Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund delivers $4,140,200 in funding support for Bay of Quinte municipalities



Bay of Quinte – The Ontario government listened to municipalities and maintained the structure of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) for the 2020 budget year. The result is $4,140,200 that Bay of Quinte municipalities can use for their local priorities.

Through the fund, designed to support rural and northern communities primarily, Prince Edward County will receive $2,806,200; Quinte West $1,258,000; and Hastings County, $76,000.

“Maintaining the OMPF will give these municipalities cost certainty as they deliberate their budgets for the upcoming year, allowing them to make better-informed planning decisions for taxpayers,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.

Minister of Finance Rod Phillips said building strong partnerships with municipalities is important to the Ontario government.

“Municipalities told us that they need information early to plan their budgets, and we listened. That’s why we’re announcing the allocations for the 2020 OMPF today – the earliest they have ever been announced.”

The announcements – part of a $500-million investment that will benefit 389 municipalities across Ontario – fulfill a commitment made by Premier Doug Ford during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference in August to maintain the structure of the OMPF program for 2020.




OMPF information: https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/ompf/2020/




Ontario provides $5 million in new funding to help Quinte Health Care hospitals address budget pressures



Trenton – Patients at Quinte Health Care (QHC) hospitals will benefit from the Province’s investment of an additional $5 million in new funding, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington announced this morning.

Smith said the Province has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, that involves working with  hospital partners, like Quinte Health Care, to fix long-standing funding issues that disadvantaged small- and mid-sized hospitals, and multi-site hospitals like the four-site corporation.

“We’ve had productive discussions about this funding and the board and staff at QHC have done their part, finding efficiencies and maintaining a high standard of care in our communities,” said Smith. “We are here today to say that we have listened. Our government is supporting hospitals like QHC by ensuring they have the resources they need to meet the growing needs of our communities.”

He indicated the funding would ensure families in Hasting and Prince Edward counties continue to have access to high-quality care, address sector challenges and funding inequities, and protect existing core services in communities across the province.

Kramp added the investment is a step toward permanently fixing the funding formula.

“We made the case that the funding formula for rural hospitals had to change. Today, however, we’re talking about a bridge between now and then,” said Kramp. “This new investment in QHC is another example of how Ontario is supporting high-quality and timely access to health care, while delivering on our commitment to end hallway health care. “

QHC President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Clare Egberts was pleased the Province recognized the budgetary pressures hospitals are facing and took action.

“We are pleased and grateful the Ministry has provided additional dollars to help QHC this year. QHC hospitals have not been funded equitably under the funding formula for a number of years as we were treated as one large hospital when, in fact, we operate two medium and two small hospitals,” said Egberts. “Today’s announcement is a significant gesture of support and we are thrilled the government has recognized the unique challenges faced by hospitals like QHC and is taking steps to remedy historical funding inequities.”

The $5-million funding increase for QHC is part of a $68-million investment Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced Thursday that will benefit 66 small-sized hospitals and 23 medium-sized and multi-site hospitals. It includes province-wide increases of one per cent for small-sized hospitals, 1.5 per cent for medium-sized and multi-site hospital as well as targeted funding to assist with unique situations and historical funding challenges.

“We have listened to patients, frontline staff and key stakeholders to determine how we can fix historical inequities to provide financial stability and relief to hospitals, regardless of their size,” said Elliott.

That $68 million is on top of $384 million in new funding Ontario hospitals received through the 2019-2020 budget. Ontario will also invest $27 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure projects across the province, including the addition of 3,000 new hospital beds.

Both Smith and Kramp indicated the Ontario government would continue to engage with hospitals, including QHC, and other health-care partners on solutions that ensure funding continues to meet the growing demands on the sector.



Ontario announces EA exemption for Bell Boulevard widening, commits ICIP funding for project



Belleville – The Ontario government is allowing the City of Belleville to expedite the widening of Bell Boulevard between Sidney Street and Wallbridge Loyalist Road from two lanes to four lanes in order to improve public safety along the busy corridor, Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte announced today.

“We recognize the importance of this project to the City of Belleville, both as an economic driver and a safety consideration,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “The Shorelines Casino, the planned Costco store, and related development are bringing good jobs to the city. They also bring increased traffic flow to this Hwy 401 detour route, so it’s important this road widening proceed to accommodate this growth effectively.”

Traffic volumes on Bell Boulevard are expected to exceed the road’s current capacity by the end of 2020. To ensure timely completion of the widening project, the City of Belleville requested exemption from the class environmental assessment process as potential environmental effects are expected to be minimal, given the existence of the current road and other commercial developments.

After careful review, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek granted the exemption and imposed seven conditions on the project, including requirements to...

• mitigate potential effects associated with the project in accordance with their environmental studies, including creating an environmental protection plan which incorporates these mitigation measures,
• consult with the local conservation authority regarding stormwater management planning
• report to the ministry on how it has complied with these conditions within 12 months of the project implementation.

Smith commended Yurek for allowing the project to proceed, while noting the City held public consultation sessions earlier this year and found general support for the project.

The MPP also confirmed that in July, the Province endorsed the Bell Boulevard expansion under the Rural and Northern stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan. Pending a federal contribution, Ontario will provide $1,666,500 toward the total project cost.

“We’re eager to see shovels in the ground as soon as possible,” Smith said. “This is an important project for residents and businesses in my Bay of Quinte riding.