Province provides QHC an additional $8.8 million to offset historic working funds deficit

For immediate release  

Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021

BELLEVILLE - The Ontario government will be providing Quinte Health Care (QHC) an additional $8,816,000 to help cover historic working funds deficits, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, and Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, announced today.

“We recognized that small- and medium-sized hospitals, including multi-site hospitals like Quinte Health Care had been underfunded for years, yet they continued to do everything possible to provide the highest quality of care,” said Smith. “This investment will wipe out QHC’s debt and set them on a solid financial footing moving forward.”

Kramp added “Our government is committed to working with health-care partners, like QHC, to ensure they have the stability and resources they need to maintain and enhance patient care as we emerge from this pandemic. I know that QHC will put this funding to good use to benefit those who need care at each of its four hospitals.”

The new funding is in addition to the more than $5.8-million increase to QHC’s base and one-time operational funding that Smith announced in Bancroft in July.  It is part of up a commitment of up to $696.6 million across the province to address historic working funds deficits in a $1.2-billion strategy to help Ontario hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19.

“Ontario’s hospitals have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and our government is using every tool at our disposal to support them,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This funding will ensure Ontario’s hospitals can continue to provide high-quality care to all Ontarians and that our hospital system is ready to respond to any scenario this fall.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, Ontario has been working with hospital partners like QHC to create unprecedented capacity and to prepare to respond to any scenario. The government remains committed to supporting hospitals so they can continue to care for Ontarians now and in the future.

Stacey Daub, QHC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, was pleased to learn about the funding.

“This funding injection to shore up the working capital deficit significantly improves QHC’s cash position,” said Daub. “Working capital deficits has been a systemic issue for hospitals like QHC for several years. It’s reassuring that the government has listened and is making this important investment in the stability of QHC and community-based hospitals across the province.”

QUICK FACTS

  • A working funds deficit occurs when an organization’s current liabilities exceed their current assets. All hospitals that had a working funds deficit in 2019-20 qualified for this funding.
  • As part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need, the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable Ontario’s hospitals and community health sector to perform more surgeries, MRI and CT scans and procedures, including on evenings and weekends.
  • Under the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $1.8 billion in the hospital sector in 2021-2022, bringing the total additional investment in hospitals since the start of the pandemic to over $5.1 billion. This includes creating more than 3,100 additional hospital beds to increase capacity and reduce occupancy pressures caused by COVID-19.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


Smith welcomes Minister Mulroney to review municipal transportation priorities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, SEPT. 24, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE – Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte, welcomed Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney on a tour of the riding today to see the progress of provincially funded projects and to learn more about transportation priorities in two local municipalities.

“I find that sometimes it really helps to have a Minister on the ground in the riding to see the challenges firsthand and discuss how our government can help municipalities meet their needs,” said Smith. “This knowledge will be useful as the Ministry of Transportation plans its future programming.”

Mulroney added “When it comes to investing in Ontario’s transportation network, our government knows that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We work closely with our municipal partners across the province as we deliver the critical projects that will meet communities’ needs for years to come.”

This morning, the ministers started their day on a bus tour in the City of Belleville to highlight route expansion and six new buses purchased to support service expansion to the North East Industrial Park area through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.  The trip included visits to new active transportation infrastructure along the Moira River.  

Mayor Mitch Panciuk and City officials also discussed the safety of Hwy 401 interchanges and the need for an additional off-ramp, known as the Belleville East Arterial Route(BEAR) to divert industrial traffic away from residential and commercial areas along Cannifton Road as well as the future site of the Quinte Exhibition.

“We would like to thank Minister Caroline Mulroney and MPP Todd Smith for joining us for this morning’s tour,” said Panciuk. “The City of Belleville has been advocating for the Belleville East Arterial Road for many years. As our industrial park continues to grow at a rapid rate, the need for this route is becoming increasingly important for the preservation of our roads. We appreciate Minister Mulroney and MPP Smith taking time out of their busy schedules to view the route and listen to our City’s needs.”

