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Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Weekly Update for October 31, 2020

New school to be built on Edward Street

The Ontario government is investing $550 million in accelerated funding to build new schools and make upgrades – and this includes the announcement of $13.7 million in funding to the York Region District School Board towards the building of a new elementary school on the old high school site on Edward Street.

For families in Whitchurch-Stouffville, this investment will mean an improved, quality learning environment. This new school is part of the province’s 2020-2021 Capital Priorities Program to support students with better and more modern learning spaces.

For full detail on this announcement, visit this link:

https://www.paulcalandra.com/blog/ontario-government-builds-and-upgrades-schools-in-whitchurch-stouffville

Remembrance Day Banners Honouring WWI Veterans from Markham-Stouffville

On October 23, I joined Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Iain Lovatt and Stouffville Legion Branch 459 as we paid tribute to veterans from Stouffville for my office’s 2020 Remembrance Day Banner Campaign.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we could not host a public unveiling like last year but the event was live streamed.


Unfortunately, like so many other things about life in Canada in 2020, our Remembrance Day observances will be changed by COVID-19. Although community events may be diminished by the need for social distancing, the love and respect we Canadians feel for our veterans and our military remains undiminished.

I hope that as families are planning safe and socially distanced outdoor activities to do with their kids this fall, visiting Main Street Stouffville to view the banners will be one of them. We have every reason to be proud of and grateful to the soldiers who gave their lives for Canada.

The banners, which feature soldiers from local families who sacrificed their lives during World War I, have been placed on Stouffville’s Main Street and will remain until after Remembrance Day. The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville and the Royal Canadian Legion are both supporters of the project along with my office.

The new banners are in addition to the 15 banners honouring soldiers lost in World War II which were first hung in 2019.

You can view the banners here: 

https://www.paulcalandra.com/blog/21-new-remembrance-banners-are-unveiled-virtually. 
Virtual meeting with Whitchurch-Stouffville Chamber of Commerce
 
On October 21, I joined a virtual Town Hall meeting hosted by the Stouffville Chamber of Commerce to hear how COVID-19 is affecting small businesses.

The Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction recently announced a new program to support small main street businesses with $60 million in funding through a PPE grant to help businesses reopen safer, rehire faster and recover from COVID-19. If passed, the Main Street Recovery Act 2020 will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.

For more information, visit this link: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58708/ontario-supports-small-main-street-businesses-with-60-million-in-funding-through-ppe-grant
Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville to benefit from Ontario’s COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream

On October 30, the Ontario government announced it 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.

This funding will help build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure in our community. It includes $324,220.00 for Whitchurch-Stouffville, and $7,381,614.00 for Markham.

Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience stream will fall under four main categories:
  • Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
  • COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
  • Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
  • Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).
For more detail about these investments, visit this link:

https://www.paulcalandra.com/blog/york-region-municipalities-to-benefit-from-ontario-s-covid-19-resilience
Ontario helps protect vulnerable people in York Region by providing additional funding for shelters and rent relief

On October 27, the Ontario government announced it will provide municipalities and Indigenous community partners with over $241 million to help protect the province’s most vulnerable during COVID-19, including those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. York Region MPPs shared that the Regional Municipality of York will receive nearly $8,419,414 in social services relief funding. This funding will support:
 
  • Extending operating facilities to support self-isolation and transitional shelters;
  • Providing rent relief; - Installing modular housing; - Upgrading buildings that support those who are homeless; and
  • Retrofitting and renovating spaces on Housing with Supports properties to create supportive independent housing.
Trick-or-treating not recommended in York Region this Halloween

Given the high transmission of COVID-19 in the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions of Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region, traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended and people should consider alternative ways to celebrate. This can include, but is not limited to:
  • Bake Halloween treats
  • Organize a Halloween drive-by parade with your neighbours
  • Decorate your house
  • Watch a Halloween movie
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Backyard scavenger hunt
  • Virtual costume party
To read all of Dr. Williams’ statement and advice, please visit this link:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/statement/58867/stay-safe-and-follow-public-health-advice-this-halloween
Cash seized from criminals to support victims and raise awareness

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. Funding through the Civil Remedies Grant Program is being made available to law enforcement agencies and community partners for 33 local projects focused on prevention, crisis counselling, research and public education.

This includes reinvesting $100,000 in cash seized from criminals to support the local fight against human trafficking here in York Region.

The initiatives being funded under the Civil Remedies Grant Program this year include:
  • Programs supporting victims of human trafficking, including mental health crisis services, specialized care and support and education and training opportunities.
  • Training for frontline officers to help them better detect and investigate human trafficking.
  • IT upgrades to improve investigations of online crimes like child exploitation, harassment, intimate images and fraud.
  • Investments in surveillance equipment such as automatic licence plate readers to identify and locate vehicles connected to illegal activity across Ontario's major highways including remote First Nation communities.
See here for more details:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58965/ontario-reinvesting-25-million-to-help-fight-human-trafficking
Earth Rangers Are Cleaning Up Markham-Stouffville and the Ontario Greenbelt!

To bring more awareness of the importance of greenspaces to kids and families, Earth Rangers has partnered with the Greenbelt Foundation to launch a number of new programs for Markham-Stouffville Rangers and other members living near the Ontario Greenbelt.

These include a litter cleanup activity called Stash the Trash, an activity to help kids recycle properly called RAWR (Respect Animals While Recycling), and a challenge to eat locally and support local farmers called Live Love Local. Ontario’s Greenbelt protects 2 million acres of forests, wetlands, farmland and urban river valleys, and contains important wildlife areas like the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine. Every greenspace in Ontario is an important piece of a bigger network that makes up the full ecosystem “puzzle”.

Earth Rangers was founded in 2004 right here in Ontario and is now the largest kids’ conservation organization in the world.

One such Earth Ranger is 12-year-old Ashley, who became a member in May and has since completed an impressive list of environmental actions, including running a battery recycling campaign, planting a pollinator garden in her backyard, and leading proper recycling at home. Thanks to Ashley and all the other members in our riding who are thoughtful of and take action every day to protect the incredible greenspaces and wildlife right on our doorstep!

To learn more, please visit: www.earthrangers.com.
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
Copyright © Paul Calandra, MPP, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Suite 400, 37 Sandiford Dr. Stouffville, ON L4A 3Z2

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