COVID-19 Updates:

  • Community Update

Ontario Supporting Local Festivals and Events

Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences. Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightnings and New Year’s Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries at Ontario Place.

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from October 8 to December 1, 2020.

Ontario Building a Modern, Connected and Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions System

The Ontario government is providing an additional $176 million this year to help expand access for critical mental health and addictions supports during COVID-19. This funding is part of the province’s investment of $3.8 billion over 10 years and enables Ontario’s comprehensive plan, A Roadmap to Wellness, to deliver high-quality care and build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.

Details were provided today, during Mental Illness Awareness Week, by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

The increased funding will help address urgent gaps in care, enhance access to mental health and addictions services, create new supports and expand programs in several priority areas, including:

  • Community-based services in English and French, including services for children and youth;
  • Mental health and justice services;
  • Supportive housing for individuals with serious mental health and addiction challenges, and who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • Community and residential addictions, including treatment and care for opioid addictions;
  • Increased supports for Indigenous peoples, families, and communities; and
  • More hospital in-patient beds for mental health and addiction patients.

As part of this funding, the province is investing in targeted community and residential addictions services including:

  • $4 million for nurse practitioners for detox services to improve the medical management of clients who are withdrawing from substance use in residential withdrawal management facilities;
  • $8 million for addictions day and evening care to increase access to intensive non-residential addictions and substance use treatment services for youth and adults;
  • $3.5 million for in-home/mobile withdrawal management services to increase access to community withdrawal management services for hard to service clients, including those located in rural areas; and
  • Over $900,000 for an additional four inpatient beds at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to support capacity pressures at CAMH.

Premier Ford, Minister Elliott and Minister Tibollo joined CAMH to celebrate the grand opening of the third phase of their historic redevelopment project. The McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building and the Crisis and Critical Care Building will transform mental health care in the province, with spaces that support recovery and promote community integration for patients in a connected and coordinated system of care. This includes capacity for 235 inpatient beds, Ontario’s first 24/7 emergency department dedicated to mental health, and new and expanded ambulatory programs. The province is providing $633 million to support the CAMH project.

To enable Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new services and expand programs. The province has started to fill urgent gaps in care as identified by system partners. This year’s $176 million increase builds on the $174 million the government invested last year in more funding for mental health and addictions programs, bringing new base investments across the sector since 2019-20 to a total of more than $350 million.