July 2021 Newsletter

2021 July Newsletter

Stan Cho

Well, July has been a busy month! 

From celebrating the re-opening of the state-of-the-art, Union Station, breaking ground at the Scarborough subway extension, growing the greenbelt, and the announcement of the Yonge North subway expansion to Richmond Hill, it has been a busy July!

Like many Ontarians, I spent a lot of time in my youth visiting Ontario Place. Shuttered since 2012, we recently announced plans for a newly designed, world-class Ontario Place! Three major new attractions will be added:

  • Therme Group is building Therme Canada | Ontario Place, a family-friendly, all-season destination offering something for all ages, including pools, waterslides, botanical spaces to relax, as well as sports performance and recovery services. Outside, people will enjoy more than eight acres of free, publicly accessible gathering spaces, parkland, gardens and beaches.
  • Live Nation is redeveloping the existing amphitheatre into a modern, year-round indoor-outdoor live music and performance venue that will attract world-class artists and events. Protecting the iconic amphitheatre lawns, the new venue will have an expanded capacity of 20,000 in the summer and close to 9,000 in the winter, offering a unique indoor-outdoor experience with operable exterior walls to accommodate events, rain or shine.
  • Écorécréo Group is building an affordable, all-season adventure park for all ages. This new, environmentally friendly attraction will include aerial obstacle courses, net-based aerial adventures, ziplines, climbing walls, escape rooms and many other activities. Écorécréo Group will also operate Segway, quad-cycle, canoe and kayak rentals at the site.

Here is an artist’s rendition of what Ontario Place will look like:

Here are some recent government announcements:

Ontario Ramping up Efforts to Reduce Surgical Wait Times

Our 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, as part of a wider, comprehensive surgical recovery plan to provide patients with the care they need. This plan will enable Ontario’s health care system to perform up to 67,000 additional surgeries and procedures as well as up to 135,000 more diagnostic imaging hours to address wait times for surgeries and procedures, improve access to care and support the government’s commitment to end hallway health care.

Making it Easier to Renew your Documents

Now, renewing your important documents including licence plate stickers, driver’s licenses and health cards will be easier as people will be able to receive digital reminders.

Ontarians can now choose to receive emails, texts or voicemails up to 60 days in advance of their renewal date. Once they receive their digital reminder, customers can renew their documents through ServiceOntario.ca, where over 40 transactions are available online 24/7. Ontarians can sign up for digital reminders today at Ontario.ca/Reminders.

The launch of digital reminders and the continued enhancement of ServiceOntario’s digital service delivery is part of Ontario’s commitment to improving the way people and businesses interact with the government.

Ontario Helping 100,000 Workers Train for In-Demand Jobs

Our government is investing $5.8 million in free online training from LinkedIn to help 100,000 workers gain the skills they need to find good jobs and restart their careers. Courses will focus on building skills most in-demand by employers in fields such as the skilled trades, information technology and business administration.

Workers will have access to over 17,000 courses from LinkedIn Learning taught by global industry experts. Employment Ontario career experts will coach each worker on which courses match their needs and career goals.

Ontario Youth Environment Council

Youth in Grades 9 to 12 are encouraged to share their insights and ideas on climate change and other key environment issues impacting the province’s future. Ontario high school students are encouraged to apply to be volunteer members of the council by August 4.

Ontario Helping Small Businesses Establish Online Presence

Our government is investing $10 million towards the Digital Main Street program for 2021-22 to help up to 13,000 small businesses expand their digital presence and market their services online.

In addition to Digital Main Street, the Ontario government is working to gather information on how to best continue supporting small businesses through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ontario-based accounting firm FreshBooks. The MOU will help small business customers and entrepreneurs by using its data to help identify weaknesses and gaps that government programs can address to help more small businesses recover and grow.

Ontario Invests Over $1.9 million to Protect and Restore the Great Lakes

Our government has selected 44 community-based projects to receive $1.9 million in funding through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund, which supports local projects that protect and restore coastal, shoreline and nearshore areas of the Great Lakes.

The 44 projects are led by community-based organizations, municipalities, conservation authorities and Indigenous communities and organizations across the province. Projects were selected following a competitive review process.

Finally, I would like to give a special shout-out to local Willowdale resident, Kelly Jackson. Kelly is the author of the children’s book, “Our Canada: A year with Canuck Kids”. This book showcases the experiences of nine children across the country, including a 13-year-old who came to Canada as a refugee from Syria and our very own Willowdale student. It’s a great way for our youth to learn about the backgrounds of children whose parents come from other parts of the world. The book provides a greater representation of our community and promotes a message of inclusivity and diversity. Net proceeds of the book sales go to the Blossom Fund at Humber College that supports students with disabilities and mental health challenges.

Ways to get vaccinated

The virus and new variants of the virus continue to remain a real threat, so please continue to follow all public health guidelines.

Stay safe and Go Team Canada!