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MPP Report ~ February 2021

This newsletter reports on what was a very busy month. I have attended many informative meetings regarding our local economy and was pleased to host a roundtable meeting on volunteer services in Kanata and West Carleton.
 

Featured below is the information on a Community Volunteer Roundtable Discussion and the release of the follow-up report. I am reassured by the constructive ideas presented at the roundtable. We have many driven and caring volunteers and our community is much richer for their efforts. Thank you to all roundtable participants and to the many volunteer organizations who have discussed their plans for 2021. I look forward to continuing my work supporting the tremendous network of volunteers who serve our community.
 
In the newsletter you can find background information on the Province’s health and safety plans as well as the news of investments made in health care. I touch on the pre-budget consultations with Ontario’s Finance Minister and on the support of the government for the business community.
 
Let me take this opportunity to provide two important information links for your reference:
1) You can follow the progress of the vaccination efforts at this Ontario Government webpage: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario
2) My website has coordinates for information and health care services in our community:
https://www.merrileefullerton.ca/information_and_resources_page
Please share these links with all who wish to be updated on our local COVID-19 news.
 
Please connect if I can be of service. My best regards,


P.S. - Stay informed of COVID-19 news from the Ontario Government.

The Community Volunteer Roundtable Discussion brought together a total of 12 representatives from Kanata and West Carleton volunteer organizations. The facilitated discussion included insights gained about volunteerism through the pandemic in 2020, plans to re-engage volunteers and the public this year, and a review of possible next steps for our local volunteer groups.
 
An important exchange in the meeting was when the organizations shared their thoughts on pivoting from last year to re-connecting with their valued volunteers and with the public. This roundtable discussion is a good springboard for all local volunteer groups to think about how they might make the most of 2021.
 
Read more about the roundtable discussion: MPP Fullerton Hosts Roundtable on Volunteerism in Our Community
Read about the outcomes of the roundtable: MPP Releases Community Volunteer Roundtable Discussion Report
In July 2019 the Kanata-Carleton Community Volunteer Initiative was released to begin a community dialogue on the benefits of volunteerism. My objective is to encourage greater volunteer engagement in our community and provide information to get residents involved with volunteer activities that interest them.
 
Since the volunteer initiative’s inception, more than three dozen volunteer organizations have been involved in an exchange of ideas and information. I hosted the first community volunteer roundtable in January 2020. Read my original volunteer document: Kanata-Carleton Community Volunteer Initiative.
This month the Province transitioned 27 Ontario Public Health Regions into a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework. The framework has five levels that identify trends of key indicators including lower transmission of COVID-19, improving hospital capacity, and available public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management.

For details of the new framework and to understand the health and safety measures implemented for our health region, read this outline and follow the links:  Public Health Units to Return to the COVID-19 Response Framework.
The Ontario Government has now administered over 500,000 vaccine doses. The Province is implementing a vaccination program that will ensure the most vulnerable are the first to receive doses from the federal government. Despite the many ongoing vaccine delays and reduced shipments, our Province is making progress – and has vaccinated more than all other Canadian jurisdictions. 

Read more about the Province’s vaccination program: COVID-19 Vaccines in Ontario.
The Ontario Government announced more than $4.1 million will be invested to train 373 new Personal Support Workers. This funding will ensure Ontario has more PSWs to provide the best care for seniors and residents in long-term care homes, while connecting people with meaningful work.
 
At the Provincial announcement I stated: “Personal Support Workers are the backbone of long-term care and do important work to ensure that our loved ones receive the quality of care they need and deserve. Modernizing long-term care means making it a better place for residents to live, and a better place for staff to work, which we will achieve through coordinated partnerships and programs across government."
 
Learn more about this important investment: Ontario Supports Training of Hundreds of Personal Support Workers.

[BREAKING NEWS: Ontario Is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers in an accelerated PSW Training Program. Read the Provincial News Release.] 
The Ontario Government has introduced a provincial antigen screening program for the expansion of rapid testing in high priority settings -- such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, essential workplaces, schools, and congregate living settings. The six-point variant action plan enhances the existing efforts to detect, track, trace, and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.

Learn more: Ontario Takes Immediate Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 Variants.

This month I met with the Kanata North Business Association leadership to receive an update and discuss the current issues facing our local high tech community. My appreciation goes to Board Chair Vicki Coughey, President and Executive Director Jamie Petten, COO Victoria McGlone and for the discussion on advances being made in the Kanata North business community.

To support the local business scene, I am working from a framework to profile and advance Kanata and West Carleton business interests at Queen’s Park. Here is a direct link to the Kanata-Carleton's High Tech & Business Initiative. For the latest on this initiative, here is a direct link to the Fall 2020 Snapshot Report of Kanata-Carleton's High Tech & Business Initiative.

(The photo is from a pre-COVID meeting in Fall 2019.)

Kanata resident Aditi Sivakumar has been recognized for her tremendous volunteer efforts with the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism. This provincial distinction was awarded to Aditi for her community contributions as a young leader and her passionate advocacy for vulnerable and underserved groups. Read more about Aditi and this award here: Kanata Volunteers Recognized with June Callwood Award.
Lunar New Year ushered in the year of the Ox. For all our local Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese families who celebrated the new year in February, may the year bring optimism & happiness. I was very pleased to be part of a virtual celebration and would like to thank Logan Kanapathi for inviting me to participate in the evening’s ceremonies.
 
May the year of the Ox bring strength and many blessings.
In a series of virtual meetings, community leaders and business owners participated in the 2021 Ontario Budget consultations with Ontario’s Finance Minister. The Minister's pre-budget meetings included presentations from Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson (above photo), Invest Ottawa, Kanata North Business Association, among others.
As more businesses begin to re-open, the Ontario Government is offering small business owners numerous workplace safety and educational resources. The materials help explain rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act to protect workers and customers from COVID-19. Small businesses can take advantage of online tools and calculators, educational videos, scheduled zoom information sessions, and an electronic policy manual. For more information: Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act.

If your small business has been affected by the provincewide shutdowns, you may be eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. A business can receive a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help with costs of PPEs and protective equipment, property taxes, energy bills, or extra support if the business has had to restrict services because of public health measures. For more information:  Applications Now Open for Ontario’s Small Business Support Grant.

Stay connected and stay informed. Make it a habit to visit the news pages on my MPP website to get the latest details on provincial news, programs and services that impact our Kanata-Carleton community. Visit: https://www.merrileefullerton.ca/news.

Please do not hesitate to connect. I am only a phone call or email away. 

YOUR VOICE WITH THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT -- I am here to serve the residents of Kanata-Carleton when you need help with provincial programs and services: 
  • if you need help with your driver’s licence, Ontario photo card, health card, birth certificate, name changes, or marriage certificate
  • if someone you know would like to receive a certificate for birthday, milestone anniversary, or congratulatory occasion 
  • if you have a concern and would like to arrange a meeting or have me visit your organization or place of business 
My contact information is below - and it is also found on my website - MerrileeFullerton.ca.


Please Stay Connected
 
Visit the local Community Office Website or the Provincial Legislative Website.
 
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Phone: 613-599-3000  |  Email: merrilee.fullerton@pc.ola.org
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Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP
Kanata-Carleton Community Office
240 Michael Cowpland Dr., Suite 100
Kanata, ON  K2M 1P6

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