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14 Beneficial Provincial Changes to Help Canadians in Ontario May 2012

14 Beneficial Provincial Changes to Help Canadians in Ontario May 2012
14 Beneficial Provincial Changes to Help Canadians in Ontario May 2012

Besides the verdant showcase of spring, what’s happening during May 2012 in Ontario, Canada?

Well, there are at least 14 beneficial, provincial changes happening to help Canadians in Ontario as follows:

This video presents “No More Cell Shock” wherein Margarett Best, Minister of Consumer Services, states:

I have now introduced legislation that, if passed, would give Ontarians control over their cell phone and wireless contracts. To help you understand what this means for you, we have created a Facebook page. Go to Facebook dot com slash no more cell shock to share your thoughts. We will be there to answer any questions you may have. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Margarett Best, Minister of Consumer Services


  • Proposed Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2012

    • In response to these  complaints for telecommunication services, on 3 May 2012, Ontario introduced legislation that would make cell phone and wireless services contracts transparent and eliminate surprise costs.
    • Wireless Services Agreements Act, 2012, if passed, will:
      • ensure contracts
        • are written in plain language
        • itemize services that are included with the basic fee
          • and those which would result in higher costs
      • also require wireless providers to
        • get express consumer consent before renewing or amending a fixed-term contract
        • allow customers to cancel contracts before the end of the term with a cap on cancellation fees
    • The legislation will
      • affect new contracts of cell phone and wireless services
      • take effect six months after being passed
      • also cover existing agreements that are amended, renewed or extended after it takes effect
    • “To educate and protect Ontario families by ensuring a fair and safe marketplace”

    To get more info, please click on the following text:

    Contact Info:
    Bryan LeBlanc
    Minister’s Office
    416-326-1939
    bryan.leblanc@ontario.ca
    Ministry of Consumer Services
    ontario.ca/consumerservices

 This video presents “You’re Not Alone” which:

  • features a variety of media components displayed in communities and schools
  • encourages adolescents with mental health concerns to talk to someone they trust and to get the help they need
  • is focused on reducing the stigma that acts as a barrier for people getting the help they need
    • through education and awareness, we can change the face of mental illness so that adolescents don’t suffer in silence
    • visit www.ontarioshores.ca

  • Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy 

    • was launched in June 2011 by Ontario to
      • deliver more high quality and timely services and support for kids and families
      • build awareness and support around mental health issues by
        • reducing stigma and discrimination
        • identifying problems
        • intervening early
    • The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy targets three key areas:
      • fast access to high-quality services
      • early identification and support
      • and helping vulnerable kids with unique needs
    • now, results in more than 20,000 kids and their families having quicker and easier access to new, proper mental health services for kids, which include:
      • More than 400 new mental health workers in communities, schools and courts helping to provide more timely access to services
      • 144 nurses working in schools to support early identification and intervention of students with potential mental health and/or addiction issues
      • Expanded eating disorders services for severely ill children and youth
      • New resources and supports for educators to better-support students with mental health needs by September
      • New Aboriginal mental health workers to work in high-needs Aboriginal communities to provide kids with culturally-appropriate services, beginning this summer
      • Expanded telepsychiatry (video counseling) services for kids in remote, rural and underserviced communities to provide more kids with consultations with child psychiatrists, beginning this fall.
    • Approximately one in five Ontario children and youth has a mental health challenge,
      • and 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin in childhood or adolescence.

Greenhouse Study Prompts Ontario’s Green Action

Above, Phosphorus Discharges that Contribute to Harmful and Unsightly Algae Blooms.
Above, Phosphorus Discharges that Contribute to Harmful and Unsightly Algae Blooms.
    • Greenhouse Study Prompts Ontario’s Action to Protect Great Lakes Water Quality

      • by reducing phosphorus discharges that contribute to harmful and unsightly algae blooms
      • a recent study in Essex County found that many greenhouses discharged wastewater containing high levels of phosphorus into nearby creeks, which flow into Lake Erie
      • in response, Ontario is working with greenhouse growers    to:
        • inspect and assess their operations
        • ensure our waterways are protected by undertaking measures to reduce phosphorus in their discharges
        • continue testing affected streams to monitor water quality progress
      • protecting our Great Lakes is part of Ontario’s plan to become North America’s water innovation leader

      To get more info, please click on the following text:

