Building New Long Term Care Beds In Months, Not Years

Published on August 13, 2020


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Dear Neighbour, 

It's been another busy week in our province. On Tuesday, I joined the Premier and other members of our caucus to announce a new, long-term care home right at Humber River Hospital's Finch Site, as part of Ontario's new Accelerated Build Pilot Program for Long Term Care. By working with Humber River Hospital and Infrastructure Ontario, the province intends to build up to 320 new long-term care beds at this site by the end of next year.

This is the third project to be announced under the pilot program. If successful, this approach will be expanded further as part of the government's plan to create and redevelop long-term care beds across the province that meet modern design standards, including features such as air conditioning and private or semi-private rooms.
This week, the Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is delivering on its commitment to provide up to $4 billion in urgently needed one-time assistance to Ontario's 444 municipalities. Municipalities will be provided with up to $1.6 billion as part of the first round of emergency funding under the Safe Restart Agreement. 

Toronto will be receiving $145,683,100 to support operating expenses and an additional $404,088,232 to support transit operations. This emergency funding provided to the City of Toronto will assist in addressing the pressures they have faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario is building on its plan and taking additional steps to ensure a safe return to schools in September, by allowing boards to make necessary adaptations, in consultation with their local public health unit. Adaptations could include smaller class sizes and leasing additional space. These additional measures include:

  • Unlocking access to reserves up to $496 million, an increase of $244 million, by allowing boards to access up to 2 per cent of their operating budget from their prior year accumulated surplus. This funding can be applied to local priorities of each board, based on the immediate needs on the ground to prepare for the start of school.
  • Providing a record-setting $50 million in one-time funding to support improved ventilation, air quality and HVAC system effectiveness in schools. Boards will focus on improving air systems in older schools, portables, and in neighbourhoods with higher rates of community transmission.
  • A new directive to significantly strengthen minimum expectations for remote learning, including ministry-set requirements on the minimum time for synchronous learning by grade, protocols for communicating with parents and students and access to technology. 

The ministry will continue working closely with public health and school boards to monitor and report on the health status of school communities as part of the government's outbreak management plan.

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance released the 2020-21 first quarter finances. To protect the health and economic well-being of the people of Ontario, the government has invested over $30 billion dollars in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, including providing support to families, businesses, workers, municipalities, long-term care homes and those on the front-lines of the pandemic. This is up from the initial $17 billion planned in the March economic update,

The government is now projecting a deficit of $38.5 billion in 2020-21. Our next quarterly update, to be delivered no later than November 15, will be included as part of a multi-year budget.
Yesterday was also International Youth Day - a group of people that speaks closely to my heart. Today's Youth are the leaders of tomorrow. International Youth Day recognizes the important role Youth have in our society. Continue to engage and contribute in the many different ways you already do! Your representation matters.

My constituency office is open on an appointment only basis. If you are in need of any assistance, you can make an appointment by calling my constituency office at (416) 781-2395 or email me at [email protected].
Until next week,
Robin Martin, MPP

(416) 781-2395 - [email protected]
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