FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 6TH, 2019
ONTARIO SUPPORTING ARTS AND CULTURE IN SIMCOE NORTH
Province investing in local theatre and music organizations
Simcoe North – Ontario’s government is working for the people by making key investments in local theatre and music organizations in Simcoe North.
Today, the Ontario government announced that Mariposa Folk Festival (Orillia) and Brookside Music Association (Midland) would be receiving total funding of over $57,000. The funding is part of the Ontario Arts Council and will help both organizations pay for artistic and operational expenses.
“The people in our riding have great talent and I have seen firsthand the enriching effect that the arts and culture have in our communities. The arts bring people together in a very special way,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “Our government understands how valuable culture is to the lives and communities of Ontarians. This support from the Ontario Arts Council will help Mariposa Folk Festival and Brookside Music Association continue to have a positive impact on our local economy, create good jobs and draw visitors to our great community.
Ontario is supporting 50 theatre and music organizations in the latest round of operating grants to maximize the positive impacts of our cultural sector in communities across the province. This funding will contribute to paying important expenses such as programming costs and employee wages.
“Ontario’s government working for the people understands how valuable culture is to the lives and communities of people across the province,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Our local theatre and music organizations boost prosperity and encourage cultural tourism, and I’m pleased that through these grants they’ll have the resources they need to continue this great work.”
- Ontario is investing $2.2 million in the latest round of operating grants to theatre and music organizations.
- Culture is one of Ontario’s fastest growing sectors, employing over 270,000 people and contributing over $25 billion annually to Ontario’s economy.
- The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario and is the primary funder of the professional non-profit arts sector in the province.
- 30 -March 06, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 19TH, 2019
Ontario to Restore Respect for Police Officers in Simcoe County and Across the Province
Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act would fix broken Bill 175, restore fairness and accountability to police oversight
SIMCOE COUNTY – Ontario police officers and the families in Simcoe County who depend on them will finally be able to count on a fair and transparent police oversight process that will always put public safety first. Today, Ontario’s Government for the People will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019. If passed, this legislation will finally fix the previous government’s Bill 175, which treated police with suspicion while making it increasingly difficult for them to do their jobs.
“I am grateful for our law officers and the selfless work they do across the nation,
particularly our officers in Ontario - a province where I was born and raised,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “Being a resident of Simcoe County for my entire life and having the OPP headquarters based in Orillia, I have seen firsthand the critical situations that our police officers bravely face every day. While we don’t always hear their success celebrated on the news, we take great comfort in knowing our police officers are responding to emergencies and preventing crime. We rely on the police to keep us safe. Now they can rely on their government to have their back.”
The Act would streamline the SIU investigation process, which would have persisted under the previous Bill 175 and forced many police officers to labour under months- or years-long investigations even in cases where they had no contact with an individual.
“Bill 175 was the most anti-police piece of legislation in Canadian history,” said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “It was a disaster. It actively undermined policing efforts. And it undermined public confidence and trust in the work police do.”
If passed, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act will enhance police oversight in Ontario by creating one window for public complaints, reducing delays in the investigation process, and ensuring more accountability.
“When we were elected one of our first orders of business was to pause implementation of Bill 175, so that we could fix it in a way that continues to ensure oversight – but does so in a way that is balanced, respectful and fair,” said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney. “Our legislation, if passed, will focus investigative resources where they are needed, on criminal activity, within a police oversight system that will ultimately help build safer communities on a shared foundation of restored trust and accountability.”
By treating police fairly, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act will ensure the police, the government, and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.
“Not every example of police courage and service is as high profile as the response to the North York van attack or the Danforth shooting. What those officers have in common with the everyday heroes who serve and protect us is that they deserve our gratitude and respect - not our suspicion and scorn,” said Jones. “That’s why our government for the people is providing police with the tools, resources and support they need to keep our communities safe, stand up for victims and hold offenders accountable for their crimes.”
WHAT THE POLICING COMMUNITY IS SAYING
“The work OPPA members do every day keeps the people of our province safe. Unfortunately, challenges in the current legislation make it more difficult for the police to do their jobs. The changes proposed by the government today intend to empower police across Ontario to ensure community safety. We look forward to reviewing details of the Bill and participating in the legislative process.”
