Our Government Is Helping Rural Communities Boost Economic Growth


NOVEMBER 12th, 2018



Our Government Is Helping Rural Communities Boost Economic Growth 

Ontario Supporting Rural Economic Development


Queen’s Park - Our government has announced investments to help create jobs and prosperity in rural and Indigenous communities. Nearly one in eight jobs in Ontario is sustained by the agriculture and agri-food sector, which contributes to a healthy economy that benefits rural and urban communities across the province.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman made an announcement that various municipalities across Simcoe North are receiving funding to conduct programs that aim to attract investment, remove barriers to economic development, and grow our local economy.

The Rural Economic Development program is part of our government’s commitment to rural communities which also includes infrastructure investments, and expanding access to natural gas and broadband. The provincial funding, totalling over $150,000, was approved for the Township of Ramara (up to $30,000), the Township of Severn (up to $15,000), the City of Orillia (up to $60,000), the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (up to $23,000), and the County of Simcoe (up to $23,000).  

“This is great news for our riding,” said MPP Jill Dunlop.  “This provincial funding is supporting support our organizations and municipalities as they work to boost and diversify our local economy, enhance investment attraction efforts, and develop future innovative opportunities for business community market growth.”  MPP Dunlop stated that this announcement was just another example of the government’s commitment to ensure that rural Ontario is open for business.

“Rural Ontario has been ignored for too long. We are making it a priority in this government,” said Hardeman.  “These investments will help create a strong future for our rural communities by boosting economic growth, creating jobs and ensuring they are great places to live and do business.” 

Dunlop echoed the Minister’s statement, saying, “It is clear that our government is dedicated to making all of Ontario open for business.  In order to restore Ontario to the great economic engine it once was, we need to promote and support all businesses across Ontario and that includes rural Ontario.  We have a first-class agri-food and agriculture sector, and I am pleased to be able to help our community identify their economic strengths and develop strategies that can attract business and investment. This will help bring more economic growth to our communities in Simcoe North and it is part of our government’s commitment to bringing good jobs back to Ontario.”

The Rural Economic Development program supports projects that help create jobs and prosperity, and invest in rural community economic development.  This program is also helping communities identify their economic strengths and develop strategies to attract business and investment. It is part of the government’s commitment to ensure that rural Ontario is open for business.


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November 13, 2018

Our Government in Taking Immediate Action to End Hallway Health Care


October 4th, 2018

Orillia, ON


Our Government is Taking Immediate Action to End Hallway Health Care
Province securing more than 1,100 hospital beds and creating 6,000 new long-term care beds to ease hospital gridlock in communities that need it most

QUEEN'S PARK – Ontario’s Government for the People is delivering on its promise to end hallway health care by taking urgent action to expand access to long-term care, reduce the strain on the health care system in advance of the upcoming flu season and work with front line health care professionals and other experts to transform the province’s health care system.

Yesterday, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, announced that Ontario is moving forward with building 6,000 new long-term care beds across Ontario, representing the first wave of more than 15,000 new long-term care beds that the government has committed to build over the next 5 years.

“We are taking the necessary steps to end hallway health care,” said MPP Jill Dunlop. “With this announcement, we will see 22 new long-term beds in our riding of Simcoe North. There will be 19 new beds added at the Villa Care Centre in Midland and three new beds added at Georgian Manor Home for the Aged in Penetanguishene.” This move will help relieve pressure on hospitals and help doctors and nurses work more efficiently, and provide better, faster health care for patients and their families.

MPP Dunlop stated that the additional $90 million investment to address hallway medicine will create 640 new beds and spaces and also extend funding for spaces already operating in the hospital and community sectors.

“One patient treated in a hallway is one patient too many,” said Dunlop. “We said we were going to make our hospitals run better in this province and with this announcement, we are showing that we are keeping our promise. We are listening to Ontarians and we are moving forward to address the direct challenges we are seeing in Ontario’s health care system.”

As an immediate measure, Ford and Elliott also announced that Ontario will create 640 new beds and spaces and extend funding for spaces already operating in the hospital and community sectors across Ontario to help communities prepare for the surge that accompanies the upcoming flu season.

“Hallway health care is a multi-faceted problem that will require real and innovative solutions,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government will continue to listen to the people who work on the front lines of our health care system as we develop a long-term, transformational strategy to address hallway health care.”


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October 05, 2018

Newsletter - September

Dear Constituents,

Ten weeks have now passed since the 2018 Provincial Election and it is now time for me to inform you of the progress we have achieved so far in our summer session at Queen’s Park, as well as outside of it.

In order to best serve Ontarians, our government started summer session early so we could take immediate steps to restore faith in Ontario's public institutions and our government. Thanks to this, we have come far from where we started, to Get Ontario Back in Business!

We have indeed successfully ended the Cap-and-Trade Tax in Ontario, resulting in lowered gas prices and energy bills as well as in an influx of new jobs in our province.

Our government also launched a new commission to analyze past government spending in order to improve government spending as well as transparency; allowing us deliver on our promise to end the mismanagement of funds and let the Ontarians know where their tax money goes.

I am proud to announce as well, that this session allowed to put an end to the York University strike that had negatively affected more than 48,000 students over the course of five months.

The latest of our successes took form in the restoration of the $12 million cut from the fight of guns and gangs two weeks ago, when we secured an investment of $25 million to help protect our citizens and combat gun violence. This victory hits close to home, as it is directly related to the investment of $182 million to replace ageing infrastructure with nine new Ontario Provincial Police detachments, one of which being located in Orillia.