      Contact information
      for the general public
      416-325-4000
      1-800-565-4923
      Ministry of the Environment
      ontario.ca/environment
      Lyndsay Miller
      Minister’s Office
      416-314-6739
      Lyndsay.Miller@ontario.ca

GO Transit has provided commuters in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with safe, reliable public transit.
GO Transit has provided commuters in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with safe, reliable public transit.
  • GO Transit Service Guarantee Begins This Fall

    • Starting this fall, Ontario will offer refunds to GO Train riders whose trains are more than 15 minutes late, except when delays are caused by extreme weather, police investigations, accidents and medical emergencies.
    • The 15-minute guarantee is the next step the Ontario is taking to ensure the best customer experience possible for GO passengers.
    • Happy 45 years of GO Transit service!

      • On a typical weekday, GO runs more than 180 train trips and over 2,100 bus trips that carry over 219,000 passengers reducing the number of car trips in the GTHA (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area) by about 187,000.
      • GO Transit has maintained a 95 per cent on-time rate for GO Train service over the past year.
      • GO Transit is a division of Metrolinx

    To get more info, please click on the following text:

    Contact Info:
    David Salter
    Minister’s Office
    416-327-1815
    Ministry of Transportation
    ontario.ca/transportation

This video presents ” Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, announces Three Million more Home Care Hours”:

  • Ontario Adds Three Million More Home Care Hours

    • Over the next three years, Ontario will help 90,000 more seniors get the care they need to live comfortably in their own homes by adding three million more hours of personal support worker (PSW) care.
      • This investment is part of the government’s 2012 Budget commitment to increase funding for community and home care services by an average of four per cent over the next three years.
      • There are about 26,000 personal support workers in Ontario providing home care services.
    • Personal support workers assist people with
      • personal hygiene
      • light housework
      • help with delegated health procedures such as changing dressings
    • Having the support of personal support workers enables seniors, people with physical disabilities and those with complex needs to live independently at home — rather than in a hospital or long-term care home.
    • Helping seniors stay at home longer benefits the entire health care system by
      • freeing up hospital beds for those who need acute care
      • reducing pressure on emergency rooms
      • saving money

      To get more info, please click on the following text:

      Contact Info:
      Office of the Premier
      ontario.ca/premier

Above, HOV Lane
Above, HOV Lane
  • Ontario Expands Taxi Use On HOV Lanes

    • Ontario is proposing to allow taxis and airport limousines without passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on provincial highways starting July 1, 2012.
      • Taxis will join emergency vehicles and buses in using HOV lanes on return trips with no passengers.
    • Currently, only the following vehicles are allowed to use HOV lanes:
      • vehicles carrying two or more people
      • eligible plug-in electric vehicles with specially designated green licence plates
      • buses
      • emergency vehicles
    • The three-year pilot project would help
      • improve accessibility for people who cannot or choose not to drive
      • taxis reach their next passenger more quickly
        • The proposed pilot would begin July 1, 2012 and would last for a period of three years.
        • All taxis and airport limousines using HOV lanes will be required to display clear visual identification to help enforce the correct use of the lanes.
        • There are already 83 kilometres of HOV lanes on Highway 403, Highway 404, Highway 417 and the Queen Elizabeth Way.
    • Ontario will review the effect on the HOV network and monitor highway congestion during the pilot to ensure traffic flows smoothly and efficiently.

    To get more info, please click on the following text:

    Contact Info:
    David Salter
    Minister’s Office
    416-327-1815
    Ministry of Transportation
    ontario.ca/transportation

This video presents “Canadian Childhood Obesity”:

  • The problem of childhood obesity and what needs to be done
  • Childhood obesity is strongly linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer including breast and colon cancer

  • Healthy Kids Panel To Help Reduce Childhood Obesity
    Ontario responds by creating the “Healthy Kids Panel”

    • to help tackle the challenge of reducing childhood obesity by 20 per cent over five years
    • to create a unique model that draws on successful strategies to reduce childhood obesity
    • provide the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with recommendations that are evidence-based and fiscally achievable.
      • Healthy Kids Panel will report back later this year with its first recommendations

Obesity in Canadian children is an epidemic:

  • 75 per cent of obese children grow up to become obese adults
  • In 2009, the estimated direct and indirect costs associated with obesity to Ontario’s health care system were $4.5 billion
  • In Ontario, 25.6 per cent of children ages two to 17 are overweight or obese
    • Childhood obesity rates for Canadian children ages two to 17 have risen from 15 per cent in 1979 to 26 per cent in 2004.

