Province provides Quinte Health Care $1,215,781 for critical hospital infrastructure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2019

Belleville – Ontario is investing in the health and safety of hospital patients in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties by addressing urgent repair and maintenance needs at Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals in 2019-2020.

Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced this morning that QHC would receive a $1,215,781 allocation through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF). The funding will provide for a repaired roof and windows at Belleville General Hospital, a new boiler at Trenton Memorial Hospital, and a new building automation system, essential for air handling, at North Hastings Hospital.

“These investments will help ensure the patients in our local hospitals can receive the care they need in a safe and comfortable setting,” said Smith. “Seemingly small things like well-functioning roofs, windows or heating and air conditioning systems can make worlds of difference to a patient’s experience.”

Smith added the upgrades might allow QHC to save money on utilities costs and reinvest directly in front-line care, creating a positive impact for the patients and their families.

The funding is part of a $175-million commitment to 131 hospitals this year through the HRIF. Kramp said the investments are timely and an important piece of the government’s ongoing effort to modernize Ontario’s world-class health care system.

“Ontario has a plan to build a connected and sustainable public health-care system centered on the needs of patients, including over $27 billion over 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects,” said Kramp. “Maintaining hospital infrastructure is one more example of how we are working toward ensuring that Ontarians have the health-care services they can depend on while building the capacity we need to end hallway health care.”

That long-term infrastructure plan includes the redevelopment of QHC’s Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital. Smith noted the Ministry of Health continues to have ongoing discussions with QHC regarding the hospital and the parties have agreed on its scope, based on QHC’s Stage 2 functional program submission. The ministry is in the reviews process to move the project on to the next stage.

QHC Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Brad Harrington was pleased with the immediate benefit through the HIRF allocation.

“This is exceptional news – and during the festive season! Infrastructure dollars are essential to our hospital operations and our ability to extend exceptional patient care at QHC hospitals,” Harrington said. “For the past few years, we have been under-funded in this area – and today’s announcement brings QHC’s HRIF up to a more equitable level above $1.2 million. That’s an increase of $500,000 compared to the level received over the past few years.”

QUICK FACT

  • In addition, Ontario is investing $7.2 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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Improving health care in Ontario (www.ontario.ca/improving-health-care-ontario)
  • Building a Connected Public Health Care System for the Patient (news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2019/02/building-a-connected-public-health-care-system-for-the-patient.html)

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Smith welcomes Fedeli to announce OINP regional pilots

BELLEVILLE - The Ontario Government is helping businesses in small and rural communities attract and retain skilled workers through a new Regional Immigration Pilot program. Chatham-Kent, Cornwall and Belleville/Quinte West were selected to participate in an effort to fulfill labour needs that are not currently being met locally.

The Regional Immigration Pilot — which is part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) — will be an opportunity for businesses in the three communities to fill talent gaps and support economic growth and a pathway for skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents.

In a recent letter, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade also called on the federal government to work in collaboration to further develop Ontario's immigration strategy and give the province more choice and autonomy over the selection of economic immigrants.

"Our government is committed to growing economic immigration and connecting job creators in small and rural communities with the talent they need to expand and succeed," said Fedeli. "Through the Regional Immigration Pilot, businesses in Belleville/Quinte West, Chatham-Kent and Cornwall now have the ability to meet their employment requirements and create even more good jobs."

"Belleville and Quinte West have a fantastic infrastructure and capacity to welcome newcomers and help them get settled," said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and MPP Bay of Quinte. "Through the Regional Immigration Pilot, we will help alleviate skilled labour challenges in the region, so our job creators can continue to grow their businesses and boost our local economy."

While developing the pilot, the government gathered feedback from stakeholders in a number of small and rural communities across the province. Communities were chosen based on their specific skilled labour challenges, the ability to help newcomers get settled and interest from community stakeholders. Additionally, Cornwall's Francophone business needs were also taken into consideration. Outcomes from the pilot will help inform further efforts to regionalize economic immigration in Ontario. 

"The Regional Immigration Pilot will help lay the foundation for a strong economy that will benefit both newcomers and job creators," said Fedeli. "We are creating a streamlined and cost-effective open for business climate that will help companies invest, innovate and grow across the province."

Quick Facts

  • The OINP will allocate approximately 150 nominations for the pilot through the OINP Employer Job Offer category.
  • The OINP’s Employer Job Offer Category allows Ontario businesses to fill labour needs in professional, managerial and in-demand occupations with foreign workers and international students to fill their labour gaps. Recruited workers must have a job offer and may apply from within or outside of Canada.
  • The government will also be adding new manufacturing National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes to the In-Demand Skills Stream, which will take effect in the 2020 nomination year.
  • Immigration is a shared jurisdiction in Canada between the federal government and the provinces and territories. Ontario has the largest nominee program in the country with an allocation of 6,650 in 2019, plus an additional 250 nominations specifically for National Occupational Classification level C jobs that usually require high school and/or job-specific training.
  • Ontario asked the federal government for an increase to its nomination allocation in 2019 and expects to begin discussions for 2020 nomination allocation soon to ensure Ontario can meet demand for the program.
  • For more information on other changes introduced this year, visit Ontario’s Regulatory Registry.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“Many of Ontario’s regional economic challenges are exacerbated by a lack of workers. Immigration can be a powerful tool to mitigate these challenges. The OCC welcomes today’s announcement, as the rollout of the Regional Immigration Pilot will make it easier to connect highly skilled immigrants with the smaller communities that need them.”

Rocco Rossi

President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“The labour shortage in our region affects many sectors and is especially challenging in manufacturing, construction, agriculture and tourism/hospitality. Giving our businesses assistance to attract and retain immigrants with the skills they need could really help to fill vacant positions and allow for the projected growth many companies are trying to manage.”

Suzanne Andrews

CEO, Quinte West Chamber of Commerce

“We are delighted that the Bay of Quinte Region is a pilot community for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. The Bay of Quinte Region has an affordable quality of life and a diverse and growing business base with identified workforce needs and gaps. This pilot project will position the Bay of Quinte Region and its employers to attract the skilled workforce they need to fill in-demand positions through immigration.”

Chris King

CEO, Quinte Economic Development Commission

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Smith announces $900,000 investment in hands-on training for those facing barriers to employment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019

BELLEVILLE – Ontario is committed to putting people back to work with a focus on job training and personal development. A commitment of $900,000 will help multi-barriered individuals in the Quinte region get job-ready, by teaching them hard and soft skills to better position them for sustainable, long-term employment.

The project - funded through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and run through Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-HPE) – will connect people with food service industry jobs, including those with disabilities, a lack of formal education or homelessness.

“I’m very proud of the work that the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Hastings and Prince Edward branch is doing to ensure people of all abilities are able to contribute to our community,” said Todd Smith, MPP for the Bay of Quinte. “Having a job is so much more than collecting a paycheque, it’s about the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching one’s potential.”

Today’s announcement builds on Ontario government’s work to create meaningful paths to employment, and ensure people have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. Within 10 weeks, IN-Spire Futures plans to take on its first cohort of candidates who will complete a 10-week course. The skills obtained through programs like IN-Spire Futures are extremely valuable for those seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce.

“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.”

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development for Ontario agreed the program will benefit both participants and employers within the region.

"Our government is committed to helping people develop the skills and knowledge to get good jobs in high-demand areas," said McNaughton. "By funding this project, we are creating potential careers for people with barriers to employment and helping employers get the talent they need to support their businesses."

CMHA’s training will be delivering its training at the industrial kitchen on-site at “IN-Spire Café”, a social enterprise partnership with Continuing on in Education.

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