- Rob Jamieson, President and CEO, Ontario Provincial Police Association
“Over the past three years, the Police Association of Ontario (PAO) has been focused on advocating for the thoughtful modernization of the Police Services Act with both the former and current provincial governments. The PAO has maintained that Ontario’s front-line sworn and civilian police personnel require the appropriate tools and adequate funding to keep our communities safe, and we have remained clear that we support effective oversight, accountability, and transparency to build the public’s trust in our profession. Ontario’s front-line police personnel welcome today’s announcement by the Ontario Government and are hopeful that this new Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act will serve to restore fairness and respect for professional policing, make oversight more effective, and improve governance, training, and transparency. The PAO is committed to working with the provincial government to ensure Ontario continues to be a safe place to live, work, and visit.”
- Bruce Chapman, President, Police Association of Ontario
“The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police has long advocated for significant changes to the Police Services Act in order to assist us in the efficient and effective management of police services that enhance public and officer safety. We believe there are items in this new legislation that are welcome and look forward to continuing to work with the government and stakeholders, knowing that community safety is our absolute priority.”
- Kimberley Greenwood, President, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and Chief, Barrie Police Service
“By mandating board training on roles, responsibilities and critical skills, the Ontario Government’s new Community Safety and Policing Act will significantly enhance every police board’s ability to make the best possible decisions about local policing policies, strategic plans and budgets. This will directly lead to ever-improving policing and community safety. Everyone will benefit.”
- Phil Huck, Chair, and Fred Kaustinen, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Police Services Boards
- The government plans to introduce a new bill entitled the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 that would create the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 and the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 to repeal and replace the Police Services Act, 2018, and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit Act, 2018. The bill would also repeal the Policing Oversight Act, 2018, and the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal Act, 2018.
- First Nations policing provisions laid out in the Police Services Act, 2018, would be adopted providing First Nations communities with greater choice in how their policing services are delivered.
- The amendments to the Police Services Act (1990) - the legislation currently in force - that add new community safety and well-being planning provisions and came into force on Jan. 1, 2019, would continue to be in force with a new provision requiring the participation of the local police service in the development of the plan.
- The Missing Persons Act, 2018, and Forensic Laboratories Act, 2018, and the majority of the previous amendments to the Coroners Act would remain as passed in the Safer Ontario Act, 2018.
- The new police oversight legislation would respond to Justice Tulloch’s recommendations in the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review.
- On February 13th, Minister Jones recommended Constable Volodymyr Zvezd'Onkin (54 Division) and Constable Hongfei Zhou (54 Division) for the Ontario Medal of Police Bravery for their courage in stopping the Danforth Shooter. The two officers had previously been subject to a 6 month investigation by the SIU.
-30-February 26, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 7TH, 2019
Ontario Takes Decisive Action to Help More Families with Autism
Will clear waitlist for autism services and provide direct financial supports for families of 23,000 children previously denied funding in Ontario Autism Program
Simcoe County – The Ontario government is bringing relief to 23,000 children and their families who are currently languishing on a waitlist for autism services.
Parliamentary Assistant Amy Fee and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod outlined the widespread reforms to the Ontario Autism Program that will restore fairness, equality, and sustainability to the program.
“The Ontario government invests $321 million dollars each year in autism supports that under the current system leave 3 out of 4 children behind,” said Macleod. “I cannot in good conscience continue this Liberal plan that was more about politics than the people it should be supporting.”
With the proposed changes, families may receive a Childhood Budget until their child turns 18. Supports will be targeted to lower and middle-income families. The amount of the budget will depend on the length of time a child will be in the program. For example, a child entering the program at age two would be eligible to receive up to $140,000, while a child entering the program at age seven would receive up to $55,000. These changes will ensure that every child will receive assistance, rather than just 25% of families who currently receive support.
“There are over 2,400 families waiting for a diagnostic assessment and over 23,000 families waiting for behavioural services through the Ontario Autism Program and that demand keeps growing,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “Our government is committed to helping families receive critical supports and services faster and not having children and youth wait for years before getting help. That is why we are doubling funding to diagnostic hubs over the next two years so that families can get a diagnosis sooner.”
Under the government’s proposed reforms, the waitlist for funding will be cleared in 18 months, people will be treated with fairness and equality, the system will become more financially sustainable, make the system more accountable and work to guarantee that supports are there for families with the greatest need, now and well into the future.
“Families in our communities have told me the system is broken. They are waiting too long to receive a diagnosis, and when they do get one they have to wait again to get service,” said Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe. “Our government’s plan ensures that no families will have to wait over two years to receive support for their children again.”
Information about the Ontario Autism Program is available on the ministry’s website at www.ontario.ca/autism. Families can also call 1-888-284-8340 toll-free to find out more information about the program, connect with their local ministry office, be transferred to the regional Single Point of Access, as well as the diagnostic hub serving their area.
- 30 -February 26, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28th, 2019
Ontario Government Announces Grants to Help Improve Transit in Communities Across the Province
Simcoe County to Receive $445,450 as Part of Ontario’s Community Transportation Grant Program
SIMCOE NORTH - Ontario’s Government for the People is helping 40 communities across the province improve transportation services within and between communities to make it easier for people to get around.
Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, stated that Simcoe County would be receiving $445,450 of support through the Community Transportation Grant Program.
“This investment will improve the quality of life for many people in our communities that are currently underserved by transit. Whether it’s seniors, students or others, access to transit helps people get where they need to be and live active, independent lives” said Dunlop.
The program will make it more convenient for Ontarians, including seniors, students, youths and persons with disabilities to access essential services in their communities, connect with other transportation services, and travel between cities and towns.
Through the program, the province will provide municipalities with $30 million over five years to support local transit and intercommunity bus service in areas with little or no public transit. Funding will be provided for 45 different projects in 40 communities.
- Up to $30 million in grants over five years will be awarded to municipalities to partner with community organizations, health agencies, transit agencies, school-bus and private transportation operators, to coordinate local transportation services and/or run intercommunity routes.
- The new Community Transportation Grant Program builds on a successful pilot program that provided nearly $3 million in funding for 22 municipalities since 2015.
- In the first year of the pilot program, more than 28,000 people used the new services to make more than 105,000 trips.
- 30 -January 29, 2019
Ontario’s Government for the People Investing in Urgent Hospital Upgrades, Repairs and Maintenance in Simcoe North
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22nd, 2019
Ontario’s Government for the People Investing in
Urgent Hospital Upgrades, Repairs and Maintenance in Simcoe North
SIMCOE NORTH – The Ontario government is prioritizing the health and safety of patients by taking immediate action and providing 128 hospitals across the province with funding to upgrade, repair and maintain their facilities.
The following hospitals in Simcoe North are receiving funding this year through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund:
- Georgian Bay General Hospital - $1,077,693
- Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital - $1,086,336
- Waypoint Centre for Mental Health - $633,942
“The health and safety of patients and families is a priority for our government,” said MPP Jill Dunlop. “That’s why we must make the necessary investments in our hospitals now, to ensure our providers have the facilities they need to continue to provide excellent quality care to patients. This funding will help ensure hospitals across Simcoe North are able to make the needed upgrades, improvements and maintenance so patients and families have access to reliable, quality care they expect and deserve.”
The government is moving forward quickly to address challenges facing the health care system as it develops a long-term transformational health care strategy to end hallway health care. As this important work continues, this funding will allow hospitals to address urgent issues, including upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, heating and air conditioning systems, fire alarms and back-up generators.
“Our government is investing in essential health care projects to ensure the people of Ontario will have health care services they can depend on now and for future generations,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott. “We will continue to listen to the patients and the people who plan and work on the frontlines. Together, we will create a health care system that works for the people of Ontario.”
- Ontario is investing $175 million in repairs and upgrades to 128 hospitals this year through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.
- In 2018-2019, the government has invested an additional $90 million for 1,100 beds and spaces in hospitals and the community, including the creation of over 640 new beds and spaces.
January 23, 2019
- 30 -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 15TH, 2019
MPP Jill Dunlop Hosting Community Pre-Budget Consultations in Orillia and Midland
Government is seeking input from residents to determine priorities for next provincial budget
SIMCOE NORTH – Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, will be hosting two pre-budget consultations in order to hear directly from residents on how best to cut red tape, improve government services, and save taxpayers money.
