Ontario nominates two Quinte West Transit West/East Corridor projects under ICIP, commits $342,153.38

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, JULY 30, 2019

QUINTE WEST – The Province of Ontario is committing to nominate two projects associated with the Transit West/East Corridor expansion of Quinte Access Transportation for funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) transit stream.

In Trenton today, Todd Smith, the Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services, announced the provincial government will commit to fund up to $255,912 for expenses related to service expansion and an additional up to $86,241.38 for technological upgrades. The funding is contingent on the federal government also providing support for the projects, which carry total eligible costs of $258,750 and $1,392,650 respectively.

Smith noted the Province supported a vision that Quinte West officials and Quinte Access presented that a dedicated route into Belleville with access to Loyalist College, Belleville General Hospital, and retailing areas would provide enhanced opportunities for Bay of Quinte constituents.

“We’ve heard that a lack of transportation infrastructure can be a barrier for many people living in our communities,” Smith said. “This expanded route would provide a link for residents in both Quinte West and Belleville to improved access to education, health care, and employment.”

Funding for the service expansion could include a feasibility study, new buses, bicycle racks and shelters.  Technological improvements would include items like a smart card technology for fare boxes, a collision avoidance system, and an onboard surveillance system for buses.

With the Province’s commitment, Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison is looking forward to further planning of the West/East Corridor expansion.

“Increasing access to public transit is a priority for Quinte West and we're very happy to have the support of the provincial government as we work to increase the services available to our residents,” said Harrison.

The projects are among more than 100 nominations Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott forwarded to the federal government for consideration this morning.

“This government is committed to building infrastructure that makes life better for people across Ontario," said Scott. "Better public transit creates stronger communities, frees more time for family and friends and ensures Ontario is open for business.”

Scott called on the federal government for quick project approvals.

“We’re excited to get shovels in the ground; these initiatives promise to make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Scott. “Now it’s up to the federal government to approve them.”

The transit stream is the second of four funding opportunities through the ICIP funding partnership with the rural and northern stream already committed.  For projects with matching federal and municipal investment, the Province of Ontario is able to invest up to one-third of total eligible costs.

The remaining streams, for Green projects – those improving outcomes in climate change mitigation, environmental quality, or disaster mitigation – and Community, Culture, and Recreation projects – those improving access or quality of community-oriented, non-commercial, public facilities – will be open for proposal intakes by the end of 2019.

QUICK FACTS

  • The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is 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 about $10.2 billion spread across four streams: 1. Rural and Northern, 2. Public Transit, 3. Green, 4. Community, Culture and Recreation.
  • Funding is allocated to transit systems based on a municipality’s share of total transit ridership in Ontario as per the 2015 Canadian Urban Transit Association Fact Book. The federal government set this allocations-based funding model.
  • These projects are from the first intake of ICIP applications from municipalities outside the GTHA. Some project applications from this intake are still under consideration by the province. The province intends to make more announcements from this intake soon. Information on additional intakes will be released when available.

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Ontario is working toward a new needs-based and sustainable autism program for Bay of Quinte families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONDAY, JULY 29, 2019

Bay of Quinte – Ontario is continuing to listen to families of children with autism and the Autism Advisory Panel to support families in Bay of Quinte with the goal of helping as many children as possible.

 

In Toronto this morning, Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Bay of Quinte MPP, announced steps the government is taking to provide continuity of service while giving the necessary time to work on the new program. These steps include:

 

·         Broadening the scope of the Autism Advisory Panel to develop recommendations for a new, needs-based and sustainable program. The panel is examining results from online surveys, telephone town halls and written submissions as well as considering relevant evidence, science and data to submit its advice for the end of summer. The ministry is aiming for implementation of a new program April 1, 2020.

 

·         Continuing services for families with existing behaviour plans. Families will then be able to renew their plan for a second extension of up to six months, at their current level of intensity, or less where clinically appropriate.

 

·         Continuing to issue childhood budgets as the government works toward its needs-based program.

 

As previously announced, Ontario is investing an additional $278 million in the province's autism program, bringing the total amount of funding to $600 million annually.

