FOR RELEASE June 13th, 2019
SIMCOE NORTH- Last week, Simcoe North’s MPP Jill Dunlop tabled her Private Member’s Bill to cut unnecessary and duplicative red tape in the waterpower sector. For decades, hydropower in Ontario has been governed by two separate pieces of legislation, placing redundant burdens on producers. The Ontario Water Resources Amendment Act, presented by MPP Dunlop on June 5th, aligns these two regulations so that our hydropower partners don’t have to wade through endless red tape to reach the same high safety and environmental standards.
There are over two-hundred hydropower facilities in Ontario that, in total, produce a quarter of our province’s electricity supply. These facilities bring in $130 million annually to our province in the form of resource royalties and over $300 million is invested by producers in just maintenance updates. As a renewable source of energy, waterpower represents the backbone of Ontario’s sustainable electricity system.
“For too long, our dam operators and waterpower produces have been strained by redundant regulations that have choked innovation and growth” said MPP Dunlop. “It is time that we eliminate the barriers to their growth and drain the regulatory waste.”
Under the current system, the maintenance, production, and construction of hydropower facilities in Ontario are regulated by both the Ontario Water Resources Amendment Act and the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act. MPP Dunlop’s Bill adds an exception for the taking of water under the Water Resources Act for constructing, altering, improving or repairing a dam if the dam produces electricity and the activity is done in accordance with a Minister’s order under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act.
“This Bill does not end the regulation of waterpower in Ontario,” said MPP Dunlop on June 5th, “but rather ensures that it is regulated once”.
“I want to thank MPP Dunlop for her leadership on this important red tape reduction initiative” said Paul Norris, President of the Ontario Waterpower Association. “The targeted elimination of unnecessary regulatory overlap and duplication will reduce costs for both industry and government.” Paul’s organization has led the province on this issue for many years and has been integral to this important legislative change.
“By eliminating onerous barriers to growth and innovation, this Bill allows waterpower operators to lead Ontario to a cleaner, more affordable and more sustainable energy future” MPP Dunlop stated to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. If we are going to lead the country towards a more sustainable tomorrow, we need to support and empower our waterpower partners. The Ontario Water Resources Amendment Act is an important step towards this goal.June 13, 2019
Mariposa Folk Festival to receive $100,000 with $65,000 going to other festivals
NEWS June 2, 2019
MPP Jill Dunlop was proud to join with the Mariposa Folk Foundation this to congratulate them on their 2019 Celebrate Ontario Grant. Their Folk Festival, which takes place annually in the City of Orillia, is one of three events in Simcoe North to receive funds from this Grant.
Dunlop, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North, announced today that the following festivals and events in Simcoe North are receiving support through the Celebrate Ontario program:
- $100,000 for the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia.
- $8,222 for the 9th Annual Coldwater Steampunk Festival.
- $57,450 for the Tall Ships Challenge Ontario Festival in Midland.
Celebrate Ontario supports festivals and events of all sizes to reach new audiences, improve the programs for visitors, benefit local economies, and create new jobs. According to past recipients, every dollar invested through Celebrate Ontario results in almost $21 of visitor spending.
“All year round, the tourism and the cultural sector employs hundreds of people from Simcoe North and brings good investment from elsewhere in the province” said MPP Dunlop. “This announcement ensures that the doors of Simcoe North remain open to visitors from across Ontario and the world.”
Ontario is investing over $13 million in over 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, plus another $4 million in additional funding for Blockbuster events.
“Ontario is Open for Business and Open for Jobs. By investing in festivals and events, our Government is tapping into the economic potential of the tourism industry,” said Minister Tibollo. “As we develop Ontario’s new tourism strategy, we continue to invest in programs like Celebrate Ontario that help to maximize the growth and competitiveness of the great festivals and events that take place throughout the province.”
This year, to help reduce red tape and the administrative burden for organizers, Ontario has streamlined the application process to make it easier to apply for funding.
“Our Government recognizes the important contributions that festivals and events make to Simcoe North’s economy. I am pleased that we are supporting these three events as it continues to draw visitors from across the province and provides a positive impact to our community” noted MPP Dunlop.June 03, 2019
NEWS May 22nd, 2019
Simcoe North— Seniors in Ontario want to remain healthy, active and socially connected within their own communities. Seniors deserve to be engaged with and to live independently with dignity in their homes for as long as they can. For many seniors on a fixed income, it is hard for them to access affordable programs and services. Ontario is protecting what matters most to our seniors by announcing funding for projects that will provide local supports and services for seniors.
