October 2023 Community Update Welcome to my community newsletter. Fall is in the air and legislators are back at work at Queen’s Park.
Need help? See my website to plan your visit: Contact-MPP Ted Hsu .
Here’s what you can find in this month’s issue:
- RCMP Criminal Investigation
- 7000 Page FOI Document
- Bill 135 Convenient Care Act
- Meeting with OMA
- Written Questions
- Marine Transportation Strategy
- Statement on the Ongoing Conflict in Gaza
In Our Community
- Remembrance Day Events
- Youth Council Applications
- OTF – Loving Spoonful Cooking Connections
- Ontario Trillium Fund Applications
Warm regards, Ted
Here are some of the big stories from Ontario over the last month.
RCMP Criminal Investigation
Photo Courtesy of CBC
On October 10, 2023, the RCMP opened a criminal investigation into the Government of Ontario and the Greenbelt scandal. The investigation is led by the Sensitive and International Investigations (SII) unit which, amongst other things, investigates “elected officials, Senators or Executives of the Federal government on allegations of fraud, financial crimes, corruption and breach of trust.” While no criminal charges have been filed against the Premier, any Minister (current or former), or any other current or former members of staff, the opening of an investigation suggests that there is sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. What occurred during the Greenbelt scandal was nothing short of a corrupt process. I, and my colleagues, have called on the Government of Ontario to ensure that any legal fees incurred are not paid for by the people of Ontario.
7000 Page Freedom of Information Document
Photo Courtesy of Global News
On October 30, 2023, a 7,000 page Freedom of Information document was released. This document revealed several instances where the Office of the Premier was involved in changing Official Plans for municipalities, including some lands that would be removed from the Greenbelt. There were notes from the former chief of staff to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing which acknowledged that there would be blowback from the plan to develop the Greenbelt. He even told everyone to “keep your mouth shut.” During his investigation into the Premier of Ontario, the Integrity Commissioner identified that there were no contraventions of the Member’s Integrity Act. During his interview, the Premier stated that he knew nothing about what his office, or the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, was up to when it came to plans to develop the Greenbelt. Yet, emails and meeting notes indicate that people in his office were aware. On October 31, I asked the Premier whether he should step down, like the former Housing Minister did, for losing control of his office. I also questioned the Premier when he made the claim that the Government was “ethical.”
Bill 135: Convenient Care Act
On October 4th, the Ontario government proposed the Convenient Care at Home Act. It would assign the responsibility for connecting people to home care services to Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), groups of providers and organizations that are accountable for delivering care to defined subsets of Ontario residents. The Act would set up a new organization known as Ontario Health atHome which would be tasked with coordinating all home care services across Ontario via OHTs. One potential impact is that the current service provider organizations could incur a one-time administrative cost when existing contracts transfer from Local Health Integration Networks to Ontario Health atHome. The Act’s aim is to make it easier for Ontarians to connect to home care services.
Meeting with the Ontario Medical Association
Earlier in October I had the opportunity to meet with local representatives from the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) during their annual Queen’s Park Day. The meeting focused on the newly released report, Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ Solutions for Immediate Action, which contains eleven solutions designed to address three urgent priorities: fixing the crisis in primary care, addressing physician burnout and expanding and integrating home and community-based care.
On October 16th, 2023, I had the opportunity to table two written questions in the House. The first was directed at the Minister of Infrastructure and inquired whether there were metrics in place to evaluate the success of Therme Group in supporting the future of the Ontario Science Centre at Ontario Place. My second question asked for the projected dollar costs of moving the Science Centre and the impact of the move on education outreach and community engagement.
Marine Transportation Strategy
The Ontario government is implementing the first-ever marine transportation strategy: The Future of the Great Lakes Economy: Ontario’s Marine Transportation Strategy. This strategy comprises more than 14 short and long-term actions, playing a pivotal role in strengthening connections for industry stakeholders, bolstering our local economy by attracting and retaining more workers, and advancing Ontario’s climate initiatives through low-carbon emissions and alternative fuel technologies. I’ve been working in sustainable energy for nearly 15 years, and I’m pleased to see the government’s transition away from fossil fuels to better align with the needs of our growing marine industry. To learn more, please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/marine-transportation-strategy.
Statement on the Ongoing Conflict in Gaza
The recent attacks in Israel and Palestine are deeply distressing. View my latest statement on the conflict here: Statement on Conflict in Gaza. For the most up-to-date information, I encourage people to visit the Government of Canada website.
In Our Community
Remembrance Day Events
Each year on Remembrance Day I welcome the opportunity to honour the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country and acknowledge our shared responsibility to maintain the peace they fought hard to achieve. This year my staff and I will be attending the City of Kingston’s Civic Service of Remembrance, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 ceremony, Providence Manor’s Remembrance Day Ceremony and the ceremony on Wolfe Island organized by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. See the link below for more information of the events planned locally.
Remembrance Day Civic Ceremony – City of Kingston
Youth Council Applications
Applications are now open for my Constituency Youth Advisory Council! This is an exciting opportunity for high school students to get involved in their community, gain volunteer hours, and make a difference on a provincial level. An emphasis will be placed on having the youth council involved in my legislative work, which could include drafting petitions, written order paper questions, motions, and bills. Please share this exciting opportunity with any young people you know who may be interested in getting involved.
Applications close on November 10. Apply here
OTF – Loving Spoonful Cooking Connections
One of my staff members attended the Ontario Trillium Fund (OTF) recognition event for Loving Spoonful’s Cooking Connections-Overcoming Stigma program. The grant has allowed Loving Spoonful to continue to offer this unique eight-week workshop series that brings people living with mental health and/or substance use disorders out of isolation by combining cooking and eating together with the Overcoming Stigma workshops. I am particularly interested in this program as social connections are a key factor in good overall health and wellbeing and food is such a powerful connector. Keep up the great work Loving Spoonful!
Ontario Trillium Fund Grant Applications
Have a community project that needs funding? Check out what Ontario Trillium Fund (OTF) grants may be available to you. The mission of the OTF is to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario by investing in community-based initiatives and strengthening the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. Applications are now open for the Youth Opportunities Fund, Capital Grant, Grow Grant and See Grant. You can learn more about the OTF and the funding opportunities available here:
Grant Application Deadlines | Ontario Trillium Foundation (otf.ca)