Province supports downtown revitalization in Prince Edward County communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2022

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY – The Ontario government is building strong rural communities with investments that support modern and efficient public infrastructure and boost economic development.

Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that Prince Edward County will receive $130,000 in cost-sharing funding through the Rural Economic Development (RED) program to hire a downtown revitalization co-ordinator.  The co-ordinator will work closely with local business organizations in communities like Picton, Wellington, Consecon, Bloomfield, and Rossmore, as well as the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. The work will be influenced by the municipality’s downtown action plans – a specific plan for each downtown centre, as well as an overarching municipal plan - shaped by public consultation and partially funded through a previous RED grant.

“Businesses in our towns, villages, and hamlets are vital to our economic recovery, both here in Prince Edward County and across Ontario,” said Smith. “With a dedicated downtown revitalization co-ordinator, they can benefit from that resource through efforts like streetscape beautification, shared branding and marketing, events and promotions, and enhanced planning and networking.  This RED funding will deliver results year-round in our communities. ”

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson welcomed the partnership.

“This funding will help immensely as we seek to improve the economic, physical and social well-being of the town centres," said Ferguson. "As we continue on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to work with Business Improvement Area organizations, the local Chamber of Commerce, and other community partners to realize the full potential of our downtown areas in the years to come."

Toby Toth, a representative of the Greater Consecon Area Business Network, said the funding will benefit her community in the west end of the County.

“Over the last couple of decades, folks in and around Consecon have been very engaged with downtown development and revitalization discussions with big hopes for great things. Government support for this dedicated co-ordinator position is very exciting news,” said Toth. “Village business owners and residents alike are thrilled with the prospect of working to put good ideas into action to ensure our downtown is welcoming, safe and accessible, making it a downtown area we can be proud of – one that reflects the deep pride in place and sense of community here.”

The Government of Ontario has committed more than $15.2 million to fund more than 287 economic development projects through the RED program since 2019.  The programs help diversify local economies, retain skilled workers, and create jobs in rural communities.

“Our government is listening to the needs of rural Ontario, and we are committed to putting in place programs that will attract investment, create jobs and boost economic growth,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Investments through the Rural Economic Development Program are helping shape a strong future for our rural and Indigenous communities by helping create opportunities that boost economic growth and ensure that rural communities can attract the people and investments needed to flourish.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE

Rural Economic Development program: www.ontario.ca/page/rural-economic-development-program


Belleville receives $815,470 in provincial funding for community safety and victim supports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2022

BELLEVILLE – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that the Belleville Police Services Board will receive $614,470 through the Community Safety and Policing Grant and $200,000 through the Victim Support Grant this year to support local initiatives.  

Specifically, $343,600 from the Community Policing and Safety Grant will support front-line community stakeholders training, while $271,800 will support the hiring of a victim liaison officer.  Another $200,000 through the Victim Support Grant will go to survivor-centered services. 

 “The Belleville Police Service works tirelessly to promote safety and wellness within the city and these funding programs will give them extra support for innovative programs,” said Smith.  

Through the Community Safety and Policing Grant program, eligible police services are provided with funding to support the implementation of public safety and community policing initiatives that focus on local and provincial priorities such as community outreach programs, human trafficking and guns and gang violence. 

“Nothing is more important than the safety of Ontarians,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “Through this grant funding, we are helping build safer communities as well as ensuring Ontario’s police services have the resources they need to address the issues that matter most in their communities and do their jobs effectively.” 

Of the $267.6-million investment provincially, approximately $226 million will be provided through the local priorities funding stream to help police services address priority issues specific in their communities. These projects may include: 

  • Deploying additional frontline police officers where and when they are needed most 
  • Creating school liaison programs to raise awareness of issues such as bullying, cyber bullying, drugs, harmful substances as well as internet safety 
  • Developing community outreach programs on a variety of public safety issues including road safety, substance abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking 
  • Providing enhanced training to frontline officers and community partners on public safety issues such as mental health, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and gun and gang violence 
  • Setting up special units that provide comprehensive, survivor-centered approaches to address human trafficking or sexual violence and harassment 
  • Setting up collaborative “Situation Tables” between police and community partners to better deal with acutely elevated risks such as the opioid crisis and mental health issues 
  • Establishing and sharing intelligence gathering information such as surveillance of organized crime, covert operations, and social media monitoring of gang activity 
  • Implementing crime prevention, intervention and diversion strategies focused on youth and young adults who are at risk of entering gangs, as well as exit strategies for victims of human trafficking 
  • Purchasing new equipment that support policing operations and activities such as enhanced software/technology and/or new vehicles. 

The Province is investing $5.9 million over two years for the Victim Support Grant to support 37 projects nominated by police services working with community partners.  The funding will be used for programming such as: 

  • Establishing comprehensive wrap-around resources, supports and services for survivors and at-risk individuals through enhanced police and community partner collaboration 
  • Supporting specialized intervention programs for suspected or confirmed instances of intimate partner violence or human trafficking 
  • Providing specialized training to law enforcement (frontline officers, speciality unit officers and civilian members), support personnel and community members 
  • Increasing technology and equipment to enhance police investigation capacity, improve evidence collection, as well as provide survivors with the option to complete interviews remotely 
  • Creating environments that are culturally safe, respectful and responsive, and launching culturally responsive education and awareness campaigns to inform at-risk groups about the signs of intimate partner violence or human trafficking 

 "Intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, ages, racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds though women are three and a half times more likely than men to be victimized," said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. " “This new funding will help provide survivors and those at risk, with specialized supports and resources to ensure their safety and help rebuild their lives." 

