I want to take a moment to recognize the legacy of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent De Paul’s and their 155 years of devotion to provide services in our community to those in need. With their mission to empower the vulnerable through networking and advocacy, it is only fitting that the Sisters of Providence are planning to transform their property to create Providence Village, a hub for services, including long-term care and assisted living facilities. I have been pleased to follow the Sisters of Providence’s journey and to work with the collaborating partners as this concept becomes a reality.
Similar to the Sisters of Providence, our province is committed to supporting our vulnerable and aging population. In the past ten years, we have nearly doubled the amount of long-term care beds and we are currently providing additional funding to encourage operators to accelerate the redevelopment of more than 30,000 additional long term care beds by 2025. In this year’s Ontario Budget, our government announced a number to funding increases to the healthcare sector in the 2016 Ontario Budget including long-term care homes, wage increases to personal support workers, and supports for Ontarians with dementia and other behavioral and neurological conditions.
Locally, we have invested an additional $5.08 million this year in Home and Community Care across the South East Local Health Integration Network to enhance support for home care clients with high needs and their caregivers. This year, our three Kingston hospitals received $14.9 million through the Ontario’s Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund to ensure that these facilities are in a state of good repair so patients can continue to receive high-quality care in a safe environment.
Our province also recognizes the social and economic benefits of having community hubs and multi-use spaces, like Providence Village, that provide a central point to access a range of services. This is why we developed Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan and consulted with community members and stakeholders to learn how our government can deliver public services through local, community hubs.
I am excited to see the Sisters of Providence’s plans move forward and offer any support that I may be able to provide as they explore partnerships with Providence Care, Hospice Kingston, H’Art Centre, YMCA of Kingston, Loving Spoonful, and the Kingston House of Recovery for Women and Children (http://www.thewhig.com/2016/10/03/providence-village-gains-community-partnerships).
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