The first consultation will be taking place on January 25th, 2019 from 8:30am until 10:30am at the City of Orillia Building in the Tudhope Boardroom. The second consultation will be taking place on January 31st, 2019 from 7:00pm until 8:30pm at the North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Centre in the Multi-Purpose Room.
Residents are encouraged to attend and present their ideas on innovative and cost-effective ways to improve the delivery of government programs, cut red tape, reduce the deficit in Ontario, and save taxpayer dollars. The government of Ontario would also like to hear ideas on how to support and promote job creation and job growth as well as ways to end hallway healthcare.
“This is a great opportunity for residents to have their voices heard on important issues,” said MPP Dunlop. “Our government is looking for ways to work smarter, spend smarter and reinvent the way services are delivered.” Dunlop said she was looking forward hearing directly from residents of Simcoe North on how they believe the Ontario government could best fulfill their five core commitments to: put more money in people’s pockets; clean up the hydro mess by lowering hydro bills; make Ontario open for business by creating and protecting jobs; restore accountability and trust to end the culture of waste and mismanagement in government; and cut hospital wait times and end hallway healthcare.
In order to participate and guarantee a space in the consultation, residents must RSVP due to fire code restrictions. All participants will receive 3 minutes to present their ideas and are asked to have a written submission or hard copy of ideas so that they can be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance. To RSVP, please email: email@example.com or call the Orillia constituency office at 705-326-3246.
If you are unable to make a presentation but would like to make a submission, you may also mail your submission to MPP Dunlop’s office at: 14 Coldwater Road West, Orillia, ON, L3V 3L1 or email a PDF format to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to submit a written package is February 8th, 2019.
- 30 -January 23, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 10TH, 2019
Improved Water and Wastewater Services Coming Soon to Simcoe North
New project will make life easier for residents
SIMCOE NORTH — The Ontario government announced this week that the Town of Penetanguishene was receiving an investment in their water and wastewater services. The new funding was announced jointly by the province and the Government of Canada, under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF), which will fund more than 1,300 projects and provide $1.1 billion in total investments.
MPP Jill Dunlop stated that local residents of Penetanguishene would soon have better access to modern, reliable water and wastewater services. “Our government is committed to making life easier for the people of this province. There are few things more important than a reliable, safe supply of water. This funding announcement for Simcoe North illustrates once again that our government is working for all Ontarians, including families in rural Ontario,” said Dunlop.
The Town of Penetanguishene is receiving a total of $55,000 in funding from the Ontario government for projects to improve the safety and quality of water for families in Simcoe North. These projects include the installation of sentinel monitoring well ($5,000), the engineering design for the installation of a dechlorinating system ($18,750), and the Navy Lane pumpstation rehabilitation ($31,250).
“Investing in water and wastewater infrastructure will result in safer, cleaner water for people to drink, preserve local ecosystems and protect waterways,” said Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure.
These projects help the people of Ontario by supporting their critical water, wastewater and storm water rehabilitation and modernization projects.
“Our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan is committed to protecting the safety of our province’s waterways through targeted investments in our storm and wastewater management systems,” said Rod Phillips, Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. “These investments will make our infrastructure more resilient, improve facility performance and better protect our lakes and rivers.”
-30-January 23, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 8TH, 2019
Ontario Government Boosting Transit Funding for Municipalities
Support will Help Enhance and Expand Transit Systems Across Ontario
SIMCOE NORTH – Today Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation, and Parliamentary Assistant Kinga Surma announced that the Ontario government is helping 107 municipalities across the province expand or improve their public transit systems with Ontario’s gas tax program.
This year, the province is providing $364 million in gas tax funding to 107 municipalities providing public transit service to 144 communities across Ontario. These communities represent over 92 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
Municipalities in Simcoe North received a total of $815,184 in gas tax funding – the City of Orillia received $548,399, the Town of Midland received $182,611, and the town of Penetanguishene received $84,174 in funding. Simcoe County also received $898,331 in funding.
“This is an important investment,” said MPP Jill Dunlop. “This funding will help upgrading transit infrastructure and increasing accessibility. It could allow municipalities to extend hours of their service or even add more routes. This is great news for all commuters in our riding and will help bring more convenience to daily travel.”
The funding formula was based on a 70/30 split between ridership and population and was developed to strike a fair balance between the needs of large established systems and those of smaller municipalities, while accommodating the special needs of high growth areas. Municipalities receiving gas tax funding must use these funds towards their public transit capital and/or operating expenditures.