 QUICK FACTS 

 Community Safety and Policing Grant 

  • This Community Safety and Policing Grant investment will be allocated over a three-year period: 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 to recipients and projects listed here. 
  • The maximum funding for any one initiative under the Provincial Priorities Funding Stream is $1.5 million over three years. 
  • Under the Local Priorities Funding Stream, each eligible police services board had a pre-determined allocation that they could apply for. 
  • Police services will be required to report twice a year on the financial activities and outcomes of their initiatives. 

Victim Support Grant 

  • The current two-year grant cycle under the VSG program is supported in part by the federal government’s Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, which includes a total investment of more than $65 million over five years for Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy. 
  • Current funding is for project costs incurred in 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years. The maximum funding for each project is $200,000 (i.e., $100,000 per funding year). 
  • All municipal and First Nation police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police were eligible to apply for funding through the VSG program. 

Quinte West receives $245,179 in provincial funding for community safety initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2022

QUINTE WEST– Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced today that the Quinte West Police Services Board will receive $245,179 through the Community Policing and Safety Grant this year to support two community safety initiatives.

An $182,679 grant will support “Enhancing partnerships with community resources to enable robust wraparoun support for reducing unnecessary police interactions.”  The project will see the Quinte West OPP build on existing partnerships with St. Leonard’s Intersectional Program, Victim Assistance, and Addictions and Mental Health Service Hastings-Prince Edward to expand police capability to appropriate resources, allowing partner agencies to staff programs for referrals and provide additional hours for a dedicated mental health officer.

A $62,500 grant will support a pair of pilot projects: a mobile community resource unit and a wellness expo. The projects will increase first responder and public awarenss of existing mental health and addictions services, decrease stigma and promote better collaboration between agencies to reduce the need for police intervention related to mental health and addictions issues.

In May, the Quinte West OPP, the City of Quinte West, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, mental health agencies and non-profits will host a two-day wellness expo with a range of workshops, training sessions, and guest speakers targeted at mental health professionals, physicians, first responders, and employers.  Then, between June and September, the partners will provide a pop-up community resource centre between June and September with an office trailer located in the downtown core to provide programming for vulnerable individuals and raise mental health awareness.

“With a collaborative approach, the agencies serving Quinte West can be more effective in addressing mental health and addictions and reducing police intervention,” said Smith.  “These provincial grants will give the OPP, the City, and their partners additional tools to support their approach.”

Mayor Jim Harrison welcomed the announcement.

"Today's funding announcement will assist the City of Quinte West, the Quinte West O.P.P. along with our partners, in achieving the objectives of our new Community Safety and Well-being Plan and ensuring our most vulnerable residents receive the resources and support they require to stay healthy. We extend our thanks to the Province of Ontario for their support and acknowledgment of these worthwhile projects,” said Harrison.

Quinte West OPP detachment commander Insp. Christine Reive said the funds will make a difference.

“The Quinte West OPP has actively pursued partnerships with the City of Quinte West and local agencies, to address underlying issues that impact public safety. Insecure funding is a hurdle that needed to be addressed in maintaining these vital community resources," said Reive. “We are proud to work alongside St. Leonard’s Community Services, Victim Assistance and Addictions and Mental Health, as well as the many groups participating in the Community Safety and Well-being Planning. These grants will allow us to continue our forward momentum as we work towards better solutions for our vulnerable citizens.”

Through the Community Safety and Policing Grant program, eligible police services are provided with funding to support the implementation of public safety and community policing initiatives that focus on local and provincial priorities such as community outreach programs, human trafficking and guns and gang violence.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of Ontarians,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “Through this grant funding, we are helping build safer communities as well as ensuring Ontario’s police services have the resources they need to address the issues that matter most in their communities and do their jobs effectively.”

Of the $267.6-million investment provincially, approximately $226 million will be provided through the local priorities funding stream to help police services address priority issues specific in their communities. These projects may include:

  • Deploying additional frontline police officers where and when they are needed most
  • Creating school liaison programs to raise awareness of issues such as bullying, cyber bullying, drugs, harmful substances as well as internet safety
  • Developing community outreach programs on a variety of public safety issues including road safety, substance abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking
  • Providing enhanced training to frontline officers and community partners on public safety issues such as mental health, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and gun and gang violence.
  • Setting up special units that provide comprehensive, survivor-centered approaches to address human trafficking or sexual violence and harassment.
  • Setting up collaborative “Situation Tables” between police and community partners to better deal with acutely elevated risks such as the opioid crisis and mental health issues.
  • Establishing and sharing intelligence gathering information such as surveillance of organized crime, covert operations, and social media monitoring of gang activity.
  • Implementing crime prevention, intervention and diversion strategies focused on youth who are at risk of entering gangs, as well as exit strategies for victims of human trafficking.
  • Purchasing new equipment that support policing operations and activities such as enhanced software/technology and/or new vehicles.

QUICK FACTS

  • This Community Safety and Policing Grant investment will be allocated over a three-year period: 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 to recipients and projects listed here.
  • The maximum funding for any one initiative under the Provincial Priorities Funding Stream is $1.5 million over three years.
  • Under the Local Priorities Funding Stream, each eligible police services board had a pre-determined allocation that they could apply for.
  • Police services will be required to report twice a year on the financial activities and outcomes of their initiatives.