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Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Weekly Update for November 8, 2020

2020 Ontario Budget
The Minister of Finance unveiled Ontario’s 2020 Budget on November 5thThis is the Budget that would have been presented in the spring; however, given that Ontario has been coping with the COVID-19 outbreak since March 2020, this year’s budget was delayed.

Read the press release here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59065/ontarios-action-plan-protect-support-recover

The November 5th Budget, titled “Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover” is the next phase of the most comprehensive action plan in Canada to respond to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19. It sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for a robust long-term economic recovery for the province.

View the entire Budget document here:


Here are some local items in the budget that support our riding and surrounding region:

  • Planning funding for the Markham-Stouffville Hospital – Uxbridge Site Redevelopment Project to increase ambulatory care services and develop partnerships with community health providers to form a hub model of care for the community. [CH1 - Protect - p.54]
  • Supporting York University’s Markham Centre Campus, which is expected to open in fall 2023. The campus will provide students with access to high-quality education and with on-the-job learning opportunities to prepare them for the jobs of the future. In addition, the Markham Campus is also projected to generate over $350 million in economic benefits and create an additional 2,000 jobs in the community. [CH1 - Recover - p.135]
  • Taking steps to make commuting and travel easier in the Greater Toronto Area by confirming the Preferred Route for a new 400-series highway and transit corridor across York, Peel and Halton regions. Advancing the GTA West corridor will reduce travel times for drivers and support economic growth and job creation. [CH1 - Recover - p.134]
  • Working collaboratively with York Region to support the delivery of the Transit-Oriented Communities program [CH1 - Recover - p.129]
  • Working with the federal government to build four priority subway projects — the Ontario Line, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension — in the City of Toronto and York Region. The Province and its municipal partners are calling on the federal government to formally commit to Ontario’s four priority subway projects.  [CH1 - Recover - p.138]
  • Making unprecedented investments in highway infrastructure to connect people, keep roads safe and reliable, and create good jobs as the province continues its recovery. Planning and design work is underway for the Bradford Bypass, a new 16.2-kilometre four-lane controlled access freeway that will connect two busy Ontario highways — Highway 400 and Highway 404 — in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the Town of East Gwillimbury. The Bypass is part of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and will support economic development in Simcoe County and York Region. [CH1 - Recover - p.133]
Ontario Adding New Hospital Beds to Markham-Stouffville Hospital
The Ontario government is providing $116.5 million to create up to 766 more beds at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province. This investment will help reduce surgical backlogs and improve access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Markham Stouffville Hospital will be receiving up to $3,664,700 for up to 15 hospital beds and 5 additional critical care beds.

The new beds announced 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, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19. This brings the total investment to $351 million for more than 2,250 new beds at 57 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province - beds that will add more capacity for hospitals, help with occupancy pressures and support the continuation of surgeries and procedures.

Learn more: https://www.paulcalandra.com/blog/ontario-adding-20-hospital-beds-markham-stouffville-hospital

Ontario Investing Nearly $1 Billion to Expand and Improve Broadband in Unserved and Underserved Communities 

The Ontario government announced that it is making a historic investment of nearly $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access across the province. The $680 million announced is on top of the $315 million to support Up to Speed: Ontario's Broadband and Cellular Action Plan. This funding will be used for shovel-ready projects starting in 2019-20, will create jobs, and connect unserved and underserved communities during COVID-19 and beyond.

Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) was launched in July 2020. The program leverages partner funding by inviting applicants like telecom companies, municipal governments, First Nation communities, and non-profits, to submit innovative proposals and lend their investment, expertise and experience to improve connectivity in communities across Ontario. The province funds a portion of each approved project.

On September 2nd,  l took part in a virtual meeting with York Region staff and several of the York Region Members of Provincial Parliament to discuss and support York Region’s application to the ICON program. I am pleased to support this application and look forward to it proceeding. 

For more details on this important announcement, click here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59057/ontario-investing-nearly-1-billion-to-expand-and-improve-broadband-and-cellular-access
Ontario releases COVID-19 response framework to help keep the province safe and open

As difficult as these months have been, Ontario’s results in the fight against COVID-19 have been very encouraging when compared to other jurisdictions. Our relatively strong performance can be attributed in large part to the engaged, supportive, co-operative residents and businesses of our province.

On November 3rd, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the Ontario government released the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.  

The Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework takes a comprehensive, whole of government approach by introducing preventative measures earlier to help avoid broader closures and allow for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed gradually. It ensures that public health measures are targeted, incremental and responsive to help limit the spread of COVID-19, while keeping schools and businesses open, maintaining health system capacity and protecting vulnerable people, including those in long-term care.

Public health unit regions are placed into five levels: 
•    Green-Prevent
•    Yellow-Protect
•    Orange-Restrict
•    Red-Control, and
•    Lockdown (being the measure of last and urgent resort)

Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.

As the province continues to expand access to real-time data, enhancements are also being made to Ontario.ca/coronavirus, the one-stop shop for information on COVID-19. Information about the spread of the virus, and public health and health system capacity will now be available on the website.

This information will better help businesses, organizations and local communities access key information to prepare in advance for any changes in their region.

Each public health unit will be classified according to current framework indicators. For example, proposed classifications based on data for the week of October 26, 2020 can be found online now, they became effective on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. 

As of November 7, 2020, York Region moves into the “Orange-Restrict” level. You can read more and get updates on the York Region Public Health site. Final decisions on moving public health unit regions into the framework will be made by the government based on updated data and in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and other health experts, and will be reviewed weekly.


Public health measures required for each level can be found in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework.

Learn more: https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open

Remembrance Day Message 2020
Remembrance Day 2020

Remembrance Day 2020 will be different because of COVID-19, but there are still events in which you can take part in order to remember and offer gratitude to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Visit the Stouffville Legion and Markham District Veteran Association’s Websites to get information on Virtual Remembrance Day events:
Ontario’s Remembrance Day Website is here:
The Royal Canadian Legion’s national press release and information is here:


Now more than ever, it is very important that we thank those who worked so hard generations ago to give us the country that we have today. 
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
Copyright © Paul Calandra, MPP, All rights reserved.

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

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