The Seniors Community Grant Program will invest up to $3 million in grants to partner with non- profit community organizations and municipalities across the province to co-ordinate and deliver local supports and programs to seniors in Simcoe North. Starting May 17, 2019 until June 27, 2019, community groups are invited to apply for funding from $1,000 up to $25,000.
“At the current rate of growth, Ontario’s senior population is increasing by over 100,000 people every year. Seniors built this province and our government is committed to helping seniors live independent, healthy, active and engaged lives.” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “We are working with non-profit organizations, community groups and municipalities to support projects that help seniors stay connected to their communities, access programs or volunteer.”
Cho added that this year’s program is designed to better support the unique needs of seniors living in underserviced rural, remote, multicultural and Francophone communities. “We are looking to promote projects that prevent social isolation and elder abuse,” Cho said.
“The Seniors Community Grant Program is a great opportunity for seniors in Simcoe North to be more active and engaged. The funding will help seniors access more local programming and services that will benefit their wellbeing,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “We also know that when seniors are engaged and involved in their communities, they are less likely to suffer from social isolation and elder abuse. That is why this support is vital to seniors and their families in our community.”
Larger incorporated organizations can also now access a “one-window” application service through Grants Ontario. This website will handle application intake, review, and reporting that help make the program more efficient.
- The application period for the Seniors Community Grant Program opens on May 17, 2019.
- By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65.
- Active aging brings positive health benefits including reduced risk of dementia, anxiety and depression.
- 30 per cent of Canadian seniors are at risk of becoming socially isolated. Social isolation is a key risk factor for elder abuse, hospitalization and re-admission among older adults.
- General questions about the program can be answered by calling 1-833-SCG INFO (1-833-724-4636) or by emailing email@example.com.
Government Cuts Red Tape to Build More Housing
NEWS May 6th, 2019
Our Government is committed to helping people struggling to find affordable housing that fits their family’s needs and budget. We have put forward a plan that will bring real relief and real choice to people in Central Ontario
More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan will tackle Ontario’s housing crisis. With this plan, our government is encouraging our housing and building partners to do their part to build more housing that meets the needs of people across the province.
“Finding a home is a challenge for many in Simcoe County,” said MPP Jill Dunlop, Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North. “Our plan will make it easier to build the types of homes people are looking for at a price they can afford.”
The previous government created a complex housing development system that is impossible for big builders to navigate, much less individual homeowners. Red tape and government fees can add years of paperwork and thousands of dollars to the cost of an average home, which drives prices up for renters and buyers alike.
As noted by MPP Doug Downey, “This is an issue that greatly impacts Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. Residents have been clear that the lack of affordable options in our region is a pressing issue and a high priority. This comprehensive proposal from Minister Clark and our government is going to bring real relief to this issue right here in our own communities.”
The new measures proposed in More Homes, More Choice would streamline the overly complicated approvals process to remove unnecessary duplication and red tape, while protecting health and safety, a vibrant agricultural sector and the environment – including the Greenbelt.
“We will fix the housing crisis without touching the Greenbelt. We will preserve it and all its beauty,” said Dunlop. “Our action plan puts people first. Whether you are buying your first home, a growing family looking for a larger place to rent, or an empty-nester downsizing into a smaller and more accessible home.”
Building more housing will also make Central Ontario more attractive to businesses and investors, proving Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.
May 06, 2019
News May 6th, 2019
Simcoe North — Ontario’s mental health care system is disconnected, making it difficult for patients and families to get the care and services they need. This leaves many vulnerable Ontarians to navigate a confusing system on their own and access timely mental health care only when in crisis. Too many Ontarians wait too long for the mental health and addictions services they need. This fragmented approach to care is failing Ontario’s families and is simply not good enough.
In response, Ontario’s Government is adding desperately needed mental health and addictions services on the ground, in schools, communities and health centres across the province. MPP Jill Dunlop announced an additional investment of over $710,000 this year to support people, families and caregivers in Simcoe North living with mental health and addictions challenges.
This is part of the additional $174 million in funding to address the critical gaps in Ontario’s system and to support patients and families living with mental health and addictions challenges. To ensure mental health and addiction service providers have stable, long-term funding, the government will be making this additional funding available every year.
Included in the overall investment of $174 million is nearly $30 million for child and youth mental health services and programs across Ontario, as well as more than $27 million to fund mental health supports in Ontario’s education system, which will directly benefit schools, teachers and, most importantly, students and their parents.
