Many Recent Provincial Announcements to Note

Published on December 10, 2020

The December MPP column in Community Voice 

Many Ontario Government announcements were made in the last few weeks. For example, did you know that you can access most Service Ontario services online 24/7 – including renewing your driver’s license – from the comfort of your home? And now, if you physically need to go to a Service Ontario office, you can book appointments for four Ottawa locations. For more information or to book an appointment visit www.ontario.ca/appointment.

A “Support for Learners Program” is launched to provide financial relief or families facing new education related expenses because of COVID-19. The aim is to support those families that have incurred additional learning costs, with a one-time funding of $200 for children aged 0-12 and $250 for children and youth with special needs up to age 21. Apply today at www.Ontario.ca/SupportForLearners.

On November 5th, the Ontario Finance Minister delivered a Provincial Budget with a plan to provide more resources to strengthen frontline health care, support people and employers, and lay the groundwork for Ontario’s recovery. Read more about Government programs and services to protect Ontarians through the pandemic at www.budget.ontario.ca/2020/index.html.

At the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, the Premier, Finance Minister and Health Minister joined with local MPPs to announce a $45 million investment to add 254 more beds in hospitals and health facilities in Ottawa. Nearly $18 million will be spent to address ambulance offload times and the hiring of more frontline staff.

Another important health care announcement for Ottawa is a long-term care project in partnership with The Ottawa Hospital and Schlegel Villages that will create 256 new spaces at the Riverside site. This project will create a campus of care with specialized units for dementia, mental health and complex physical needs.

The Ontario Government launched a community paramedicine program in Ottawa, Renfrew, and across the Province. This program will help seniors who are currently on long-term care waitlists, stay safe in the comfort of their own homes with 24/7 access to health services. It leverages the skills of paramedicine practitioners to provide additional care and enhanced at-home supports for seniors.

One final thought regarding this special time of year when we all take moments to pause, reflect, and count our blessings. Let’s think of all the things we should be grateful for in Kanata and West Carleton. Even with the many challenges we faced in 2020, our community continues to be caring, generous and resilient. Consider local groups and associations, local businesses, green spaces, and your neighbours and friends, and you will realize just how blessed we all are.

I wish everyone a merry Christmas, and health and happiness through the holidays. All the best for a brighter 2021.