In July of last year, the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure had nominated Cornwall Transit to receive funding under the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). I was pleased to hear this week that the federal Government had finally approved this project. With the provincial, federal and municipal agreement, Cornwall Transit will receive approximately $11.8 million over ten years. The funding will go a long way to improve the city’s public transit and includes funds to enhance accessibility on Handi-Transit buses and at bus stops. There is a significant need for these services, as Cornwall Transit provides about 35,000 rides for people with disabilities. These improvements are sure to help Cornwall residents spend less time commuting, allowing them to do what matters most.
During the past several days, I have had the opportunity to visit with many business owners who have recently re-opened under our Stage 2 guidelines. Their managers, employees and volunteers are following through with the essential safety measures required to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Customers have responded with equal dedication, showing a lot of patience for adapting to the ‘new normal’ shopping experience. Not only will it save people from contracting the virus, but it will also allow for the re-opening of more businesses and activities as part of Stage 3. To promote our recovery, the Government has initiated a campaign to encourage all Ontarians to “Shop Local! Shop Safe! Shop Confident!” Take this opportunity to get what you need in one of our local stores, and on the way by, stop to pick up some of the great food our local restaurants have to offer. Our Government has temporarily removed the red-tape to encourage the construction of outdoor patios for restaurants. Our summers are way to short, so take the time to enjoy it, while helping our local economy.
There is a real threat of a second wave that could result in another lockdown like other parts of the world have witnessed. The Government continues to consolidate and update regulations at www.Ontario.ca/covidsafety. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is also available to provide guidance. For the latest in Stage 2 restrictions, including social groups and activities, please go to www.Ontario.ca/reopen.
I want to remind everyone that an up-to-date list of all federal and provincial programs for individuals and businesses is available at http://covidsupports.ca/jimmcdonell. For those who need assistance, my office continues to be available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-933-6513 (toll-free 1-800-514-9660).
Each year Canada Day gives us a chance to celebrate all that this great country has to offer and the accomplishments that Canadians have contributed worldwide. This year the day takes on a new significance as we celebrate our ability to rally together to wage battle on COVID-19. While we may not be able to gather in the usual way, it is a chance to recharge and reflect on the past and our boundless future. I want to wish everyone a happy Canada Day. Enjoy the day with your family, and remember to practice proper COVID procedures to protect your family.
MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry