Chapter 1, Section E: A Plan to Build Ontario Together: By Building Healthier and Safer Communities


The government has a plan to build healthier and safer communities by improving patient-centred health care and creating supportive environments that are tailored to the needs of communities. It is investing wisely and promoting strategies that meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable Ontarians, such as seniors and children. The Province is also committed to protecting and preserving the environment for communities to thrive in.

The challenges facing Ontario’s health care sector are daunting. Ontario’s hospitals are overcrowded and reaching a breaking point. People are forced to receive care in hospital hallways and are left stranded in beds when they could be better cared for in their own homes.

That is why the government is taking swift action to end hallway health care by making investments in hospitals and home and community care providers, while also supporting those struggling with mental health and addiction challenges.

The government’s plan will ensure that Ontario families receive timely access to high-quality health care services, while continuing to focus crucial health care tax dollars on direct front-line care so that people get the quality services they deserve, when and where they need them.

To build safer communities, the government is providing the funding and tools that police need to fight gun and gang violence, help prevent human trafficking and keep violent criminals off the streets.

The government is committed to making sure that every family can feel safe and supported in all aspects of their lives at home and in their community.

Building Healthier Families and Communities

Investing in Front-Line Care

Access to publicly funded health care is fundamental to the shared understanding of what it means to be an Ontarian and a Canadian. Various factors, including an aging population with complex care needs, are creating the need for transformational change to ensure a health care system that is strong and sustainable for people today and for future generations.

The government is delivering this change with the creation of Ontario Health, the Province’s new central health agency. As a single agency and a central point of accountability, Ontario Health is working towards integrating six health agencies and 14 Local Health Integration Networks, eliminating duplicative administration and reinvesting savings in front-line care. Ontario Health will bring together responsibility for health care delivery, and improved clinical guidance and support for providers to ensure people get the quality of care they deserve.

Improving Access to Health Care

Ontario’s health care system is large and complex, and many patients, families, caregivers and providers find it confusing, inconvenient and challenging to navigate. In particular, patients experience fragmented care as they transition from one provider to the next. Integrated care is critical to improving patient care, experience and outcomes, and ending hallway health care. The goal is to create better, faster, more connected care for patients, regardless of where they are in their health care journey. Announced in February 2019, the establishment of Ontario Health Teams will provide a new way of organizing and delivering care that is more closely linked to patients in their local communities. Under Ontario Health Teams, health care providers (including hospitals, clinicians, home and community care providers, and mental health professionals) will work as one coordinated team, enabling patients to easily access and navigate the system.

The phased transition to a system-wide Ontario Health Team model is already underway with the initial group of Ontario Health Team candidate applications submitted and assessed. Community and provider interest have been very positive with more than 150 submissions covering more than 1,000 service providers. The first wave of Ontario Health Teams will be identified in fall 2019.

Supporting Ontario’s Hospitals

People in Ontario are often left waiting for treatment in hospital hallways and many face difficulty accessing the treatment they need. In particular, small- and medium-sized hospitals have been historically faced with unique challenges. This is why the Province is making a $68‑million investment in small- and medium-sized and multi-site hospitals to help achieve Ontario’s commitment to end hallway health care. New funding, which is in addition to the $384 million that was announced in the 2019 Budget, will help maintain critical hospital capacity and help hospitals respond to increased demand in communities across the province.

Additional funding will help ensure the people of Ontario can receive timely access to high-quality health care in their communities, reducing the need for patients to travel across the province, the country or the border to receive care. This investment will also help fund medical procedures and reduce wait times. The funding will improve viability and sustainability of hospital operations, protect core services and help end hallway health care.

