Ontario provides $2,813,000 to Quinte Health Care for transitional care beds, ICU capacity

BAY OF QUINTE – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals will receive $2,813,000 from the Province to fund up to 29 additional transitional care beds and enhance Intensive Care Unit capacity.

“Quinte residents can rest assured that our government is doing everything it can to ensure our health professionals at Quinte Health Care have the resources they need to provide high-quality care during this pandemic,” said Smith. “This funding bolsters their capacity to respond to COVID-19, while continuing to offer the procedures we all depend on in a timely fashion.”

In the coming weeks, the transitional care beds will be allocated based on the greatest need across QHC’s four hospitals. The funding will also allow the regional ICU at Belleville to expand from 17 to 18 beds and upgrade three existing ICU beds to Level 3, which includes the ability to ventilate.                                                          

“We are grateful to the provincial government for this essential investment to help address increased capacity at hospitals across Ontario, including Quinte Health Care,” said Mary Clare Egberts, QHC President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s an acknowledgement that the Ontario government is focused on supporting the health care needs of the communities we serve.”

Carol Smith Romeril, QHC Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, added “the pandemic has created pressures on hospitals, including more patients requiring an extended stay in hospital. Having the financial resources to support the delivery of safe, quality care to the high number of patients in our hospitals is essential as we face the uncertainties of the pandemic, combined with the upcoming flu season.”

The funds are part of the government’s $116.5-million investment to create 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternative health facilities across the province aimed at reducing surgical backlogs and improving access to care. These beds are in addition to an initial $234.5-million investment for 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds included in Ontario’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19. The total investment of $351 million will result in more than 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and alternate health facilities across Ontario.

“Our government is making the necessary investments to quickly and effectively increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients and families in Bay of Quinte,” said Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This additional investment will ensure our health care system is able to respond to future waves of COVID-19 and help patients waiting for surgeries and other procedures get the care they need faster.”

The government is providing $2.8 billion through its COVID-19 fall preparedness plan. It focuses on addressing surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs by:

  • Extending hours for additional priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging;
  • Helping up to 850 alternate level of care patients access proper care in a home or community setting to help free up hospital capacity;
  • Expanding digital health and virtual services, which provide alternatives to in-person care that limit the transmission of COVID-19, while maintaining access to care;
  • Improving access to mental health and addictions services and supports; and
  • Increasing home and community care service by adding 484,000 nursing and therapy visits and 1.4 million personal support worker hours.

The Province continues to work with its health sector partners and Ontario Health to develop an integrated health system capacity plan in response to COVID-19. The government will continue to monitor and assess the health system’s needs and address any challenges hospitals may face – particularly in light of a recent increase in active cases. Smith said it remains vital for the government to continue to protect vulnerable populations and for each Ontarian to follow public health advice.

The government remains committed to providing necessary resources to protect people’s health and support families, workers, and business owners. Building on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the Province’s $30-billion response to the pandemic, Ontario will release its 2020 Budget on Nov. 5.


  • Ontario previously invested $741 million to help clear the backlog of surgeries and build more health-care capacity to effectively manage surges and outbreaks in COVID-19 cases.
  • The Ontario government also released A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a comprehensive framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining their ability to respond to COVID-19 and the flu season.
  • For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.


Visit covid-19.ontario.ca to learn more about how the Province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.

Ontario's Reconnect Festival and Event Program now open for applications



BELLEVILLE – The Ontario government is launching the application process for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, a new $9-million initiative to help municipalities and event organizers safely reconnect people to their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and devastating impact on our local festivals and events,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “This important investment through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will continue to support Ontarians as they reconnect and experience all their local communities have to offer.                                                          

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development and the implementation of health and safety measures. This funding will be used to ensure public safety requirements are met, while developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in and live streamed music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year’s Eve displays that light up iconic buildings.

