Listening to Help Farmers and Agribusinesses in Simcoe North Grow and Succeed

Simcoe North – Today, Randy Pettapiece, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, joined Jill Dunlop MPP Simcoe North for a roundtable to discuss how to further reduce red tape and unnecessary regulatory burden for the agriculture sector.

“We’re committed to reducing red tape and easing regulatory burden for our farmers and agribusinesses so they can be more profitable, create jobs and grow more of the safe, high quality food we all enjoy,” said Pettapiece.

Farmers and agribusiness representatives gathered to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing the agriculture sector in their region of the province, discussing ways to strengthen and grow Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry.

“Our farmers and agribusinesses are the experts when it comes to knowing how best to expand and support Ontario’s agriculture sector, which is a key driver of the provincial economy,” said MPP Dunlop. “Thank you to our local farmers and agriculture leaders for coming together to provide their insight and advice on how our government can help them to succeed and be more competitive.”

The roundtable is one of several meetings, which have been held with the farming community and agriculture industry. Since last June, the Ontario government has taken a number of steps in removing obstacles to investment, growth and job creation in the province’s agriculture sector.

This fall, the Ontario government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would save agricultural and horticultural organizations and their volunteers time and money by removing burdensome and outdated rules that regulate these societies.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of the provincial economy, contributing $39.5 billion to the GDP and supporting more than 822,000 jobs.
  • A research paper from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in Toronto shows Ontario has the highest cost of complying with regulations of any province — $33,000 per business per year. This is well above the $25,000 to $27,000 range in most other provinces.

On April 2, the Ontario legislature passed the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act. The Act will reduce regulatory burdens in 12 sectors (including agriculture), helping job creators thrive, create and keep good jobs.

October 16, 2019

Annual Seniors Day Hosted by MPP Jill Dunlop - September 20/19

Celebrating “Seenagers” with Honourable Minister Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility at our 2019 Seniors Day

 NEWS -  September 16, 2019

Seniors make a difference in our communities every day, from supporting family members and friends, to assisting charities and volunteering.  Seniors are valued contributors to the foundation of Simcoe North and as the times change, so do the needs, wants and activities of our senior community.  Long gone are the days where we think of seniors as just sitting in rocking chairs knitting or playing checkers, seniors of today still do that during down time but on a regular basis are pushing themselves to balance a healthy lifestyle with leisure time! Seniors are enjoying life and the experiences that come with it through hiking, biking, running, climbing, skiing and so much more as “Seenagers”.

Join us at the Coldwater Arena, Friday September 20, 2019 as we celebrate our seniors with a morning about them filled with information on everything from nutrition and healthy lifestyles to safety, security, investments and more!  Over 40 vendors will fill the arena floor with essential information and to offer insight in to items and topics of interest surrounding senior citizens in our communities.  Our senior guests can feel free to wander the area and engage with experts in their fields, and possibly take part in some dance or pickle ball along the way.  The upper hall will offer guest speakers starting at 10:00am. Our Master of Ceremonies team of Dr. Kevin Young, Geriatrician & Physician Lead NSM SGS Program and Sandra Easson-Bruno, Director NSM SGS Program will keep us on track introducing speakers providing insight on a variety of topics from Alisa Herriman our Nutrition Specialist, Judy Contin speaking on day trips for seniors and the value of them, Carmine Stumpo, CEO of Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital will offer updates and insight into new developments with the hospital.   Crystal Cabural, Lead Fitness Instructor at Functional Fitness, will provide guests with tips on aging, exercise and maintaining your independence through everyday movement.  At noon, we are proud to announce the Honourable Minister Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility as our final guest speaker.  Minister Cho’s career started as a social worker with the Catholic Children’s Aid Society, Raymond made his first foray into politics in 1991, when he was first elected as a Metro Councillor. He was eventually re-elected a total of eight times as a Toronto City Councillor since. He was also elected four times as the Chair of Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo and was instrumental in bringing the pandas from China to Toronto.