Table 1.2
Examples of Small- and Medium-Sized and Multi-Site Hospitals Receiving Additional Funding
Region Hospital Funding Increases in 2019–20
Greater Toronto Area Casey House Hospice $86,000
Greater Toronto Area Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital $510,000
Central Haldimand War Memorial Hospital $133,000
Central North Wellington Health Care Corporation $170,000
Central Northumberland Hills Hospital $3,784,000
Central St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Guelph) $199,000
East Lennox and Addington County General Hospital $230,000
East Brockville General Hospital $5,562,000
East Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital $1,262,000
East St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital $1,472,000
East Quinte Healthcare Corporation $5,000,000
Southwest Bluewater Health $2,112,000
Southwest Chatham-Kent Health Alliance $1,729,000
Southwest South Bruce Grey Health Centre $327,000
Northeast St. Joseph's General Hospital Elliot Lake $222,000
Northeast Englehart and District Hospital $96,000
Northeast West Parry Sound Health Centre $1,599,000
Northwest Atikokan General Hospital $78,000
Northwest Dryden Regional Health Centre $185,000
Northwest Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. $260,000

Table 1.2 footnote:

Source: Ontario Ministry of Health.

Building Capacity to End Hallway Health Care

The government is investing in new and innovative models to create a better care experience for patients and to build more capacity within the health care system to help end hallway health care. To support this investment, the government’s capital plan includes approximately $17 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years to expand hospital infrastructure.1

Recently, the government delivered on this commitment with the opening of the new four-storey patient tower at Etobicoke General Hospital, an additional $9 million to support ongoing planning for the redevelopment project at The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus, and up to an additional $2 million to support the Hamilton Health Sciences - West Lincoln Memorial Hospital with upgrades and renovations. Additionally, the Province committed up to $75 million for the Orléans Health Hub project which will allow patients to have access to bilingual, patient centered and integrated health care programs and services.

These investments in new facilities help expand services while ensuring existing facilities are maintained in a state of good repair, so that patients and families receive excellent care when and where they need it.

Improving Long-Term Care

Photo of nurse with a long-term care resident with text: Putting residents of long-term care homes at the centre of care

The government’s commitment to investing in health care infrastructure also extends to long-term care. Investing in new long-term care beds and redeveloping existing beds is a key component in Ontario’s transformational strategy to end hallway health care and improve access to high-quality and reliable long-term care. To support this strategy the government has committed to add 15,000 new long-term care beds in five years, an increase of almost 20 per cent to the existing capacity. In addition, the government has committed to redevelop 15,000 existing beds to modern design standards, which will allow the long‐term care sector to provide more appropriate care to those with complex health conditions.

Ontario has taken swift action to deliver on its commitment by allocating 7,889 new beds, fulfilling more than 50 per cent of its commitment, and 11,727 beds are being redeveloped to modern design standards, fulfilling almost 80 per cent of its commitment.

Table 1.3
Allocation of New and Redeveloped Long-Term Care Beds to Date
Region Number of New Beds Allocated Number of Existing Beds to be Redeveloped
Central 532 1,139
Eastern 1,154 2,330
Northern 605 1,428
Southwestern 1,675 3,505
GTA 3,923 3,325
Total 7,889 11,727

Table 1.3 footnote:

Source: Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care.

While the work to modernize and increase access to long-term care is underway, the government is extending the Structural Compliance Premium while it launches consultations in fall 2019 on what a new minor capital program could look like. The government is also extending the High Wage Transition Fund as it develops a long-term care staffing strategy to meet the increasingly complex needs of long-term care residents. Lastly, the government takes Justice Gillese’s recommendations very seriously and will continue to work to address them.

Modernizing Home Care

The government is also investing in strategies and programs that will help the people of Ontario stay in their homes longer. It is taking swift action and delivering on its commitments to end hallway health care and build healthier communities. Ontario has invested $267 million in additional funding in 2019–20 to expand and better coordinate modern home and community care services to provide front-line care when and where people need it. With this additional funding the Province can provide 1.8 million more hours of personal support services, 490,000 more nursing visits and 100,000 more therapy visits. Expanded community services — including for priority populations such as Indigenous peoples and Francophones — consist of meals and transportation, caregiver supports and assisted living services in supportive housing.

These investments include $45 million in new funding for innovative integrated care models to address hallway health care in high-need areas and $63 million for existing integrated care models to improve coordinated care, including safe transitions from hospital to home. As the population grows and ages, expanded home and community services will help more Ontarians transition quickly from hospital to appropriate care at home. This will help reduce pressures on busy hospitals and shorten waitlists for long‐term care, decreasing hallway health care.

Expanding Scope of Practice

In response to a recommendation to maximize the scope of practice of health care professions made by the Premier’s Council on Improving Health Care and Ending Hallway Medicine, several health regulatory colleges were directed by the Minister of Health to develop regulations that will enable scope of practice expansions for certain health professions such as chiropodists, midwives, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists, while ensuring patient safety remains the primary guiding principle for any changes. This is part of the government’s commitment to the people of Ontario to build a connected health care system, reduce wait times, improve access to care, and remove red tape and barriers.

These changes will mean broader prescribing authority and access to more diagnostic tools and tests, and more independent practice that will improve convenience for patients by reducing the time spent traveling between providers for multiple visits for routine care and treatment. Enhancing professional scopes of practice is key to easing pressures on hospitals and helping doctors, nurses and other health care providers deliver better, faster health care for patients and their families.

Taking a New Approach to Emergency Health Care

The government is committed to improving Ontario’s emergency health services to deliver sustainable, better coordinated and appropriate patient care in order to reduce hallway health care and wait times in emergency departments. Currently, 911 medical emergency patients are transported to an emergency department regardless of the severity of their illness or injury. This leads to longer wait times. Therefore, the government is piloting new models of care for select 911 medical emergency patients to access care in more appropriate, lower cost settings. These may include care at a mental health crisis centre, a hospice or on-scene treatment and referrals to health care providers in the community setting. Several municipal land ambulance service providers will pilot this new model starting early 2020.

Supporting Ontario’s First Responders

The government has made a commitment to make mental health a priority, including helping the people of Ontario cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, dispatchers and probation and parole officers have incredibly difficult jobs and come face-to-face with challenging situations. PTSD is a significant risk to the health and well-being of Ontario’s first responders and others who regularly face traumatic situations. Under the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act, certain workers do not have to prove their PTSD diagnosis as it is now presumed to be work related. This leads to faster access to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits and proper treatment, for first responders as well as others.

Supporting People with Mental Health and Addictions Issues

Photo of a doctor with patient and family with text: Improving quality mental health and addictions services

People in Ontario with mental health and addictions challenges often face long wait times and barriers in accessing appropriate services. The Province is making a historic investment of $3.8 billion over 10 years to create a comprehensive, connected system of mental health and addictions services and housing supports, tailored to the needs of communities. Ontario’s 10-year funding agreement with the federal government will help support these investments.

In 2019–20, the government invested $174 million in these services to reduce wait times for community mental health programs, assist mental health patients in the justice system and expand supportive housing, as well as increase support to priority populations, such as Indigenous peoples and Francophones, and fund acute mental health inpatient beds. Recent investments in mental health and addictions services include:

  • Nearly $30 million for child and youth mental health services and programs across the province, including crisis support, prevention, counselling and intensive treatment for children and youth with anxiety, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity or other disorders;
  • More than $27 million for mental health supports in Ontario’s education system, including about 180 mental health professionals in secondary schools; and
  • More than $33 million for Consumption and Treatment Services sites across the province so that those struggling with drug addictions can connect with full wrap-around supports for treatment and rehabilitation. The Province also supports more than 50 Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics across Ontario where patients can walk in and get help for a substance use disorder without an appointment or referral.

Also in 2019–20, the government, with health care partners and police services, developed a new police-hospital transition framework and toolkit to support better transitions and faster access to coordinated critical care for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The government also expanded easy telephone access to smoking cessation support for the people of Ontario, in both English and French, including professional medical advice, nutrition counselling and referrals to mental health and addictions support through Telehealth Ontario. In addition, the government introduced legislation that, if passed, would establish a Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence within the new Ontario Health agency, to ensure patients and families are able to access integrated, standardized, evidence-based care and services closer to home.

