Ontario providing public transit funding for three Bay of Quinte communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE – Ontario is providing $1,466,200 in funding to three local municipalities under the Province’s Gas Tax Program, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte announced today.

As part of a $375-million provincial program, the City of Belleville will receive $835,335, the City of Quinte West will receive $541,241, and Prince Edward County will receive $89,625. Two cents from every litre of gasoline sold in Ontario is dedicated to the program and allocations are determined by a formula that weighs ridership and municipal population.

“This is excellent news for these three Bay of Quinte municipalities and the residents who rely on transit to access services and employment,” said Smith. “This funding will make necessary travel easier and, in turn, that will support economic recovery in our region.”

The funding can be used to extend transit service hours, buy new vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure. Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, said the money will flow early in 2021 to 109 municipalities delivering public transit in 144 communities.

“Our government is committed to helping municipalities sustain and improve public transit throughout the province,” said Mulroney. “Supporting transit systems is more important than ever as municipalities across Ontario struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will help ensure people have access to safe, reliable transportation to get to work or puck up essential items like a prescription.”

Last July, Ontario also provided up to $2 billion from the provincial and federal governments under the Safe Restart Agreement to support municipal transit systems with operating costs like vehicle maintenance, employee wages, revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and costs related to safety enhancements.

Currently, Ontario is developing regional plans that will help build a better transportation system across the province. Planning is underway for eastern Ontario.

QUOTES

“We are very pleased to receive word that the City of Belleville is receiving this Gas Tax Program funding from the provincial government. We are committed to strengthening our transit system and have made great strides in doing so even throughout this past pandemic year. We have made substantial upgrades, some of which include bus replacement, transit pass vending machines, accessible bus stops, many with new shelters, and a real time bus arrival monitoring system. These funds will help us continue to provide and improve our City transit service.”

Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville

"The best way to move towards the future starts with being able to move throughout the city. The provincial gas tax funding will greatly assist our ability to provide quality transit service to our residents."

Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE

  • 2020-2021 gas tax funding by municipality: https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/59950/2020-21-gas-tax-funding-by-municipality

Ontario helps six Bay of Quinte organizations rebuild and recover from COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2020

BAY OF QUINTE – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that six local not-for-profit organizations will receive $471,400 in grants to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 through the Ontario Trillium Foundation's new $83-million Resilient Communities Fund.

"Non-profit organizations are a crucial and valued part of any community. These organizations make a marked difference on the quality of life in Bay of Quinte," said Smith. "Countless people rely on their services every day and, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they still deliver."

The grants cover a broad range of needs, such as mental and physical health and wellbeing supports for staff and volunteers, the development of new health and safety processes, or the purchase of new technology and PPE. The funding also supports capital needs, such as renovations and facility updates, that will help meet the changing needs of the communities these organizations serve.

The successful local recipients in the first round of Resilient Communities Fund, among 486 organizations across Ontario, are as follows:

The Gleaners Foodbank (Quinte) Inc. - $150,000

This grant for a six-month project will allow Gleaners to purchase five freezers, two refrigerators, a Fold-Away Roller System, two vehicles, and PPE. It will also be able to hire an electrician to upgrade the wiring circuit to allow for a drive-thru style pick-up area.

Committee for Innovative Thinking for Youth Inc. - $94,500

This grant for a 12-month project will allow the Committee for Innovative Thinking for Youth Inc. to hire a fundraising coordinator to explore new fundraising options and to purchase computers, software, a printer, a scanner, and office furniture to meet public health and safety guidelines within the Quinte West Youth Centre.

John Howard Society of Belleville and District (JHSB) - $72,100

This grant for a 12-month project period will allow the John Howard Society to renovate a building to offer an alternative classroom setting, hire a youth worker and cleaner, purchase PPE and five Chrome Book devices, as well as helping with program-related travel costs.

The Ladies of Sacred Heart Batawa - $69,800 

This grant, over a 12-month program period, will allow the Ladies of Sacred Heart Batawa to renovate the parish kitchen, install high-speed Internet, add a computer workstation,  create an e-commerce website, and hire a consultant to develop a long-term strategic fundraising plan.

Children's Safety Village, Belleville - $55,000

This grant, over a 12-month period, will allow the Children's Safety Village to restructure existing safety programming to deliver the same educational programs in an interactive digital model outside of the village setting.

Hospice Prince Edward - $30,000

This grant, over a six-month project period, will allow Hospice Prince Edward to hire a general contractor to create an outdoor area for safer client visits that provides direct residential room access and circumvents common areas.

Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod said supported projects will make a real difference in the lives of Ontario residents as the government focuses on economic and social recovery.

"COVID-19 has resulted in a 'triple threat' of health, economic and social crises in Ontario, and this funding will help 486 non-profits adapt to those challenges and ensure they have tools and resources to provide the best service to those who need it the most."

A second application intake closed earlier this month and additional approvals through the Resilient Communities Fund is expected in the new year. The Ontario Trillium Foundation relies on the expertise of a series of regional volunteer grant review teams appointed by the Province to steward its granting decisions.

QUICK FACTS

  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario and is one of Canada's leading granting foundations. The OTF awarded $115 million to 645 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
  • OTF has redirected provincial funding previously allocated for the 2020 Grow and Capital grant streams into the $83-million Resilient Communities Fund.
  • A full list of recipients is available at www.otf.ca.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • 2020 Ontario Budget/Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover - budget.ontario.ca
  • Learn how Ontario continues to protect its residents from COVID-19 - covid-19.ontario.ca

 


MPP Smith announces $1,678,000 in further financial relief for Bay of Quinte municipalities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2020

BAY OF QUINTE – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that four local municipalities will receive an additional $1,678,000 in Safe Restart Agreement Funding. This discretionary funding will be used to offset operating costs for critical services and help ensure the municipalities do not carry operating deficits into 2021.

Within the Bay of Quinte riding, the City of Belleville will receive $575,000, the City of Quinte West, $469,000, Prince Edward County, $336,000, and Hastings County, $298,000.

“This funding will provide our community with the support it needs to continue delivering critical services that we all rely on every day,” said Smith. “Today’s announcement will help these municipalities develop budgets for 2021 that reflect the reality of COVID-19 and give them the confidence they need to proceed with capital projects that will drive economic growth.”

The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million across the province to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021. This investment builds upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer.

“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster, by helping them enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound financial position to begin the new year, they can better focus on keeping their capital projects on track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”

The funding allocations are based on the number of households in a community and the number of COVID-19 cases in an area. Of the $695 million announced today, $299 million is being allocated across all 444 municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized. An additional $396 million is being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and who have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering 2020 operating deficits.

QUOTES

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been a priority for our staff and Belleville City Council to ensure that services our residents rely on continue without interruption. To do so, we have had to pivot the way our City operates which has certainly come at a cost. These funds will help bring us back to a more balanced financial situation going into the new year so that we can focus on moving our City forward. We are grateful to our Provincial partners for all of their assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville

“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic we have appreciated the Province’s ongoing financial supports to Hastings County.  Today’s announcement will certainly help us as we move forward into our new 2021 budget year.  It will be critically important for us to continue to support our clients including those that are homeless or precariously housed as well as our residents in Hastings and Centennial Manors who continue to be at significant risk due to COVID-19.  This additional funding helps us do just that.”

Warden Rick Phillips, Hastings County

“Prince Edward County welcomes the continued support of the provincial and federal governments through the Safe Restart Agreement. Throughout 2020, our municipality strived to remain fiscally responsible while delivering core services that residents and businesses needed.The support announced today will go a long way to offsetting the additional costs and unexpected loss of revenue the County faced in 2020.”

Mayor Steve Ferguson, Prince Edward County

"We are grateful for the Safe Restart funding from the Ontario government. COVID-19 has been extremely difficult for people and we look forward to the additional support we will provide our residents with this funding. This will allow us to complete capital projects throughout 2021 that will boost our economic growth and keep our City moving forward on the right track."  

Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West

QUICK FACTS

 

  • The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement is a historic partnership that secured up to $4 billion in emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help them on the road to a safe recovery.
  • In August, an initial investment of $1.6 billion was provided so every Ontario municipality could address their operating pressures, support transit systems and help vulnerable people.
  • The Ontario government has provided $510 million to municipalities and Indigenous community partners through the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19.
  • The province has made an additional three-year, $45-billion commitment to help communities recover as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. This includes critical investments in health and other initiatives, to ensure Ontario is more resilient in the future.
  • Ontario is also supporting municipalities in finding budget savings and efficiencies through the Audit and Accountability Fund and Municipal Modernization Program -- supporting municipalities with third-party audits and service reviews. Municipalities have already received $215 million through these programs.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE

 

Learn how Ontario is fighting COVID-19 - https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-ontario-is-responding-covid-19.