Later, they travelled into Prince Edward County via County 49 to meet local officials at the town hill to learn more about how the County intends to improve safety via a provincial Connecting Links grant of up to $266,844.  Following that, Mayor Steve Ferguson and local OPP detachment commander Staff Sgt. John Hatch shared their ideas for safety improvements at the intersection of Hwy 62 and County Rd. 1.

Ferguson was pleased to have the opportunity for further dialogue.

“We have enjoyed fruitful conversations with Minister Mulroney during delegation meetings at past municipal conferences about longstanding issues that we have been working to address. We are grateful she took the time to continue those conversations here today in Prince Edward County,” said Ferguson.

“It is my hope that after travelling County Rd. 49 Minister Mulroney better understands the current state of the road and the importance of provincial funding to move the rehabilitation project forward. We were able to show her our concerns with the intersection of Hwy 62 and County Rd 1. We also welcomed the opportunity to explain to the Minister the improvements that will take place at the Picton Town Hill this fall thanks in part to the provincial funding through the Connecting Links programming."

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE

  • Learn more about transportation planning in Ontario at mto.gov.on.ca/english/about/planning/

 


Ontario provides $171,500 to Quinte Home Builders’ Association to support skilled trades

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, AUG. 20, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE – The Ontario government is supporting an initiative which will help promote construction trades in the region and will provide an opportunity to connect people with information and education on careers in construction trades.  This will aid in promoting the viability of careers in local construction trades while contributing to the long-term success of the local economy and aid Ontario’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that the Quinte Home Builders’ Association (QHBA) will receive $171,500 from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) for its’ One Stop Shop Skilled Trades Website and Build Your Home in the Bay of Quinte project.

“Promoting the trades amongst underrepresented groups and matching skilled labour to meet the needs of local employers is critical to the growth and sustainability of our region’s economy as we continue to recover from COVID-19,” said Minister Smith. “This project will help to develop an online local resource for job seekers, employers and other stakeholders, promote the trades as a career of choice, and promote living and working in trades in the region.”

Ruth Estwick, the Chief Executive Officer of the QHBA, explained that member construction employers across the region are experiencing labour shortages, and it is the role of the QHBA as the industry’s advocate to promote the trades as a career choice to all, and especially to underrepresented groups.

“There are so many benefits of working in in our industry and we want to ensure that we play a role in changing the perception of what it is like to work in a construction trade and attempting to remove barriers to employment for unrepresented groups is a significant part of that,” Estwick said. “This project will seek to connect people to jobs, and jobs to people, while providing a wealth of information and education to those seeking to learn more about a career in the trades. We also hope to encourage existing trades to discover what it’s like to work and live in this beautiful region.”

QHBA President Jon Van Huizen is extremely proud of the work the Association has done to bring to light the tremendous need for skilled tradespeople in our region.

“We are so proud of the investment by the Ontario government into this project which will help connect people to the information they need to start an exciting and well-paying career in the trades,” said Van Huizen. “Our industry is one of those sectors which provides critical work and economic benefits to the community, and skilled tradespeople are a key component of our industry’s workforce. When you add the benefits of living and working in this beautiful region, it is a win, win situation for everyone.”

“This important project will enhance all the great work the Association does in the skilled trades space and we are excited to launch it,” said Brad Newbatt, the Skilled Trades Advisory Group Chair.  “Skilled tradespeople are retiring at alarming rates in our region and filling those jobs would be difficult without the promotion of trades as a well-paying career option. This project will engage youth, women and other underrepresented groups to consider a skilled trade for their career choice and will assist our industry in closing the growing labour gap.”

Funding comes as part of the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the province’s 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.

"Across Ontario, there are well-paying and rewarding jobs that are waiting to be filled, including good jobs here in Bay of Quinte,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “By training people with the right skills we giving them a hand up to starting life-long careers and earning bigger paycheques for their families.”

 QUICK FACTS

  • Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
  • According to Statistics Canada, more than 500,000 people were employed in construction in Ontario in 2020.
  • The median hourly wage rate of constructions supervisors in Ontario in 2020 was $36.20 per hour.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, there were 13,380 job vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario, up from 11,075 in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE