Oakville North-Burlington Update – October 30, 2020
 
“The upcoming fall budget will be our roadmap. It will guide us during this period of tremendous uncertainty…I want to share a message with Ontario’s entrepreneurs, small business owners and businesses of all sizes. We’ve been listening to you. We’ve heard you loud and clear. You need more supports…
…as premier, I’ll make it clear we’re going to continue to do what’s necessary to protect people’s health and jobs while laying the foundation for a strong long-term care economy, economic recovery. I just don’t believe in taxes or increasing taxes as a solution to our problems.” – Premier Doug FordOntario Releasing 2020 Provincial Budget on November 5th
On November 5, 2020 the Ontario government will release its 2020 Provincial Budget. The budget will focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing supports to families, workers, and employers, and planning for future growth, renewal and economic recovery. 
 
The Budget will build on Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, which was updated this summer to make available a projected $30 billion in response to the global pandemic.Ontario Investing $116.5 Million for over 760 New Hospital Beds
About 40 news beds for each of Joseph Brant and Oakville-Trafalgar
 
This week the government announced funding to reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during COVID-19. Our local hospitals, Joseph Brant and Oakville-Trafalgar (Halton Healthcare) will each receive funding for about 40 new beds to meet these needs. Joseph Brant receives $4.6 million which also includes funding for four more critical care beds) and Halton Healthcare receives $6.5 million.
The funding will go to 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province to reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during COVID-19. The new beds announced this week are in addition to the $234.5 million investment for 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds included in Ontario’s fall preparedness plan. This plan also focuses on addressing surges in COVID-19 cases and reducing health service backlogs.New Community Paramedicine Program Will Support Seniors on long-term care waitlists
The Ontario government is investing up to $5 million to launch the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program in five communities across the province. This program will help seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe in the comfort of their own homes and communities for longer.
This new long-term care focused community paramedicine program will use paramedics to help reduce hallway health care and provide additional and appropriate care for seniors. This program, which will be implemented in phases, will delay the need for long-term care for our seniors by providing them with enhanced at-home supportsHelping Small Businesses find Commercial InsuranceLast week, Premier Ford and the Finance Minister spoke with the heads of insurance companies asking them to take action to ensure businesses can find insurance. On Thursday, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) launched a new program that will help small businesses find insurance coverage in Ontario.  IBC encourages small business owners facing challenges to visit businessinsurancehelp.ca and call the Business Insurance Helpline at 1-844-2-ask-IBC.Ontario Government Funding COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream

The Ontario government is providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream to build or renovate health and safety related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities. The funding is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and reinforces the commitment of both the federal and provincial governments to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families during the pandemic.
Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience stream will fall under four main categories:Community, recreation, health and education renovationsCOVID-19 response infrastructureActive transportation; andDisaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation 
Ontario Fighting Human Trafficking with Investment of $2.5 Million
The Ontario government is reinvesting $2.5 million in cash and proceeds seized from criminals to help fight human trafficking in communities across the province. This funding comes from the Civil Remedies Grant Program which is being made available to law enforcement agencies and community partners for 33 local projects focused on prevention, crisis counselling, research and public education.
Supporting our Francophone Community
The Ontario government is providing $1 million to 30 organizations as part of the 2020-21 Francophone Community Grants Program which helps support the vitality of the Franco-Ontarian community, with a focus on promoting the French language, as well as the community’s socio-economic development in Ontario.
This announcement follows a recently announced $500,000 investment by the government to support the creation of a Francophone business network and to promote Franco-Ontarian products and services.Ontario Funds Help to Support Most Vulnerable People in Province
The Ontario government is providing municipalities with over $241 million to help more than 110,000 Ontarians affected by COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The provincial funding is part of the government’s $510 million investment to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people. Funding will be delivered through the Social Services Relief Fund and will be used to support homeless shelters, create or renovate more than 1,500 housing units and expand rent support programs.New Campaign Raising Awareness of Disability
The Ontario government has launched a new public education campaign to increase awareness about accessibility needs and responsibilities, and help organizations identify and remove barriers for people with disabilities.
This campaign is part of the government’s ongoing work to create a more inclusive and accessible province through the Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework. The government is continuing to work with stakeholders, including partner ministries, broader public sector organizations, businesses and non-profit organizations to achieve these goals.Ontario Promoting Ontario-Made Products to Support Local Businesses
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), with the support of the Ontario government, is launching a new Ontario Made Consumer Directory. This guide will make it easier for shoppers to find made-in-Ontario products, while supporting local businesses and manufacturers. By promoting Ontario-made products, this initiative will support good-paying jobs and set the province down the path to further growth, renewal and long-term economic recovery.
Consumers can easily find these made-in-Ontario goods in the new online, searchable directory at SupportOntarioMade.ca. This includes products that are made in local communities, participating retailers and company profiles.Reducing the Drive Test Backlog