 

“As a result of listening to families, service providers and advocates across Ontario in the past few weeks, it is clear we all share a goal to provide the best care and make a positive difference in the lives of children and families living with autism in Ontario,” said Smith.

 

Smith said he is looking forward to receiving the expert advice of the advisory panel.

 

“I have every confidence that, together, we will get this right. It’s clear we need to ask the advisory panel to provide us with a broader set of recommendations and advice – and we need to give them the necessary time to do so,” said Smith. “In the interim, we will continue services for families, move more children into service and give our experts the time they need to bring forth their considered recommendations. These measures will also bring greater transparency for parents and families across Ontario.”

 

While providing his update, Smith was joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, who pledged their collaboration in an integrated service approach.

 

"The advisory panel's expert advice will be critical to ensuring our investments across government, including in Ontario's health care system, promote and advance a truly child-centred approach," said Elliott. "I look forward to receiving their recommendation. In the meantime, we are continuing to listen to families of children and youth with autism and remain fully committed to supporting them through enhanced supports."

 

Added Lecce: “Our government is committed to ensuring that Ontario schools are safe and inclusive places for students with autism. We will work tirelessly with Ontario families, educators and school boards to achieve seamless transition and enhance school-based supports.”

 

QUICK FACTS

·         The province's 20-member autism expert panel includes parents of children with autism, clinicians, autism self-advocates, service providers, former public servants and others.

 

 

 

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Ontario nominates Quinte West’s King Street corridor project to federal government for ICIP funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

Quinte West – Todd Smith, the Bay of Quinte MPP and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, announced today the Province of Ontario has nominated Quinte West’s King Street corridor reconstruction project for Investing in Canada Infrastructure Project (ICIP) funding.

Smith explained through ICIP’s Rural and Northern stream, a multi-level funding model, the Province must submit projects for federal approval.  Pending federal approval, the Province would contribute $1,666,183.37 toward the reconstruction of 2.8 km of roadway along King, Division, Catherine and Dufferin streets. 

Above ground, the reconstruction includes new asphalt, curbing, and sidewalks as well as the construction of active transportation lanes on King and Division streets. Roundabouts may also be considered to increase safety. Below ground, the City plans to replace water and sewer mains that are over 50 years old and to add fibre optics conduit for modern communications needs.

 “This project will improve vehicular and pedestrian safety in a well-travelled area of Quinte West that provides access to Trenton Memorial Hospital, schools, and downtown businesses. It will also refresh vital water and sewer infrastructure, providing longevity and reliability for another generation,” said Smith. “I’m pleased our government is committed to the health and prosperity of Quinte West.”

Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison was pleased the Province nominated the project.

“We are very thankful for the provincial government’s support. This is one of many infrastructure projects that we are looking forward to completing and we are looking forward to the federal government’s support as well.”

In a competitive process, Quinte West’s application was reviewed for its adherence to both federal eligibility criteria and provincial priorities.

The Province has committed $250 million through the Rural and Northern stream, part of a $10.2 billion investment in the 10-year ICIP program. For each approved project, Ontario will provide up to 33 per cent of project costs. The Rural and Northern stream is one of four funding opportunities under the agreement.  Intakes from municipalities under the Public Transit stream are currently being reviewed, while streams for Community, Culture and Recreation and Green projects will open later this year.

Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott said the government is pleased to use the ICIP model to invest in what matters most to the communities it serves.

“We’re continuing to work with municipalities, families, and businesses to make smart investments in our infrastructure and keep it reliable,” said Scott. “Our investments are creating jobs and growing the economy, shaping the future for hard-working Ontario families.”

Work cannot begin on Quinte West’s King Street corridor or any of the other projects the Province has nominated for funding until approvals come from the federal government.  Smith is urging an expedient review and confirmation the project will proceed.

“This is an important project for Quinte West in so many ways. We need to get the green light as soon as possible so the City can start public consultations and get shovels in the ground without delay.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Budget 2019:  budget.on.ca

Grants Ontario – List of Grants by Ministry: http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/GrantOpportunities/GrantsbyMinistry/index.htm

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