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Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Weekly Update for August 29, 2020

Stouffville Legion’s Physically Distanced BBQ

I had a great evening on August 20 with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 459 in Stouffville for a BBQ with our Stouffville Seniors. Thank you to Rochelle and all those who put together such a fantastic event! Great to see our MP Dr. Helena Jaczek as well as a number of small businesses in our riding.
Blue Door Supportive Housing Program
 
Grateful to join Blue Door as they announced the launch of their new supportive housing program. This residence will act as a transitional living space for a large single family moving from the shelter system to a permanent home.

The mission of Blue Door is to provide safe and supportive emergency shelter and services for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Blue Door operates three safe, supportive, emergency housing facilities and services for people who are homeless or at risk in York Region: Leeder Place Family Shelter, Porter Place Men's Shelter, and York Region Youth Shelter.
Ontario Expanding Youth Training Programs to Promote the Skilled Trades
 
The Ontario Government is investing $43 million in expanded youth training programs to give young people exposure to more employment options. The programs will help increase awareness and encourage youth to acquire the skills that will start them down the path to lifelong success while supporting Ontario's economic recovery and future prosperity.
 
In addition, Ontario is appointing three Youth Advisors to engage with youth, educators, business, parents and other key partners as well as the Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development on how to reduce stigma and make the trades a viable first choice for young people.
 
They will advise on increasing awareness of the skilled trades among elementary school students, starting in grade one, with a focus on grades seven and eight, and on making it easier for high school students to learn about the options in the trades and to begin an apprenticeship pathway while continuing to earn secondary school credits.
 
Read more about this exciting new program here:

https://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2020/08/ontario-expanding-youth-training-programs-to-promote-the-skilled-trades.html
 
Governments Help Ontario Food Processors become more Innovative and Competitive

York Region food producers are among those receiving funding to improve food safety and productivity, designed to help Ontario food processors become more innovative and competitive.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario are providing more than $5.4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help food processing businesses improve food safety, increase labour productivity and enable better access to markets. These strategic investments will support more than 75 projects across Ontario and strengthen the province's crucial agri-food supply chain.

Read details of the program here:

https://news.ontario.ca/omafra/en/2020/08/governments-help-ontario-food-processors-become-more-innovative-and-competitive.html

See the list of approved projects here:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/processor-projects.htm
Helping Small Business with electricity bills

Ontario invested $8M to support small businesses and charities struggling to pay their electricity bills due to COVID-19. 

Applications for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business open Monday, Aug 31. Apply through our local utilities Alectra and Hydro One:

https://www.alectrautilities.com/
https://www.hydroone.com/
School Board Re-Opening Plans

All of the school boards that serve York Region have released plans for the safe re-opening of schools in September. Our local school boards have been working with the Ministry of Education to develop comprehensive re-opening plans and procedures. Please find the plans for Markham-Stouffville boards below.
 
York Region District School Board:
http://www.yrdsb.ca/schools/school-reopening/Documents/YRDSB-Return-to-School-Plan.pdf
 
York Catholic District School Board: https://www.ycdsb.ca/ycdsb-back-to-school-plan/
 
Conseil scolaire Viamonde: https://csviamonde.ca/retour-a-lecole/introduction/
 
Conseil scolaire catholique Mon Avenir: https://sites.google.com/mon-avenir.ca/rentre-scolaire-2020-2021/accueil

Metrolinx Schedule Changes for September

 
Starting September 5th, as the province continues in Stage 3 of recovery, and offices and schools begin to re-open, Metrolinx is increasing train service on all lines. Please note below changes to trains and busses you may take regularly.
 
Also please note: Customers should regularly check GO Transit’s website for the latest schedules and service updates, and to learn more about GO Transit’s COVID-19 safety measures.

Train Service Changes
 
Stouffville weekend trains return:
  • Weekend train service along the Stouffville GO line is back to give people the flexibility for weekend getaways.
    • Hourly service between Mount Joy GO and Union Station – with some trips extending to serve Lincolnville GO.
  • Service for GO bus Routes 70 and 71 is adjusted and reduced to align with adjusted train schedules.
Resuming some rush hour service on all lines :
  • All lines will have hourly or better service during peak periods.
  • Existing trains and connecting bus trips have been adjusted.
Union platform changes:
  • Some weekday afternoon trains will depart from different platforms at Union Station to accommodate changing trips and help improve the flow of trains through the station.
Bus Service Changes
 
Bus service replaced, adjusted for trains:
  • Some bus service has been replaced or adjusted to align with returning and adjusted train service:
  • 70 (Stouffville/Lincolnville/Mount Joy)
  • 71 (Uxbridge/Stouffville/Markham/Toronto)
Customer safety remains top priority. While Metrolinx is closely monitoring ridership throughout the network and making every effort to adjust services to give passenger space to spread out, there is going to come a point when physical distancing is just not possible. That’s why face-coverings have been made mandatory and some new features, such as dividers are being tried out inside some of our trains and buses that will help keep everyone safe.

Learn more: https://www.gotransit.com/en/trip-planning/go-service-updates/train-schedule-changes
Constituency Office Services
 
My constituency office is here to serve you. We offer assistance for various provincial government services such as the renewal of Driver's Licences, Health Cards, WSIB claims, ODSP/FRO cases, and any other service under provincial jurisdiction. Please call us at 905-642-2588 or email paul.calandra@pc.ola.org and my staff and I will be happy to assist you.

To reduce in-person visits to ServiceOntario, a number of provincially-issued documents have extended expiry dates until further notice. Please click here for further information. 

Best regards,

Paul Calandra, MPP
Markham-Stouffville