Ontario is working with its service provider, DriveTest, to hire more than 130 additional temporary driver examiners to help address the backlog of passenger road tests which resulted from the closure of Drive Test centres earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Starting in December, the province expects that DriveTest will shorten test wait times and reduce an estimated backlog of 350,000 passenger road tests to pre-COVID-19 levels by March 2021. Please visit DriveTest.ca to learn more about COVID-19 updates and frequently asked questions or to schedule a road test.Women’s History Month

October is Women’s History Month and it highlights the contributions women in Canada and Ontario have made to building our country and its institutions. To honour this history, I recognized some of the females Conservative leaders who have inspired me over the years.The Passing of Margaret Birch
Over the last weeks, I’ve been recognizing some of the women political leaders who’ve inspired me as we mark Women’s History Month in Ontario. Just yesterday, one of the women I highlighted, Margaret Birch, passed away at the age of 99. Margaret Birch was the first female who served as a cabinet minister in Ontario, appointed by Premier Bill Davis. She had a long and accomplished career, from having to leave school at 12 to support her family, working in the tobacco fields at 16, to serving in senior cabinet roles. I also encourage you to read two articles that TVO host Steve Paikin wrote about her in 2016 and 2019. She was an inspiration tp those who followed in her path and made Ontario a better place.Effie in the Community and at Queen’s Park
I had the opportunity to participate in the Standing Committee on Social Policy where we did a clause-by-clause review of the Soldiers’ Aid Commission Bill. This commission supports veterans unable to pay for items such as hearing aids, wheelchairs, glasses, accessibility modifications, clothing and counselling. We are extending support to veterans who retired after the Korean War and increasing our investment in the commission to more than $1.5 million a year. We will always remember their sacrifice so we can enjoy our freedom.
 October 27th was Dress Purple Day in Ontario, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the important role we all play in supporting youth and families in our communities, including the most vulnerable.
This year’s theme was to remind children and families across Ontario that supports are available in the community and they can always ask for help. These services are still accessible throughout the COVID-19 pandemicHappy Halloween!
On Friday, I dropped by the Halton Children’s Aid Society to deliver some Halloween  Treats for the kids. Please have a safe and Happy Halloween and stay up to date on local guidelines for safety. You can find out more about having a safe Halloween on the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 website.YMCA Oakville is in their third stage of reopening and I had the opportunity this week to see firsthand the safety protocols they’ve put in place to welcome members back – 14 and up. The safety of their members, staff and community is their number one priorityIt was a pleasure to meet with Melinda Chartrand, Chair of Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, Trustee Dominique Janssens and Director of Education Andre Blais to discuss capital project needs in Oakville North-Burlington. French education is an important part of our children’s schooling, and it is vital that students, staff and teachers have modern facilities for learning.I had an informative meeting with constituent Rehan Huda, President and CEO of Puradigm Canada and learned how they have successfully applied their air and surface purification technology in the food safety industry and health care to reduce the infection rate of COVID-19.Oakville North-Burlington Spirit Awards
 
Over the last few weeks, I have been proud to honour a number of volunteers who have contributed to our community during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you for your community spirit. If you would like to nominate a member of our community who has gone above and beyond to contribute to the community during the pandemic, please contact my office and let me know.Tuesday, January 28th – Coronavirus UpdateFriday, March 13 – COVID-19 Coronavirus UpdateWednesday, March 18 – COVID-19 Coronavirus UpdateFriday, March 20 – Learn at Home Portal Launched for Ontario StudentsWednesday, March 25 – Ontario’s Action PlanFriday, March 28 – Joint ONB COVID-19 UpdateMonday, March 30 – Ontario Support for Small Business and Combating Price GougingWednesday, April 1 – School and Child Care Closures ExtendedFriday, April 3 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateThursday, April 9 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, April 17 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, April 24 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 1 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 8 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 15 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 22 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, May 29 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, June 5 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, June 12 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateMonday, June 15 – Ontario Opens More Businesses and Services in Halton RegionFriday, June 19 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, June 26 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateWednesday, July 1 – Canada DayFriday, July 10 – Summer NewsletterFriday, July 17 – Summer NewsletterFriday, July 24 – Weekly Oakville North-Burlington UpdateFriday, July 31 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 7 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 14 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 21 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, August 28 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, September 4 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, September 11 – Oakville North- Burlington News and Events Friday, September 18 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, September 25 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 02 – Oakville North- Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 09 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 16 – Oakville North-Burlington News and EventsFriday, October 23 – Oakville North-Burlington News and Events