“Our government recognizes the important contributions that festivals and events make toward our regional economy,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “I am pleased that we are supporting local event organizers in creating safe, innovative experiences that help reconnect people with their communities and provide a positive economic impact during this unprecedented time.”

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from Oct. 8 to Dec. 1, 2020.


  • Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $36 billion in spending.


  • Learn about how to apply to for funding through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program at https://www.ontario.ca/page/available-funding-opportunities-ontario-government.
  • Visit Ontario’s website, www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.




Infrastructure Ontario elevates new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in market update



PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, was pleased to see Quinte Health Care’s Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital redevelopment has been moved from the planning stage to the pre-procurement stage of Infrastructure Ontario’s latest quarterly P3 Market Update.

The update includes analysis of projects the Province has committed to through the public-private partnership funding model, including projections about timelines and cost. Some 40 projects across Ontario are included in the report with an estimated value of over $60 billion.

Specifically, Infrastructure Ontario is anticipating that a Request for Qualifications to build the new hospital will come in Spring 2021 with a Request for Proposals following in Winter 2022. Contracting is expected in 2023, though the Ministry of Health continues to review timing and cost details in light of the Province’s ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery work. The inclusion comes on the heels of Smith’s announcement in June that the Province has moved the project to Stage 3 in a five-step capital approvals process.

“The inclusion of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in this latest update is welcome news for our community. It is proof that our government recognizes the importance of this project for health-care delivery in the region and is prepared to move forward,” said Smith. “Further, this project will provide an economic boost for local tradespeople during the construction phase.”

The Province will commit to funding 90 per cent of capital costs for construction of the 18-bed facility, while the funding model tasks the community to raise the balance and provide funding for new equipment. The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) has launched a Back The Build campaign to raise its estimated share of $16.5 million. To date, more than $11.3 million has been pledged. Smith is encouraging residents to visit www.pecmhf.ca to learn how they can support the project.

Stakeholders with Quinte Health Care, the PECMHF, and Prince Edward County expressed satisfaction that the redevelopment is among the priority projects reaching the pre-procurement stage.

“It takes a significant effort and collaboration to get to this exciting point of our mission to build a new Quinte Health Care Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital,” said Brad Harrington, QHC Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “We are immensely grateful to the Ontario government and to MPP Todd Smith for the unwavering support we have received for a new hospital to serve the residents and visitors of Prince Edward County for generations to come.”

“I am absolutely thrilled with the market update!” said Shannon Coull, PECMHF Executive Director. “This is another significant milestone as we move through the building process. Our new hospital in Prince Edward County is moving ahead because of the important partnerships and collaborations involving the municipality, provincial government, Prince Edward Family Health Team, PECMH Auxiliary, Quinte Health Care and our incredible donors. We are full steam ahead – and, we truly are building Ontario together.”

Steve Ferguson, Mayor of Prince Edward County, added: “A redeveloped Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital is vital for the health and well-being of the community. I am pleased to see the continued progress of this vital project and the ongoing support from the provincial government.

Smith was also pleased to see that a significant redevelopment project at Kingston General Hospital, which provides more acute health-care services to Bay of Quinte residents, and an expansion to Napanee’s Quinte Detention Centre, which could provide additional employment for local residents, were also included for procurement within the next three years.

Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure added the projects represent a significant contribution to the Province’s plan for growth, renewal and long-term recovery.

“The projects in this update, valued at more than $60 billion, show progress on many important priority infrastructure projects including subways, highways, health care and community safety.”


  • The P3 Market Update includes a total of 40 P3 projects including: 17 civil (such as transit, subways, highways), and 23 social (including 17 health care, five community safety, and one children’s treatment centre). Fourteen of these projects are currently in procurement. Another 26 projects are in the pre-transaction phase. In addition, 12 projects are currently in the planning phase (which are not included in the 40 total).
  • Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown agency overseen by the Minister of Infrastructure, is responsible for delivering projects under Ontario's P3 model.