“Our government is keeping our promise to make mental health and addictions a priority,” said MPP Dunlop. “This additional funding will go directly towards services for patients and families and help enhance opioids and addictions services, create additional housing, and build capacity in child and youth mental health”
As part of this announcement, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care is receiving $705,000 for Youth Residential Treatment and Withdrawal management, Opioids Addictions Treatment, and Peer Support Services. Additionally, Wendat Community Programs will receive an increase of $10,542 in funding for its Rent Supplement Supportive Housing Program.
“These investments are part of our government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy,”commented MPP Jill Dunlop. “Together, we will create a connected system of care with comprehensive wrap-around services to ensure that every Ontarian is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness.May 06, 2019
Stop Arm Cameras on School Buses
April 30, 2019
Simcoe County/Muskoka – Ontario’s Government for the people has announced new measures to give municipalities the tools they need to target drivers who threaten the safety of children crossing roads to get to and from their school bus.
“In everything our government does we put people first,” said MPP Jill Dunlop, Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North. The Ministry of Transportation’s proposed new measures will help communities like across our region improve the safety of students on school buses and hold irresponsible drivers accountable.
MPP for Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte Doug Downey remarked that, “We know that for parents and caregivers, safety is always a top priority. Our government is committed to putting the safety of our children first, and giving municipalities and school boards the tools they need to protect students around buses.”
The proposed regulations will allow for more efficient enforcement and prosecution by allowing evidence from these cameras to be used in court without the requirement of an additional witness.
“The safety of our most precious resource, our children, is our government’s number one priority,” said Minister Yurek. We intend to create a regulatory framework that will allow for more efficient enforcement and prosecution to keep our children safer.
Reckless drivers blowing by school buses is a real safety concern for children in rural areas like ours,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller. “That’s why I’m pleased Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek has introduced legislation to allow for camera evidence from school buses to be used in court to catch the licence plate numbers of these dangerous drivers.”
Ontario also plans to introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow municipalities to target drivers who threaten the safety of children on school buses with new, additional monetary penalties.
- Each school day, more than 837,000 students travel in a school vehicle in Ontario.
- Injuries and fatalities, which are very rare, happen more often outside the school bus as students are boarding and leaving the bus or crossing the street.
Building a sustainable future, while protecting critical frontline services
Simcoe North– Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, is pleased the first budget of Ontario’s Government for the People delivered April 11 by Finance Minister Vic Fedeli protects what matters most, and contains absolutely no new tax increases, while providing $26 billion over six years in relief for individuals, families, and businesses.
“Budget 2019 focuses on protecting what matters most – our world-class health care and education systems. We need to make sure our communities are protected for generations to come,” said MPP Dunlop. “This is also a plan that puts people first, while making Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”
The 2019 Ontario Budget is a comprehensive and sustainable plan that balances the budget in five years, stimulates job creation, and protects critical public services that people rely on every day. With this plan, the Province is ensuring value for money and targeting spending to frontline services, while eliminating the deficit.
The signature initiative of the budget is the proposed Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit. The CARE tax credit would be one of the most flexible child care initiatives ever introduced in Ontario, putting parents at the centre of the decision-making process. CARE would help low- and middle-income families with up to 75% of their eligible child care costs per year, including those for daycares, home-based care, and camps.
Another key item in the budget is dental care for low-income seniors. At least two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental care – and many end up in our emergency rooms as a result. The government is investing $90 million starting at the end of summer 2019 to establish this new program to help Ontario’s low-income seniors.
To help get Ontario moving, the government is also making the single largest capital investment in subway builds and extensions in Ontario’s history. It is committing $11.2 billion to support four rapid transit projects in the Greater Toronto Area, including the Yonge North Subway Extension, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, and a new subway, the Ontario Line.
Other key initiatives in Budget 2019 include a new Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive to help businesses grow and create jobs, a “Digital First” strategy to modernize Service Ontario’s top 10 transactions and other government services, and a new auto insurance plan that puts drivers first.
“The 2019 Ontario Budget is showing the world that our government is serious about fiscal sustainability, protecting frontline services, and making Ontario the best place to invest and create jobs,” said Fedeli.
“The Budget marks a new beginning for the Province that respects tax dollars, makes life more affordable, and ensures the government works for the people, and not the other way around. This is the approach of Premier Doug Ford and his Government for the People.”
Visit Ontario.ca/Budget to learn more about the 2019 Ontario Budget.April 11, 2019
Province Intends to Require Gasoline Pumps, Natural Gas Bills to Reflect Increased Cost of Federal Carbon Tax
April 9th, 2019
Simcoe North— Ontario's government is standing up for the people by introducing a series of transparency measures that will prevent the federal government from hiding the true cost of its job-killing carbon tax.
