COVID-19 Update for March 4 – 3:30PM

March 4, 2021

Minister Elliott increasing mental-health services for Indigenous peoples and communities
Ontario is announcing a $12.8 million commitment to expand and enhance culturally-safe mental health and addiction services for Indigenous individuals and communities.

This funding announced by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott along with Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo as part of the $176 million provided this year for the Roadmap to Wellness plan, will build an accessible, client-centred, culturally-sensitive system and improve quality of care by merging traditional Indigenous knowledge with healthcare best practices.

Details regarding the allocation of this funding and the expansion of targeted programs focused on Indigenous children and youth can be found here.

Canada’s premiers reiterate call for increased federal healthcare funding
In a joint news conference, premiers repeated their desire for the federal government to increase the federal government’s contribution to the Canadian Health Transfer from 22% to 35% in the next budget.

Provinces and territories currently provide 78% of healthcare funding and premiers state the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated an ability to improve their healthcare partnership with the provinces, citing long wait times, aging populations, increasing long-term care needs, and a “post-pandemic pile up” of backlogged surgeries as services that will require additional economic support.

You can read more here.

Additional COVID-19 relief funding for municipalities
Ontario announced another $500 million in COVID-19 relief funding for all 444 municipalities to address operating pressures and aid in economic recovery.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board, and Graydon Smith, Association of Municipalities of Ontario President and Mayor of Bracebridge said this funding is intended to help municipalities plan for the year ahead, proceed with planned capital projects, and address the impacts of COVID-19 in 2020-2021 operating budgets.

This investment is in addition to the Safe Restart Agreement negotiated between Premier Ford and the federal government.

More information can be found here.

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