Modernizing Public Health

As part of the government’s plan to build a modern and better connected health care system, the Province is considering how to best deliver public health in a way that is coordinated, resilient, efficient and nimble, and meets the evolving health needs and priorities of communities. The government is renewing consultations with municipal governments and the public health sector, with this next phase of engagement being supported by advisor Jim Pine, Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Hastings and former member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Mr. Pine will play a key role in facilitating productive discussions between the government, public health, emergency health and municipal stakeholders to ensure:

  • Better consistency and equity of service delivery across the province;
  • Improved clarity and alignment of roles and responsibilities between the Province, Public Health Ontario and local public health;
  • Better and deeper relationships with primary care and the broader health care system to support the goal of ending hallway health care through improved health promotion and prevention;
  • Unlocking and promoting leading innovative practices and key strengths from across the province; and
  • Improved public health delivery and the sustainability of the system.

This initiative responds to the 2017 findings made by the Auditor General that public health units are poorly coordinated and often duplicate work. In spring 2019, the government announced plans to update how public health is structured and funded in Ontario to achieve better coordination and more efficient service delivery. As consultations take place, the government has made a clear commitment to support municipalities as they modernize the delivery of public health in Ontario.

Making Health Care More Convenient

As well as the improvements being made to long-term care homes, home and community care and hospitals, but the government is also committed to improving the patient experience and how data can be accessed by patients and providers.

Ontario’s new Digital First for Health strategy will bring the patient experience into the 21st century, helping end hallway health care by creating more choices for how to interact with the health care system, while harnessing the imagination and capabilities of Ontario’s digital health innovators.

The Ministry of Health is working towards a new approach to virtual care that could allow patients to see their doctors from the convenience of their homes, and physicians to use new technologies to provide their patients with more options to access their services. In doing so, the Province can ensure patients receive the right care in the right place, helping to end hallway health care.

Patients and health care providers will benefit from a modern approach where health data will safely travel together with the patient across transitions of care types and providers.

Patients could also be empowered to use applications and digital tools of their choice to manage their own care and gain access to their own health data, such as laboratory tests, pulled from existing provincial health data repositories. Ontario will provide clear policies and standards to encourage innovators to actively participate in the local health system.

This will be made possible by the government’s effort to modernize the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 and subsequent regulations to promote patients’ access to their personal health information in a secure manner.

Protecting the Most Vulnerable

The Province is committed to protecting the most vulnerable people of Ontario, including seniors, children and youth, people with disabilities and survivors of human trafficking. The government is making the necessary legislative changes, committing to investments and proposing new strategies that meet the needs of vulnerable Ontarians.

Developing a Seniors Strategy

The government is committed to helping seniors stay healthy, safe and active in their communities. However, many seniors face challenges accessing programs and services to support their safety, mental and physical health, and their overall independence.

Following provincewide consultations with seniors and their family members, caregivers and support organizations this past summer, the government is working on a new strategy that will provide a brighter future for older Ontarians.

The consultation feedback is being used to develop a cross-government strategy that will help all seniors across the province to:

  • Remain healthy, active and socially engaged;
  • Be safe and secure;
  • Age at home and in communities; and
  • Participate in the labour market and economy as they wish.

By supporting Ontario’s seniors, the government is enabling them to enjoy the future they deserve.

Supporting Child Protection

Photo of woman relaxing with kids with text: Better futures for Ontario's most vulnerable children

To better protect the safety and well-being of children and families, and reduce the burden on front-line workers, the government is proposing to amend sections of the Ombudsman Act and the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.

Changes to legislation would enable more responsive and accessible services by:

  • Allowing service providers to disclose personal information to the Ombudsman to support investigations in the child and youth sector;
  • Reducing the administrative burden for peace officers; and
  • Supporting the government’s ability to prosecute operators of unlicensed residential settings.

Supporting Children with Autism

Photo of woman relaxing with kids with text: Better futures for Ontario's most vulnerable children

Ontario is investing an additional $278.5 million in the Province’s autism program, bringing the total program funding to $600 million annually. The government is committed to providing supports that meet the needs of children and youth with autism, while working towards implementing a needs‑based and sustainable program. The new program design will be informed by recommendations from the Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel. While this work is underway, the government is providing continuity of service to families with existing behaviour plans, continuing to issue childhood budgets, and bringing children off the waitlist.

