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Welcome to the Markham-Stouffville
Weekly Update for March 20, 2021

Ontario's Booking System to Expand to Individuals Aged 75 and Older as Vaccine Rollout Accelerates
 
With over 50 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Ontario government is expanding appointments through its online booking system to individuals aged 75 and over, effective Monday, March 22, 2021, ahead of schedule.
 
Ontario began vaccinating individuals aged 80 and over in February, and launched an online booking tool and a call centre to help answer questions and support appointment bookings at mass immunization clinics. Since the provincial booking system was launched on March 15, more than 239,000 appointments have been scheduled for the first and second doses.
 
Ontario is leading the country in the total number of vaccines administered and has fully immunized more individuals than all provinces and territories combined. To date, over 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across the province, including over 129,000 doses administered to long-term care home residents. Over 294,000 Ontarians are fully immunized, including over 61,000 long term-care home residents.
 
For the full announcement, visit this link:
https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60688/ontario-launching-provincial-booking-system-for-covid-19-vaccines
 
To visit the online booking site, click here:
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/
Ontario invests in Long Term Care in Markham-Stouffville
 
On March 18th, I joined the Minister of Long Term Care to announce that the Ontario government is making an historic investment in 80 new long-term care projects — including two in Markham-Stouffville that will lead to 405 new and 43 upgraded long-term care spaces. 

These spaces are part of the government’s delivery of 30,000 much-needed long-term care spaces over ten years.
 
The projects are:
 
  • Schlegel Villages in Stouffville is being allocated 192 new spaces.
  • Chartwell - Markham, in Markham, is being allocated 213 new spaces and 43 upgraded spaces. The project will result in a 256-bed home through the construction of a new building in Markham.

 
The number of people in Markham-Stouffville who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade. Today’s announcement will help ensure we have safe, modern spaces ready for them.
 
To read the full news story, click this link:
 
https://www.paulcalandra.com/blog/ontario-makes-historic-investment-in-long-term-care

Apply to the Markham-Stouffville Youth Council

Applications for the second Markham-Stouffville Youth Council are now being accepted - if you are a student in Grade 9-12 living in Markham-Stouffville with a passion for community involvement and service, apply today!

To apply and for more info, visit www.paulcalandra.com/youth

Applications close on March 31, 2021.
 
Ontario to Release 2021 Budget on March 24
 

The Ontario government will continue to focus on protecting people's health and jobs through the COVID-19 pandemic when it releases the 2021 Ontario Budget on March 24.

The Budget will support the province's comprehensive vaccine distribution plan, along with providing additional resources for the health care sector and initiatives to protect the economic well-being of families, workers and employers. 

More detail including Q3 finances and the 2020 budget links are available here:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60645/ontario-to-release-2021-budget-on-march-24

York Regions to receive additional $10M for Social Services Relief
 
On March 10, the Ontario government announced that it is providing an additional $10,769,028 to help York Region respond to an increase in COVID-19 cases in some emergency shelters and help keep vulnerable people safe. The new funding will protect homeless shelter staff and residents, and help prevent more people from becoming homeless.

The announcement of $10,769,028 in new Phase 3 funding for York Region brings the total allocation to $32,304,843.

These funds will support acquiring motel and hotel spaces to support physical distancing of shelter residents, hiring more shelter staff, purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, and adding to rent and utility banks to prevent more people from becoming homeless.

Today’s announcement is part of the province’s additional $255 million investment through the Social Services Relief Fund.

Learn more: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60614/ontario-takes-further-action-to-protect-homeless-shelters-during-covid-19
Ontario Extending Temporary Wage Enhancement for Personal Support Workers
 
The Ontario government is investing $239 million to extend temporary wage enhancements for personal support workers and direct support workers in publicly funded home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors.

These temporary wage enhancements will continue until June 30, 2021 and will help stabilize, attract and retain the workforce needed to provide a high level of care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province has been providing a temporary wage increase since October 1, 2020 to over 158,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services, including:
  • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
  • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
  • $2 per hour for approximately 10,000 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
  • $3 per hour for approximately 60,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.
The Ontario government will continue to review the temporary wage enhancement to inform next steps after June 30, 2021.

Read the full announcement here:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60798/ontario-extending-temporary-wage-enhancement-for-personal-support-workers

Ontario Supports Tourism, Culture, Sport and Recreation Organizations with new grant program

The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the new Community Building Fund to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding, announced March 16, will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities.

The fund will be administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) through two program streams:

  • The $55-million operating funding stream will provide community non-profits with the support they need to help sustain their operations and create new experiences and events - such as trail systems, heritage attractions, winter activities and local sport and recreation programming - that are critical to the economic and social well-being of their communities.
  • The $50-million capital funding stream will go to municipalities and non-profit organizations to carry out sport- and recreation-facility infrastructure repairs, including retrofits and rehabilitation to meet COVID-19 public health protocol requirements and local community needs.

Read more details here:

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60724/ontario-supports-tourism-culture-sport-and-recreation-organizations

Happy Norwuz

Happy Nowruz to all those who celebrate. As you welcome the new year, I hope you are surrounded by happiness and good fortune. Despite challenges this past year, let us look to the future with hope and optimism.
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.

Due to the risk of COVID-19, our office is open by appointment only. 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.

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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