Ontario’s Community Transportation Grant Program supports transit in Bay of Quinte

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE – A two-year extension to Ontario’s Community Transportation Grant Program will make it easier to get around in two Quinte area municipalities, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte announced today.

Prince Edward County is eligible to receive up to $92,830.22 per year in 2023-2024 and in 2024-2025 for a total of up to $185,660.44, while Quinte West is eligible to receive up to $72,774.70 per year for a total of $145,549.41 over the same time period.  The funding is subject to executed agreements between the municipalities and the Ministry of Transportation.  This is in addition to previous allocations of $500,000 for Prince Edward County and $303,135 for Quinte West from 2018 to 2023.

“Stable funding allows municipalities to plan transportation systems to meet the needs of residents and visitors accessing services within their boundaries and across the region,” said Smith.  “By sharing these allocations through the Community Transportation Grant Program, our government is helping officials envision sustainable services and expansion that improves quality of life and aids economic growth.”

The $14-million extension of the Community Transportation Grant Program over two years builds upon an initial investment of $30 million over five years aimed at supporting local transit and intercommunity bus services in 39 communities considered unserved or underserved.

“The Community Transportation Grant Program is making life easier for people living in areas with few public transportation options, said Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation. “The additional investment in local and intercommunity transportation services will help residents – including Indigenous people, seniors, and people with disabilities – get to work, school or appointments and will give communities added security as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and plan for the future.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE

  • For a complete list of allocations, please see: news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1000417/community-transportation-grant-program-recipients-and-services.

Todd Smith named Ontario's Minister of Energy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE - Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte, was sworn in as Ontario's Minister of Energy today as Premier Doug Ford announced a cabinet shuffle.

The new role brings familiarity for Smith, who served as an Official Opposition critic on the energy file from 2015-2018.

"I know many of the players on the energy file already and I have a strong understanding of how Ontario's legacy of bad policies like the Green Energy Act continue to be costly for ratepayers," Smith said. "My top priority is to deliver energy more affordably and my background will allow me to get moving right away to find solutions."

Smith moves into the role after serving as Minister of Children, Community and Social Services since June 2019. Over the past two years, some of his highlights have included work to modernize social services delivery, developing a new needs-based Ontario Autism Program while extending funding to the most families in Ontario's history, working on a new vision for individuals within the developmental services sector, making a new $240-million commitment to support children and youth with special needs, and adding new Children's Treatment Centres in Chatham-Kent and Ottawa.

"We've made tremendous progress in service delivery over the past two years, while weathering new challenges posed by this global pandemic. I'm grateful for the collaboration with the families, stakeholder agencies and staff I've had the opportunity to work with and I believe that Ministry is well positioned for more positive developments," Smith said.

In Ontario's 42nd Parliament, Smith has also served as Government House Leader, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. He said he's looking forward to working with the newly assembled cabinet as Ontario safely emerges from COVID-19 and reopens the economy.

"Economic recovery is important for businesses and families in Bay of Quinte and across Ontario. We know that our policies have fostered strong growth in the past and we are up to the challenge to rebuild after the pandemic. I'm pleased to remain at the cabinet table and continue to work for my constituents," said Smith.


Province’s Natural Gas Expansion Program to bring services to homes, businesses in Cherry Valley area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2021

Province’s Natural Gas Expansion Program to bring services to homes, businesses in Cherry Valley area

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that approximately 152 homes and businesses in Prince Edward County will be able to connect to natural gas for the first time thanks to the Province’s Natural Gas Expansion Program.

Under Phase 2 of the program, Ontario will allocate $5,206,389 to support new connections to the natural gas distribution system and help make life more affordable in Bay of Quinte.

“Our government is making good on its promise to deliver affordable energy and expand natural gas pipelines to more communities,” said MPP Todd Smith. “Access to natural gas will help more families and businesses near Cherry Valley find energy savings, while promoting economic development and job creation across Bay of Quinte.”

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson welcomed the announcement.

“Residents and businesses have expressed their desire to see natural gas expansion occur in Prince Edward County, and we are pleased to see this move forward," said Ferguson. “Natural gas is the most common, affordable heating fuel in Ontario. The municipality fully supports the efforts of the Government of Ontario and Enbridge Gas. We look forward to working together to expand natural gas access in our community to attract new opportunities, help create jobs, and lower monthly costs for residents."

The Ontario government is committed to expanding access to natural gas across the province to help keep the cost of energy low for families, businesses and farmers. Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support approximately 8,750 connections in 43 rural, northern and Indigenous communities.

“As part of our government’s plan to make life more affordable, we prioritized broad distribution across Ontario to help as many homes and businesses keep the cost of energy low, support jobs and attract new investment,” said Bill Walker, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Energy. “With Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion program, we’re putting people first and ensuring Ontario remains open for business. This will be a game-changer for these 43 communities.”

By switching to natural gas from costlier fuel sources, the average household could save between $250 to $1,500 per year. Businesses are expected to save up to 30 per cent per year on energy costs.

“We’re thrilled that through Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program, Enbridge Gas will bring much needed and wanted natural gas in the most affordable way to more communities across Ontario, including this one,” said Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President & President, Gas Distribution & Storage, Enbridge Inc. “Natural gas is the most economic way to heat buildings and water, and we are excited to work with local officials and the community to move this project forward, so residents can benefit from the cost savings, and local businesses can be more competitive.”

Construction for projects under Phase 2 will begin as soon as this year, with all 28 expansion projects expected to be underway by the end of 2025.

QUICK FACTS

  • Phase 2 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program will allocate more than $234 million to support 28 new natural gas expansion projects from 2021 to 2026.
  • Since its launch in 2019, Phase 1 of the Natural Gas Expansion Program has supported projects that are forecasted to connect over 9,000 customers, in 16 communities, to natural gas.
  • Phase 1 and 2 projects are funded through a $1-per-month charge to existing natural gas customers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES