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Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Weekly Update for January 30, 2021

Whitchurch-Stouffville receives $726,000 for infrastructure funding
 
Ontario is providing Whitchurch-Stouffville with $726,065 in funding through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to help build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure. 
 
OCIF helps eligible communities invest in local infrastructure and asset management planning to address their priority needs.  The province uses a formula to distribute funding, recognizing that municipalities have different infrastructure needs. These investments will help eligible communities attract jobs and investment, as well as build local capacity to grow and thrive.

See more detail here:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60096/ontario-investing-200-million-in-local-infrastructure
Ontario Takes Immediate Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 Variants

The Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants throughout the province. It is implementing a six-point plan which includes mandatory on-arrival testing of international travellers, enhanced screening and sequencing to identify the new variants, maintaining public health measures to keep people safe, strengthening case and contact management to track the spread of new cases, enhanced protections for vulnerable populations, and leveraging the latest data to inform public health decisions.

Ontario's first COVID-19 UK variant case was confirmed last month and was due to international travel. Since that time, 51 cases of the variant have been confirmed in the province.  Evidence shows that the UK variant could be up to 56 per cent more transmissible. Recent evidence shows Ontarians' efforts to contain COVID-19 are working, with provincial trends in most key public health indicators trending down. However, recent modelling suggests that the UK variant and other new variants remain a significant threat to controlling the pandemic and could become the dominant strain of the virus in the province by March 2021, posing an increased threat to public health and hospital capacity.

Ontario's six-point variant action plan enhances the existing coordinated and ongoing efforts of the province to detect, track, trace, and contain the spread of COVID-19. The plan includes:

  • Mandatory Testing of Travelers
  • Enhanced Screening and Sequencing
  • Maintain Public Health Measures:
  • Strengthen Case and Contact Management
  • Enhancing Protections for Vulnerable Populations
  • Leveraging Data
Learn more: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60176/ontario-takes-immediate-action-to-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-variants-1
Budget Consultations now open – closing February 12
 
The Ontario government welcomes ideas from the people of Ontario on how to continue to support families, workers and business during COVID-19, while positioning the province for a strong economic recovery with the launch of the 2021 Budget consultation.  

The government's 2021 Budget will be informed by the priorities of the people of Ontario because people's priorities are the government's priorities. The 2021 Budget will be delivered by March 31, 2021.

You can visit Ontario.ca/budgetconsultation to learn how to submit your ideas by email, mail or by filling out a survey. The 2021 Budget Consultations will close on February 12, 2021. 
Ontario Highlights Mental Health Supports
 
This week, Ontario took part in the conversation around mental health in order to raise awareness and encourage everyone to take action to fight the stigma associated with mental health challenges.

Ontario marked one year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19. People of all ages have since felt the impacts of the virus not only on their physical health, but also their mental health. Mental health challenges can affect anyone, our family members, friends, and co-workers.

We encourage all Ontarians to reach out to those who may be struggling. Here are some available resources:
  • To find the right mental health and addictions supports and get information about many confidential and free options, please visit Ontario.ca/MentalHealth.
  • Kids Help Phone provides 24/7/365 professional counselling services for children, teens and young adults across Canada with Ontario being the largest user of its service.
  • Good2Talk/Allo j’écoute is Ontario's bilingual mental health support service, providing professional counselling, information and referrals, and is available to all postsecondary students 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • Hope for Wellness Helpline offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention for all Indigenous peoples across Canada (available in some Indigenous languages).
  • Talk 4 Healing offers Indigenous women help, support and resources seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with services in 14 languages.
  • BounceBack is a free cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program that offers guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth 15 and older.
Ontario Adjusts Vaccination Plan in Response to Delays - Vaccinations for the Province’s Most Vulnerable to be Accelerated
 
The Ontario government is accelerating the vaccination of residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement, and First Nations elder care homes by a new target date of February 5, 2021. These adjustments are being made following notification by the federal government of reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments.
 
On January 19, 2021, the federal government notified the province of further reductions in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments. Ontario will not receive vaccine deliveries for the week of January 25, 2021 and will receive just over 26,000 doses for the first weeks of February.
 
In response to the significant reduction in distribution by the federal government and the uncertainty of future shipments, the province and vaccination sites have worked together to develop a plan to accelerate vaccination of the province's most vulnerable. Second doses will continue to be administered based on availability of supply provided by the federal government. Actions being taken include:
  • Accelerating vaccination of the most vulnerable populations across Ontario with the goal of visiting each home in the province to administer first doses by February 5, 2021, pending week of February 1, 2021 delivery dates.
  • Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be reallocated to 14 public health units to ensure vaccines are administered at each long-term care home in the province.
Read the full plan for adjusting vaccine distribution here:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60091/ontario-adjusts-vaccination-plan-in-response-to-pfizer-biontech-shipment-delays
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. 

As a result of the Stay-at-Home Order, my physical office is currently closed. However, our office staff remain avaliable to respond to your inquires via email or telephone. Should you require any assistance, please email paul.calandra@pc.ola.org or call 905-642-2588. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

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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