area. This OCIF funding will contribute to those services. Thank you to our local MPPs who continue to advocate on our behalf.”

Warden Rick Phillips

County of Hastings



  • The Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund provides stable and predictable funding for communities with populations under 100,000, along with all rural and northern communities.
  • Approximately $200 million in formula-based funding was allocated to small, rural and northern communities for 2019. Municipalities may accumulate their formula funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.
  • Ontario also provides funding to communities through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a $30-billion, 10-year infrastructure program cost-shared between federal, provincial and municipal governments. Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent, or $10.2 billion spread across four streams: Rural and Northern, Public Transit, Green, and Community, Culture and Recreation.