Supporting Inclusion and Accessibility

The government is investing $1.07 million in 2019–20 to support the Abilities Centre in Whitby to advance inclusion and accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. The investment will expand current programming and enable the Centre to engage with community partners, school boards and municipalities to identify service gaps and design various pilot projects, including:

  • Conducting research on social inclusion and social enterprise;
  • Developing a pre-employment skills program;
  • Piloting a 12-week pan-disability program for adults with disabilities; and
  • Supporting private and non-profit sector organizations to develop inclusion and accessibility plans.

These initiatives will address gaps in service for people of all abilities and increase access to inclusive programming that promotes health, builds life skills and connects people to jobs.

Improving Accessibility

The government is making life easier for people with disabilities. Many buildings and programs in Ontario continue to be a challenge for people with a disability as they are not accessible, inclusive and barrier-free. Therefore, the government is investing $1.3 million over two years through a new partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation to launch a new certification program. The program will provide accessibility ratings of buildings by trained professionals and will help property managers and owners determine ways to remove identified barriers.

Fighting Against Human Trafficking

Ontario’s women and children deserve to live free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence. Ontario has the highest rate of police-reported human trafficking in Canada, and children are particularly at risk. This is why the government is developing a strategy to combat human trafficking targeted at confronting and eliminating the root causes of violence and helping survivors heal.

The government will work across sectors and with community partners to create a responsive system that improves the identification, investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and to help ensure survivors have access to the dedicated services they need to rebuild their lives. The government is committed to raising public awareness of human trafficking. It is important for everyone, especially young people, to learn what human trafficking is, what the risk factors and warning signs are, and how to get help.

Protecting Ontario’s Animals

Photo of animals with text: When an animal needs help, call 1-833-926-4625

The government is strengthening the protection of animals in Ontario by creating a more robust, transparent and accountable enforcement model. Immediate action is required to address the recent court ruling on inadequate oversight and the withdrawal of enforcement services by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The government launched an interim animal welfare enforcement model in June 2019 and is introducing a new model in 2020. Informed through an online survey and ongoing stakeholder consultations, the new model will ensure that appropriate and effective measures are in place to provide animals with the protections they deserve and that the people of Ontario expect. The government will introduce new legislation that would create the toughest penalties in the country for those who abuse animals and for criminals who try to harm Ontario’s law enforcement K9 partners, as well as make it easier to rescue pets from hot cars. The people of Ontario can be confident that when they see an animal in distress the government has systems in place to protect animals in every region of the province. All it takes to report animal welfare concerns 24 hours a day is to call 1-833-9-ANIMAL.

Preserving and Protecting the Environment

Photo of a river with text: Ontario has a plan for clean air, land and water

Ontario is committed to preserving and protecting the environment for people today and for future generations. This begins with a new vision for Ontario that protects and respects hardworking taxpayers and promotes environmental stewardship among the people of this province.

The government is delivering on commitments in Preserving and Protecting Our Environment for Future Generations: A Made‐in‐Ontario Environment Plan to protect Ontario’s air, land and water resources. This plan demonstrates significant action on climate change without burdening the people of Ontario with a carbon tax.

Ontario is also protecting the interests of Ontario families and communities by modernizing its almost 50-year old environmental assessment process. The government will ensure that it is focusing on projects that pose actual, real risk to the environment and communities while streamlining approval timelines and eliminating duplication.

Establishing a Day of Action on Litter

Ontario needs to reduce the amount of waste that is generated and to divert more of it from landfills, through proven methods, including preventing and reducing litter in public places and waterways.

This initiative has been spearheaded by MPP Andrea Khanjin, and the government intends to adopt her proposal to recognize an official Day of Action on Litter, which will be established annually, on the second Tuesday in May, starting in 2020.

Ontario would hold its first annual Day of Action on Litter on May 12, 2020. The government will work with partners, communities and businesses from across the province to help make this day a success and encourage everyone to participate in local clean-up events.

Public education and awareness about the significance of this environmental challenge is a key component of building confidence among the people of Ontario that their actions can make a difference.

Making Industry Meet Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standards

The government has set a clear path to ensure that large industrial polluters are accountable for their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by enacting the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standards regulation in July 2019. The Ontario Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program is a made-in-Ontario solution created in consultation with industries in the province to achieve the best economic and environmental outcomes. Ontario expects that the EPS program meets the federal benchmark for carbon pollution pricing. Ontario also expects that the federal government will remove its Output-Based Pricing System as an obligation on industry in the province, in favour of the EPS program.

Moving Forward with a Provincial Climate Change Impact Assessment

Ontario has never completed a provincial-level climate change impact assessment. This is why the government is working to begin its first-ever assessment of how climate change impacts will affect Ontario’s economy, infrastructure, communities, public health and safety, as well as ecosystems. This fall the government will launch a formal request for proposals to acquire expert services for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral assessment of climate change-related impacts, including vulnerabilities, risks and opportunities.

Protecting the Great Lakes

The Ontario and federal governments released a new draft Canada-Ontario Agreement on the Great Lakes in July 2019. Once finalized, the commitments in the new draft agreement would support the implementation of Great Lakes-related commitments in the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, advance the purposes of the Great Lakes Protection Act, 2015 and align with the goals of Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy.

Improving Recycling and Tackling Waste

In July 2019, Ontario’s Special Advisor on Recycling and Plastic Waste delivered a report recommending producer responsibility for managing plastic and other packaging waste. The government is engaging with municipalities, industries and other stakeholders to transition the Blue Box Program for recovering paper and packaging so that producers will be fully responsible for providing blue box services provincewide. The transition is expected to happen over a three-year period between 2023 and 2025.

In June 2019, the government launched a Compostable Products Technical Working Group made up of experts from municipalities, industry and the waste management sector. This group will provide recommendations to the government on setting clear rules for compostable packaging materials in Ontario and for ensuring these materials are accepted by existing and emerging green bin programs across the province.

Encouraging Investments in Clean Technologies

Actions taken by the government are encouraging private investments in clean technologies. As promised in the government’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, the Province is allowing businesses to immediately write off investments made in specified clean energy equipment. The Province is also paralleling federal measures allowing businesses to immediately expense investments in zero-emission vehicles.

In addition, to help provide certainty to businesses that are considering retrofitting, replacing or expanding their fleets of heavy-duty vehicles, the government continues to provide the tax exemption under the Gasoline Tax Act for natural gas.

The government will continue to consider other initiatives in its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to help individuals, families and businesses.

Building Partnerships

Supporting Military Families

The government is making it easier for Canadian military heroes and their families to access information and services when moving to Ontario. Military personnel move frequently, including across provincial boundaries, which can be very stressful, especially when moving an entire family. Through consultations, Canadian Armed Forces members and their families have reported that getting timely and affordable access to Ontario’s public services, primarily in health care and child care, were their top challenges. This is why the government will establish a “one-stop hotline” that will make it easier for military families to receive information on services they need such as health cards, schools, child care, job opportunities, driver and vehicle licences, community housing, as well as other programs and services. The government wants to make the transition for military heroes and their families as seamless as possible.

Strengthening Partnerships with Indigenous Communities

Ontario is working to improve economic and social outcomes for Indigenous people and communities. The government is strengthening relationships, engagement and partnerships with Indigenous partners and within government to promote community wellness and economic opportunities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across the province.

Over the next three years, the government will work to:

  • Increase access to capital, employment, skills training and education;
  • Address legal obligations, including the duty to consult, and negotiate and settle land claims; and
  • Maximize available resources for more responsive programs, better services and infrastructure so that Indigenous people can take part in and benefit from economic development in their communities.

In fall 2019, First Nation partners will receive 45 per cent of government revenues from forestry stumpage, 40 per cent of the annual mining tax and royalties from active mines at the time the agreements were signed, and 45 per cent from future mines in the areas covered by the agreements.

