Rossmore, ON - Member of Provincial Parliament for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith, rolled out the welcome mat for cabinet colleague, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.
The Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services hosted Minister MacLeod in the riding to discuss poverty, women's issues, challenges for military families, labour shortages and more during a whirlwind visit that wrapped up with a quick flight with a Hercules C130J crew at CFB Trenton.
The Ministers met with frontline staff at Three Oaks Women's Shelter in Belleville's west end to hear firsthand how the current funding model is creating challenges for women experiencing violence in the community and how an increase in human trafficking victims has added strain on services.
This meeting was followed by a poverty roundtable, which was attending by various community groups, which including Three Oaks, Canadian Mental Health Association, Voices of Hope, Hastings County Social Services, Community Living PEC, North Hastings Community Trust, and many others who were able to speak directly with Minister MacLeod
"I am extremely pleased that Minister MacLeod was able to meet with the Poverty Roundtable," said Smith. "These are the people that understand exactly where the current system is failing those most vulnerable in our community."
Minister MacLeod has promised to introduce a new delivery model for social services in Ontario by or before November 8th.
The two Ministers also met with Caroline Granger from The Grange of Prince Edward Winery in Prince Edward County to discuss barriers faced in hiring staff through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
The Bay of Quinte tour concluded with a stop at 8 Wing CFB Trenton and a meeting with staff at the Military Family Resource Centre where Minister MacLeod committed to forming a Military Caucus at Queen's Park to find a solution for those military family members being left behind.
"Too many family members are falling through the cracks and waiting too long to receive services after being transferred from outside Ontario," said Smith. "I'm looking forward to ensuring that children who need mental health counselling and other medical specialists appointments aren't falling to the bottom of the waiting list because their Mom or Dad gets transferred to CFB Trenton, Borden, Petawawa and other locations in Ontario."