“The people of Ontario deserve to know the full truth about how the federal carbon tax will make their lives more unaffordable,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “This job-killing tax will make everything more expensive, but it will hit our wallets hardest when it comes to gas prices and home-heating costs.”
The province plans to bring forward legislation that, if passed, would require stickers to be placed on gasoline pumps that will warn Ontario families of the hidden federal carbon tax that will add more than 11 cents per litre to the price of gasoline by 2022. In addition, the government has communicated to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) its expectation that the OEB ensure the federal carbon tax is clearly reflected on natural gas bills.
“We promised to use every tool at our disposal to protect Ontario workers, seniors and families from the federal government’s regressive carbon tax,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “The people of Ontario know that a carbon tax is not the only way to fight climate change and that this tax is as unnecessary as it is unfair.”
Ontario currently leads all of Canada when it comes to greenhouse gas reduction. Ontario families and businesses have already reduced emissions by 22% from 2005 levels. The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan clearly details how the province will achieve an additional 8% reductions in emissions to hit its 30% emissions reduction target.
“Instead of punishing low- and middle-income families, we encourage the federal government to follow the approach we took with our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan,” said MPP Jill Dunlop. “Our plan will reduce emissions without imposing a job-killing carbon tax on the people of our province.”
- The federal carbon tax will cost a typical household $648 by 2022.
- The federal carbon tax on fuels came into effect on April 1, 2019. It will increase the price of gasoline in Ontario by 4.4 cents per litre. This will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021, and 11.1 cents per litre in April 2022. The carbon tax will cost the average Ontario driver $57 at the pumps in 2019.
- The federal carbon tax will increase the price of natural gas in Ontario by 3.9 cents per cubic metre. This increase will rise to 5.9 cents in 2020, 7.8 cents in 2021, and 9.8 cents per cubic metre in April 2022. It will increase the price of natural gas used by families to heat their homes by $94 in 2019, rising to $235 in 2022. Three out of four Ontario families rely on natural gas for heating.
- The federal carbon tax will increase the price of diesel by 5.4 cents per litre in 2019, rising to 13.4 cents by 2022.
- Estimates of the impacts of the federal carbon tax on Ontario’s public and private sectors include:
- Ontario’s 146 hospitals will experience increases to annual heating costs by $10.9 million in 2019, soaring to $27.2 million in 2022.
- The province’s colleges and universities will see an increase in their upfront annual heating costs by approximately $9.8 million in 2019, soaring to $24.7 million in 2022.
- Annual heating costs for the over 750 nursing and seniors’ care homes will increase by $6.7 million in 2019, rising to $16.7 million in 2022, with an average cost increase of $9,000 per senior centre by 2019, and $22,000 by 2022.
- Over $350 million will be added to the cost of heavy duty transportation in Ontario in 2019, and by 2022, that figure could be as high as $870 million.
- Ontario removed the costs associated with the provincial cap-and-trade carbon tax from gasoline and natural gas bills saving households approximately $80 per year on heating costs and over 4 cents per litre at the pump.
- Ontario is part of a coalition of provinces pledged to fight the federal government's unconstitutional carbon tax. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have joined Ontario's challenge to the federal government's Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which is an unconstitutional, disguised tax. Ontario’s case challenging the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax will be heard by the Court of Appeal from April 15 to 18, 2019.
- As outlined in Ontario’s environment plan, the province is committed to meeting its share of Canada’s 2030 target while recognizing the unique circumstances of our economy. From 2005 to 2016, Ontario reduced its emissions by about 22 per cent.
- The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commits to reducing our province’s emissions output to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 without imposing a carbon tax.
- In a survey of business owners in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that 87 per cent opposed this federal carbon tax plan.
April 09, 2019
April 3rd, 2019
Simcoe North — Ontario's government is working for the people by fighting against increased costs to public institutions caused by the burdensome federal carbon tax.
Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, were at Halton Healthcare - Milton District Hospital today to talk about how the federal government’s carbon tax will impact local hospitals by increasing heating costs. Costs to Ontario’s community hospitals will increase to $27,200,000.00 by 2022.
“The carbon tax will have a direct impact on patients here in Orillia, Midland, and Penetanguishene, making life more unaffordable,” said Jill Dunlop, Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North. “Hospitals in Ontario are under enormous pressure. Diverting resources to cover rising heating costs instead of on reducing wait times and ending hallway health care is not the right solution for Ontarians."
For $27.2 million, Ontario could offer an additional 104,615 MRI operating hours providing scans for an additional 157,000 patients. This amount of money could also fund over 3,300 pacemaker implantations. “Hospitals should be able to focus their resources on providing the quality, patient-centred care that Ontarians expect and deserve, and not have to deal with unnecessary rising operational costs, said Elliott. “Our government is committed to ensuring money is being directed to front-line services – where it belongs – to improve patient experience, and provide better and connected care.”
The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan considers our province’s specific priorities, challenges and opportunities, and commits to reducing our emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target that aligns with the Federal Government’s Paris commitments, without imposing a carbon tax on the vulnerable groups in our province. Through the efforts of individuals and industry, Ontario is already most of the way to this target, with the province’s emissions down 22 per cent since 2005.
“Our plan serves as proof that you can both oppose a carbon tax and continue to do more to fight climate change - you don’t have to choose,” concluded Minister Phillips. “A carbon tax isn’t the only way to fight climate change. Ontario deserves both a healthy environment and a healthy economy.”
The government remains committed to fighting the federal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax on the people of Ontario.
- The Financial Accountability Office has projected that the federal carbon tax will cost the average Ontario household $648 a year by 2022.
- The federal carbon tax on fuels came into effect on April 1, 2019. It will increase the price of gasoline in Ontario by 4.4 cents per litre. This will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021, and 11.1 cents per litre in April 2022.
- The federal carbon tax will increase the price of natural gas in Ontario by 3.9 cents per cubic metre. This increase will rise to 5.9 cents in 2020, 7.8 cents in 2021, and 9.8 cents per cubic metre in April 2022.
- The federal carbon tax will increase the price of diesel by 5.4 cents per litre in 2019, rising to 13.4 cents by 2022.
MPP Jill Dunlop Fighting to Make Life More Affordable for Drivers
Ontario announces the end of outdated Drive Clean Program and vows to continue to stand against the federal carbon tax.
April 1, 2019
Simcoe North, ON — The Ontario government is putting people first and making life more convenient and affordable for drivers by ending Ontario’s ineffective Drive Clean program, while continuing the fight against the newly imposed federal carbon tax.
“Our government promised to make life more affordable for the people of Ontario,” said MPP Jill Dunlop, Member of Provincial Parliament for Simcoe North.The end of the outdated Drive Clean program will save people of Simcoe North time, while saving the taxpayers of Ontario more than $40 Million a year.“
According to the Auditor General, on-road emissions have declined so steeply they are no longer the biggest contributor to smog. 75% of these reductions have come through stricter manufacturing standards, requirements for cleaner fuels and the natural retirement of older vehicles -- not as a result of Drive Clean.
While the Ontario government cuts red tape and reduces the burden on taxpayers, the federal government’s carbon tax takes effect today. The carbon tax will cost the average Ontario driver $57 at the pumps in 2019, at 4.4 cents per litre. By 2022, drivers could be paying up to $180 more a year because of this job-killing tax.
“We’re focused on keeping money in people’s pockets, not taking it away,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Unfortunately, the federal carbon tax is going to make the cost of filling up your tank more expensive. I promise the people of Ontario that our government will continue to fight this tax with every tool at our disposal.”
As part of its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the province has committed to protecting Ontario air from smog-causing pollutants by strengthening on-road enforcement of emissions standards and by launching a new emissions testing program for heavy-duty diesel vehicles, such as commercial transport trucks, in fall 2019. This new program will result in more major polluters being tested.
“We know that the carbon tax will raise costs to every person in Ontario that drives a car,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment Conservation and Parks. Our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan serves as proof that we can fight climate change without a carbon tax.“
- Beginning on April 1, 2019, the federal government will apply a fuel charge to fossil fuels in Ontario, resulting in an estimated increase of 4.4 cents per litre for gasoline. This will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021 and 11.1 cents per litre in April 2022.
- The federal carbon charge will cost a typical household $258/year in 2019 and will rise to $648 by 2022.
- Ontario’s court challenge will be heard in April.
- The Drive Clean program was first introduced in 1999, since then industry standards have significantly improved resulting in a steady decrease of passenger cars that fail the emissions test. In 2017, the fail rate was reduced to five per cent.
- As outlined in Ontario’s Environment Plan, the province is committed to reducing emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, while recognizing the unique circumstances of our economy. From 2005 to 2016, Ontario reduced its emissions by about 22 per cent.