Partnerships such as resource revenue sharing enable First Nations to share in the economic benefits of forestry and mining operations near their communities. Resource revenue sharing agreements provide a source of funding for First Nations to allocate towards key priorities including economic development, education, health, community and cultural initiatives.

Going forward, the government will continue to make reconciliation meaningful to Indigenous people through efforts that support economic development, community wellness and prosperity.

Recognizing Ontario’s Diverse Communities

To recognize the important contributions that Egyptian Canadians have made and continue to make to the economic, social and cultural fabric of Ontario, the government will propose legislation that would proclaim the month of July as Egyptian Heritage Month in Ontario.

Legislation will also be proposed to proclaim the month of March as Hellenic Heritage Month in Ontario, which would provide an opportunity for all the people of Ontario to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the outstanding achievements and contributions of Hellenic Canadians in the province.

These proposals to recognize the important contributions of Egyptian Canadians and Hellenic Canadians in the province were also included in Private Members Bills introduced by MPPs Sheref Sabawy and Effie J. Triantafilopoulos.

Building a Stronger Sports Sector

The government is working hard to build a stronger sports system that unites the sector and helps the people of Ontario live healthier, more active lives. By consulting with stakeholders, the government is creating a sports action plan that would set direction for the government, sport organizations and schools to make Ontario one of the best places in Canada to play sports and be an athlete. The plan will highlight the Province’s priorities in the sports sector and will be designed to encourage safe participation in sports.

The government is also undertaking a review of rules for professional and amateur combative sports. The review is intended to ensure that outdated legislation is modernized to address safety concerns for participants and barriers to business.

Building Safer Communities

Restoring Respect for Police Officers

The government has taken action to restore fairness and accountability to a system that treated police with suspicion and made it difficult for them to do their jobs. The passing of the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 strengthens the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve. It streamlines the Special Investigations Unit process, enhances police oversight in Ontario by reducing delays in the investigation process and ensures more accountability. This new legislation treats police more fairly and helps ensure the police, the government and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.

Modernizing Justice Infrastructure

The government is putting people’s safety first by investing in justice infrastructure to modernize facilities and ensure communities receive efficient and effective services. The Province is investing $3.9 billion over 10 years in justice infrastructure, which includes funding for new courthouses in Toronto and Halton Region; the modernization and replacement of aging Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachments across the Province, including in Orillia and Parry Sound; and a new modernized correctional centre and jail in Thunder Bay.

In addition to addressing these infrastructure needs, the government is supporting the work of front-line and emergency responders across the province by providing them with the tools and resources to protect communities. The government has committed to rebuilding core components of the aging Public Safety Radio Network (PSRN). The $765 million commitment to reconstruct core infrastructure, replace outdated equipment and maintain the new radio network will help keep communities safe.

Fighting Against Guns and Gangs

Photo of police cruiser with text: fighting guns and gangs

The government is acting to keep the people of Ontario safe from the growing threats of gun violence and gang activity. Strong government action is required to combat the significant escalation of gun and gang violence across the province. Building on its provincewide strategy, Ontario is investing in initiatives to support more communities in their fight against guns and gangs.
Key new investments include:

  • A new Intensive Firearm Bail Team in Peel to support bail hearings and proceedings for gun-related offences in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA);
  • A Gun and Gang Fund to support projects and partnerships in the GTA and Greater Golden Horseshoe area to target organized crime and gang operations;
  • An Eastern Ontario Gun and Gang Team, comprised of four Assistant Crown Attorneys, to provide prosecutorial support for complex investigative projects in partnership with the Ottawa Police Service; and
  • Doubling Toronto’s closed-circuit television cameras operated by the Toronto Police Service to find those persons inflicting gun violence and hold them accountable.

Ontario’s comprehensive strategy represents $105.4 million in new investments from the provincial and federal government to combat gun and gang violence on all fronts across Ontario and keep communities safe.


  • [1] Investments in hospital infrastructure are valued at $27 billion over the next 10 years, which includes $17 billion in capital grants and third-party funding.
Updated: November 6, 2019
Published: November 6, 2019