However, these weren’t the only successes for our riding! The past weeks have seen many events on the local scene. The sanctioning of the new Custom Head Dress for the Beausoleil First Nations, our unanimously supported motion for skilled trades reform, the celebration of our Scottish cultural heritage as well as of the Pride. Our riding also saw a plurality of sports events in which victories were plentiful, as well as festivals with the highlight of the nationally-renowned Boots & Hearts Music Festival

I would like to finish by giving my most heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered and supported me throughout my campaign. It was a team effort and I am grateful for all your hard work. I am very proud to be representing all the constituents of Simcoe North at Queen’s Park as the first-ever elected female provincial representative from this riding. I have appreciated all the feedback I have received and I am looking forward to hearing from everyone in the continued months so that I can best represent all people of Simcoe North. I hope to see you all at the upcoming fall fairs in Oro-Medonte, Ramona, Coldwater, and Orillia and I am eager to share with you more about our advancement at Queen’s Park when fall session begins again on September 24th, 2018.


Jill Dunlop, MPP

Simcoe North

September 05, 2018

Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop delivers her first maiden speech

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jill Dunlop delivered her first maiden speech on August 1st, 2018 in legislature at Queen’s Park where she highlighted Simcoe North’s culturally and geographically diverse landscape. Dunlop proudly stated that her riding was a quintessential representation of small town rural Ontario and was thankful that the constituents of Simcoe North selected her to be their new voice at Queen’s Park.

“I am […] very proud that within our electoral district are two first nations communities,” MPP Dunlop stated. “These communities are the Chippewas of Rama First Nation and Beausoleil First Nation on Christian Island […] I was honoured to celebrate the sanctioning of the new Custom Head Dress for the Beausoleil First Nations. The head dress serves as a significant symbol of strength, bravery, and individuality. While the head dress is certainly beautiful, it most strongly represents the virtue of traditions and customs.” Dunlop stated that she gains valuable knowledge from everyone she talks to and thanked residents for being so gracious and engaging in their open dialogue.

Dunlop also spoke of the number of primary employment industries in her riding including agriculture, tourism, the service industry and small manufacturing. She said she was looking forward to promoting and supporting the skilled trades and small businesses in her riding of Simcoe North to create better jobs for constituents.

During her election, MPP Dunlop stated she had several meetings and conversations with residents across her riding regarding the skilled trades shortage and that the issue was impacting all trades people, in a wide-variety of skilled trades related businesses. In response to this message, she tabled a motion calling for government to respond to this important issue.

“I was thrilled that this motion was given support by our government, and I look forward to collaborating with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade to build on this tremendous policy opportunity.” She stated that because of the positive response by government, many skilled trades organizations contacted her expressing incredible enthusiasm for the future of skilled trades in Simcoe North and in Ontario.

Dunlop also recognized local artistic talent from her riding including artist Charles Pachter, whose iconic work includes Murals of Hockey and famous images of the Royal family, moose and maple leaf flag, and Gordon Lightfoot, who recently attended Mariposa Folk Festival, and highlighted the importance of art and culture in her community.

MPP Dunlop recognized her family for their commitment to the communities of Simcoe North and specifically highlighted her mother, Jane Dunlop, and her father, Garfield Dunlop, for their commitment to public service and for inspiring her love of politics. As the first female representative for Simcoe North, she says she aims to show other young women, including her daughters Rachel, Karley, and Madison, that they can have a strong voice and make history too. Thanking her partner Steve Cartwright, a sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police for his support, she stated she was also thankful that government was committed to providing the resources and training to keep police officers safe and reduce violence. “We will listen to, and respect, our police officers and front line workers.”

“It’s not the government that makes Ontario great”, Dunlop said. “Ontario is great because of its people. Our people are smart, kind, and above all, striving to create a better life for themselves and their families […] I am proud to be part of a government that has already proven we will keep our promise and listen to the people of Ontario and frontline workers to make life more affordable!”

August 01, 2018

Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop passes long-awaited skilled trades reform resolution

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jill Dunlop took home a big win on July 26th, 2018 when her skilled trades resolution was unanimously passed, proving widespread support from all political parties.

“There is a major and growing shortage of skilled employees to create and/or grow businesses and industries in Ontario” she reminded the assembly. “As we execute our plan to make Ontario open for business, we will need skilled labour to fill the jobs that a thriving economy will generate. Skilled labour jobs are good jobs and provide a meaningful, financially stable career path for many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers and individuals looking for a career change. [...]There is a negative stigma surrounding skilled trades workers, whereby people believe that skilled trades are not a career to aspire or to be proud of. […] Our youth deserve to be presented with as many career options as possible, and the skilled trades should be at the top of that list.” Dunlop stressed the need for immediate action to fill the skilled trades gap.

MPP Dunlop uncovered in her speech some very alarming statistics illustrating the skilled trades worker deficit. Only 10 percent of Ontario’s youth follow through with a career in the skilled trades and today, 20 percent of skilled workers are over the age of 54 and will be retiring in the next decade. Dunlop highlighted her first-hand experience in the skilled trades sector, with her family successfully operating a skilled trades business for over 60 years.

Through close collaboration with the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, MPP Dunlop believes that her government can improve the existing skilled trades framework and provide meaningful solutions to reduce the negative stigma surrounding the trades and address the shortage of skilled labour. Dunlop stated that she believed the government should assume leadership in improving education, training, and job creation in the skilled trades sector.

Her family, staff, Simcoe North business owners, and mayors of her riding joined her at Queen’s Park to support her and show a united front on the issue.

July 27, 2018