December 2019 E-NewsletterPublished on December 06, 2019
From The Desk of Your MPP
As the month of December is here, I am hoping everyone will take advantage of the holiday season and spend some quality time with their family and friends.
We had an early winter in November with some snowfall and low temperatures and the days are also getting a lot shorter as nightfall comes too quick. The winter weather will be back soon but this time we will have the holiday season to warm our hearts with.
To those celebrating the birth of Jesus, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas in advance. Christmas is another great time for families to pray, have meals and exchange gifts. Our office will be having a Christmas open house on Saturday, December 14 from 1 PM to 4 PM. Light refreshments will be provided, I look forward to meeting you and spending some quality time.
As the end of the year approaches, the time to self reflect has come. We should all reflect on the past year so that we can understand, and learn about the goals we did meet and continue planning for the goals we want to achieve in the future. With the holiday season families always get together and I’m sure you will all take this opportunity to do some reflection alongside the celebrations and festivities. From the words of the great Danish philosopher Kierkegaard “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
We, as a community are making great progress, more jobs have been created in Ontario, free dental care for seniors is in effect. However, we must always keep in mind that there is a lot to achieve.
Let's all work together to make Mississauga-Malton an amazing place to live, play and grow. Let's all work together to take Mississauga-Malton forward and have a blessed 2020.
Queen's Park Update
Launch of Free Dental Care for Low-Income Seniors
Each year in Ontario, preventable dental issues like gum disease, infections, and chronic pain lead to more than 60,000 emergency department visits by patients, of which a significant portion are seniors. Many low-income seniors face challenges accessing regular dental care because they cannot afford it, impacting their overall well-being.
This is why the government is investing approximately $90 million annually for the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP), which will provide free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors across the province. Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
Seniors can use the newly launched, user-friendly web portal (ontario.ca/SeniorsDental) to apply to the program. Eligible seniors can also pick up an application form at a local public health unit.
Seniors Active Living Centre Grants for Mississauga-Malton
The government is investing $14.1 million in more than 300 seniors active living centers program in communities all across the province to co-ordinate and deliver local supports and programs that will benefit seniors. This funding will go a long way in helping seniors access programs and services where they live.
I am pleased to announce that Frank Mckechnie Community Centre and Malton Community Centre have both received $52,727 from the government to invest in programs for seniors. These will include physical fitness activities, social outings, educational programs, and wellness programs.
I would encourage seniors in the riding to take advantage of these opportunities to stay active and socially connected.
Getting Mississauga-Malton Moving
The government is investing $640 million to widen 18 kilometres of Highway 401 from Mississauga to Milton, which will shorten commute times and encourage investment and job creation.
Work has begun to widen 18 kilometres of the highway from the Credit River in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton and includes reconstruction of bridges as well as upgrades to support facilities and features. Drivers can expect to use the expanded highway by 2022.
Premiers Meet in Mississauga
Canada's provincial and territorial leaders convened in Mississauga on December 2 at the council of the federation meeting to discuss how governments across Canada can work together with the federal government on priorities that matter to all Canadians. The agenda included discussions on infrastructure, health care, and economic development, including enhancing economic competitiveness and expanding international trade. Ontario's Premier joined his provincial counterparts in calling on the federal government to fund the building of critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and transit, to get people and goods moving.
Ontario is making the single largest capital investment in the new subway build in Canadian history and the province has submitted over 350 projects to the federal government's Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
The council of the Federation also continued to call on the federal government to increase the Canada Health Transfer by 5.2% annually in order to provide the provinces with the flexibility needed to deliver the care patients need and deserve.
Take Your Kids to Work Day
On November 6, it was my honour to take my daughter Suvidhi, a Grade 9 student, to my workplace – Queen’s Park. She had the chance to meet my colleagues, my boss and learn more about what I do.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Take Our Kids To Work Day – the most recognized career education event in Canada. An estimated 200,000 students visit workplaces across the country every year.
The First-ever Ontario Health Team is in Mississauga
The province is introducing Ontario Health Teams, a new model of care that brings together health care providers to work as one team.
It is a matter of great pride that our city has been chosen for the rollout of one of the first 24 teams in the province. The Mississauga Ontario Health Team, known as Mississauga Health, will create a connected system of care from prenatal, birth to end-of-life care. Mississauga Health will integrate services from primary care, home care, community care, and hospital care to create a seamless system for patients, families, and caregivers.
As it continues its work to integrate care, Mississauga Health will put in place 24/7 navigation and care coordination services for patients and families. Patients will receive these services through their integrated primary care teams and the broader Ontario Health Team partners. This work will be implemented in phases and over time will provide care for everyone within Mississauga Health's population. These new services are aimed at supporting patients and families including those people with complex medical or social needs.
The Mississauga Ontario Health Team will begin implementing some of their proposed programs and services in 2020 and will communicate with patients and families about the changes and improvements they can expect in their community.
I am excited to see these changes in action and believe it will go a long way in improving the quality of our healthcare by building a connected system focused on patient needs first.
Town Hall Meeting at the Frank McKechnie Community Centre
On Friday, November 8, we had our bi-monthly Town Hall meeting at the Frank McKechnie Community Centre.
I went over many updates including the upcoming rollout in December of the province’s plan to provide free dental care to qualifying seniors, and the funding allocation for new childcare spaces at Lancaster Public School. I also explained the cellphone ban that is being enforced in classrooms, what it entails and the ratification of the contract with education workers. I went over the funding received by the Malton Community Centre and Frank McKechnie Community Centre, and the new investment of $3 million as part of the government’s push to combat gun and gang violence as well.
The guest speakers for the meeting were representatives from SafeCity Mississauga and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 873 (IATSE 873). SafeCity focused on the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch, and their plans to set up Malton's first Neighbourhood watch on Keenan Crescent. IATSE 873 spoke about the production side of the film and television industries and the great scope for employment in Mississauga-Malton in this field, given the opening of the new CBS studio in the riding. For more information about SafeCity Mississauga and IATSE 873, please contact our office.
We concluded the meeting with an extended question and answer session, with questions on the provincial government’s autism policy, the rising auto insurance rates and housing prices, job creation and community safety.
Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting! I look forward to seeing everyone at our next town hall in January.
Statements in the House
Legislative Assembly of Ontario's Page Program
Each year approximately 150 young students from across Ontario are selected to participate in Ontario's Legislative Page Program. This unique educational experience for Ontario students attending grades 7 or 8 provides an opportunity to experience the provincial legislature in action and forge new lifelong friendships with peers from all over the province!
The program is designed for outgoing, high-achieving, community-involved students who have demonstrated responsibility and leadership. Legislative Pages meet key parliamentary and political figures and learn first-hand about Ontario’s Parliament and the legislative process. While at Queen’s Park, they are under the direction of the Page Program Coordinator who is a certified Ontario teacher. Pages receive an honorarium of $15.00 per day during their term of duty.
Zakkiya Gangat and Ahmad Elbayoumi from our riding served as Pages this past year. I look forward to meeting more of our constituency youth at Queen's Park through the Page program.
For more information about the program, contact 416-325-7457 or e-mail [email protected].
Read My Monthly Mississauga News Column
Out and About in November