In September 2016, Minister Cho won a provincial by-election in the riding of Scarborough-Rouge River and became the first Korean born member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Aside from his public life, Minister Cho is also heavily involved in advocating for humanitarian causes and strives for the fair and equal treatment of all people. In 2008, Minister Cho founded the Global Youth Leaders, an organization that provides international leadership opportunities for high school students. In both 2010 and 2012, Minister Cho led the group to the Philippines to assist with the rebuilding of homes for typhoon victims. He also led students twice from GYL to Jamaica to help orphans and seniors with HIV and AIDS.  Now the Minster for Seniors and Accessibility, Minister Cho offers insight and support to the senior communities across the province.

This exciting and action packed morning will also include an array of door prizes, demonstrations and of course a complimentary light lunch prepared fresh by Di’s Picnic Basket Catering.

If you are a senior citizen interested in attending the event and are in need of transportation, Helping Hands Orillia at (705) 325-7861 and Going with Gibb at (705) 345-2239, have generously offered their transportation services on a first come first serve basis.  Please contact them directly to see if they can accommodate you.

October 16, 2019

Ontario Government Investing close to $40,000 in Transit and Road Projects in the Town of Midland

NEWS - August 16, 2019

MIDLAND — Ontario is working to support municipalities and get people moving by investing in new transit and road infrastructure projects in the Town of Midland.

Local MPP Jill Dunlop announced today that the Ford Government is investing close to $40,000 in a transit and road infrastructure project in Midland by nominating them under the Public Transit stream and Rural and Northern stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP).

"This funding is about more than just concrete and steel,” said MPP Jill Dunlop, “Projects like this help ensure transit reliability and reduce commute times so that people in Ontario can spend more time with those they care about.”

“The transit projects announced today promise to make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. "Better public transit creates stronger communities.”

The projects are now with the federal government for final funding decisions as they are reviewed for eligibility under the ICIP program. Some projects could begin as soon as Fall 2019. If approved, the nominated projects will be eligible for total funding of more than $110,000 from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

“The funding will help optimize ride scheduling, and allow for greater accuracy in vehicle tracking.” MPP Dunlop stated.


  • The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is federal-provincial cost-sharing program which includes up to $30 billion in federal, provincial and other partner funding over 10years. Ontario’s share per project will be up to 33.33 per cent or about $10.2 billion spread across four streams: 1. Rural and Northern, 2. Public Transit, 3. Green, 4. Community, Culture and Recreation.
  • The Rural and Northern in-take focused on road, bridge, air and marine infrastructure in rural and northern communities with populations under 100,000 people.
  • A total of 144 road, bridge, air and marine infrastructure projects have been nominated to date under the Rural and Northern stream.
  • The second intake of ICIP applications was for transit projects in municipalities outside the GTHA. Funding is allocated to transit systems based on a municipality’s or municipalities’ share of total transit ridership in Ontario as per the 2015 Canadian Urban Transit Association Fact Book. This allocations-based funding model was set by the federal government. The Province has nominated 144 transit infrastructure projects from 42 municipalities outside of the GTHA under the Public Transit stream of ICIP. More nominations from this intake will be announced later this year.
  • On July 22, 2019, Ontario announced that until October 24, municipalities inside the GTHA can apply for funding to support new transit projects under the Public Transit Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Information on additional intakes will be released when available.
  • The government also nominated five major transit projects in the City of Toronto and Region of York to the federal government for approval.

October 16, 2019

MPP Dunlop Introduces Bill to End Unnecessary Regulation in the Waterpower Sector

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

MPP Jill Dunlop Announces Funding for Festivals and Events in Simcoe North

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

Ontario is Improving Community Supports for Seniors in Simcoe North

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

May 22, 2019

Ontario Reveals More Homes, More Choice: A Housing Supply Action Plan to Help Central Ontario

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

Ontario Government Adding More Mental Health and Addiction Services in Simcoe North

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

Ontario Announces Measures to Increase School Bus Safety

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.

Quick Facts:

  • 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.

April 30, 2019

2019 Ontario Budget: A Plan to Protect What Matters Most

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 to learn more about the 2019 Ontario Budget.

April 11, 2019