MPP Vijay Thanigasalam
Health and safety of Ontarians is our highest priority
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe and preparing for the festive holiday season ahead.
As we live in the midst of this pandemic and in a time of profound uncertainty, it is important for everyone to know what their government is doing for them and how it is providing help for you. To show transparency and commitment to our highest priority, the health and safety of Ontarians, earlier this month we released our budget that outlines our framework to protect, support and recover Ontario.
We know that the second wave is straining the resources of our healthcare network, workers and hospitals. We must do everything we can to help them in the vital work that they perform, and to ensure that they have the capacity to provide the care that people rightfully deserve. I am incredibly proud that our government is investing an additional $761 million to build and renovate 74 long-term-care homes in Ontario. This investment includes $25 million for Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care to build a new facility to help our seniors.
Additionally, the budget included $7.5 billion in new funding to our long-term-care sector. We know that now more than ever, patients need personal attention and care. That is why this funding will ensure that nurses and personal support workers can provide four hours of care per day per patient. This will radically help improve the health and wellbeing of our seniors. We will always ensure that no one is left behind.
While investing in long-term-care is critical, we must also remember that many elders can and wish to live in their own homes or with their families. To support this and ease the increased financial strain they face, I am delighted on the tax credit we included in the budget that allows for seniors to renovate their homes to include safety measures that help them live in their homes, such as guard railings or stair lifts, worth 25 percent of up to $10,000 in expenses.
I also want to focus on an issue that is increasingly prevalent and which I believe needs more attention. While we have done much to normalize and bring awareness to mental health, there is still much to be done. Our government recognizes the strain the pandemic has put on individuals’ mental health across the province. Isolation, loneliness and stress are all side effects of this pandemic that have had negative impacts on our mental health. Because of this, I am proud that our government is providing an additional $176 million in annual funding on mental health and addiction, which is part of the province’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy. By working together, we can help break the stigma around mental health, and provide better care for all those who need it in our communities.
I was honoured to take part in Remembrance Day commemorations held at the Highland Creek Legion Branch 258 and the Toronto Zoo. It gave us an opportunity to pause to remember the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in uniform, and all those who have made their final journey home, draped in our maple flag. I was honoured to wear a poppy and to place a wreath.
I look forward to speaking to you again soon. My office and I are always here to help. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to my office email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-283-8448.