“We are investing in public transit to make it a more convenient travel option and attract more riders,” said Yurek. “More public transit will cut through gridlock and get people moving.” Funding for Ontario’s gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province. The program provides municipalities with two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues.
- 30 -January 08, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 8TH, 2019
Respecting Tourism Businesses in Simcoe North
Ontario Freezing Tourism Sign Program Rates for the Next Year
Simcoe North – The Ontario government is making life more affordable by bringing relief to Ontario’s tourism operators who rely on the province’s Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing Program (TODS) to generate a positive economic impact in Simcoe North.
In April 2018, the Liberal government signed a contract with Canadian TODS Limited towards the end of their administration. The people of Ontario have expressed their concerns about this contract, and the significant fee increases being placed on small business owners across the province.
“Our government is listening to small business owners and tourism operators,” said MPP Jill Dunlop. “We have worked with Canadian TODS Limited – the third party responsible for the delivery and maintenance of the TODS program – to freeze all price increases for 2019.” Dunlop stated that this new announcement was welcome news for communities across Simcoe North – a riding made up of of small and medium sized businesses, with significant tourist attractions.
Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport said that the government had heard clearly from tourism operators across the province about their concerns regarding the fee increases associated with the TODS program. “The Liberal government deliberately froze prices for 10 years, ignoring the cost of inflation, and completely failed to communicate with TODS customers,” said Tibollo. “We are taking real action to ensure businesses and customers have time to adjust to the increased prices, and we look forward to continuing to work with Canadian TODS Limited over the coming year to look for ways we can help mitigate this price increase.”
The TODS program is designed to provide motorists with signage on provincial highways to direct visitors to tourist attractions, operations and services.
“Our Government for the People was elected on June 7 with a clear mandate to respect the taxpayers of this province and to restore trust and accountability in the province’s finances,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation. “We heard loud and clear from small business owners across Ontario, and have fixed a problem that the previous government created. Today we’re providing relief to small business owners, as we do our part in promoting and strengthening tourism in Ontario.”
-30-January 08, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 11TH, 2018
Ontario’s Government Supporting
Compassionate End-Of-Life Care
Helping more people get end-of-life care in a home-like setting
Queen’s Park — Ontario’s is providing more people in Simcoe North with the compassionate care they deserve when nearing the end of their lives. Yesterday, the government announced they would be moving forward with plans to build 5 new hospice beds for Mariposa House Hospice and 5 news beds for Hospice Huronia.
MPP Jill Dunlop was thrilled with the news that two hospices in her riding were receiving the funding. “I believe everyone should have access to dignified end-of-life care that respects the wishes of the patient and their loved ones,” said MPP Jill Dunlop. “This is exciting news for our community as I know there have been so many of us involved, working hard to see this funding come to Simcoe North. I am proud our government is committed to improving access to comfortable, end-of-life care in communities across the province.”
Hospices provide patients with palliative care in a comfortable space, where they can be close to loved ones. In this environment, family and friends can have peace of mind knowing that patients will have access to appropriate end-of-life care. Hospice care focuses on relieving suffering and providing services like psychological, spiritual and bereavement support.
“Building new hospice beds across Ontario will provide people with end-of-life care and support in a more comfortable setting,” said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliott. “With early investments like these, our government is ensuring that these patients are provided with the proper comfort, dignity and respect they deserve. This will also help to make more beds available for those who need hospital care. Our government is moving forward quickly to address challenges facing the health care system as we develop our long-term transformational health care strategy.”
Ontario is investing nearly $36.6 million to build 193 new hospice beds across the province. When these beds open, the government will provide $20.3 million each year in operational funding for nursing, personal support, and other services. Our government is investing an additional $90 million in 2018-19 to build 1,100 beds and spaces in hospitals and the community, including 640 new beds and spaces.
“Our government is increasing access to hospice beds across the province, by providing appropriate end-of-life care for those who need it,” said Parliamentary Assistant for Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care) Effie Triantafilopoulos. “This investment is also helping to address hallway health care, by ensuring more hospital beds remain available for those in need of acute care. We’re creating more beds and spaces to alleviate the pressures on our health care system.”
- 30 -December 12, 2018