To get more info. please click on the following text:

Contact Info:

  • For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
    1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)
  • Zita Astravas
    Minister’s Office
    416-327-9728

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ontario.ca/health

This video presents “What is Geothermal Heating?”:

  • A brief introduction to geothermal heating, a cleaner and more sustainable source of energy.

  • Ontario Sets New Rules for Geothermal Drilling

    • Geothermal energy is a form of renewable energy that leverages underground temperatures to heat and cool buildings.
    • Geothermal energy systems – when drilled, installed and constructed in a safe manner – provide an excellent source of green heating and cooling for a variety of uses including residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial applications.
    • According to the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition, since 2008 more than 8,800 geothermal systems have been installed in Ontario.
      • Approximately 15 per cent of the earth energy systems in Ontario are closed loop vertical.

    In regards to vertical closed loop drilling for geothermal energy systems, Ontario is improving public health and safety by requiring geothermal installers to:

    • Obtain provincial approval for vertical closed loop geothermal systems
    • Consult with a certified geoscientist or engineer before drilling
    • Develop an emergency plan before drilling

    The above new rules of vertical closed loop drilling for geothermal energy systems take effect immediately.

    • The Ministry of the Environment will consult with industry stakeholders in the coming months on the new regulations for geothermal drilling.
    • The ministry will also be conducting inspections to ensure geothermal installers are meeting safety standards.

    Contact Info:

    • Contact information for the general public
      416-325-4000
      1-800-565-4923
    • Lyndsay Miller
      Minister’s Office
      416-314-6739
      Lyndsay.Miller@ontario.ca
    Ministry of the Environment
    ontario.ca/environment

“Prescription Drug Abuse / PSA Video” shows:

  • Abusing some prescription drugs can lead to addiction.
  • You can develop an addiction to:
    • Narcotic painkillers
    • Sedatives and tranquilizers
    • Stimulants
  • Experts don’t know exactly why this type of drug abuse is increasing.
    • The availability of drugs is probably one reason
    • Doctors are prescribing more drugs for more health problems than ever before
    • Online pharmacies make it easy to get prescription drugs without a prescription, even for youngsters

This video presents “PM: support for Helmets to Hardhats / PM : aide pour le prog. du Régiment aux bâtiments”:

  • From Helmets To Hardhats

    • Ontario is supporting soldiers as they transition back into civilian life by helping them land jobs that match their skills.
    • Premier Dalton McGuinty was in Vaughan on May 23, 2012, to help launch Helmets to Hardhats  in Canada.
      •  Ontario is contributing $150,000 to help support the program, which will help Veterans, Canadian Forces members and Reservists connect to career and training opportunities in the skilled trades
    • Did you know?
      • Helmets to Hardhats helps veterans track down job leads and also reaches out to employers, helping them understand the skills of people with military experience.
      • The organization was launched in the United States in 2003 and it is now expanding to Canada.

      To get more info, please click on the following text:

      Office of the Premier
      ontario.ca/premier

This video presents “Aging At Home Strategy Expands“:

“We know our seniors want to live independently at home as long as they possibly can. Our Aging at Home program empowers them to do just that. When our seniors get health supports in their communities, they can avoid unneeded hospital visits and live more active and independent lives.”
Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

    • Ontario Helping More Seniors Live At Home Longer  is Ontario’s next step via its Seniors Care Strategy which will include:

      • Expansion of doctor’s house calls
      • Increase in access to home care for seniors in need
      • Establishing care co-ordinators to work with health care providers so seniors receive the right care, particularly as they recover from a hospital stay
      • Allowing seniors to adapt their home to meet their needs as they age with the assistance of the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit
      • Helping seniors stay healthy by eating well and exercising regularly so they can manage their own care and stay mobile
        • The government will help 90,000 more seniors to receive care at home and fund an additional three million Personal Support Worker hours over the next three years.
        • As announced in the 2012 Budget, the government will increase funding for community and home care services by an average of four per cent over the next three years.
    • The two-fold purpose of Seniors Care Strategy is to:
      • support seniors at home and
      • reduce hospital readmissions and pressure on long-term care homes
    • In fall 2012, Dr. Sinha will:
      • lead the development and implementation of the Seniors Care Strategy
      • provide recommendations to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on how to help more seniors to live independently at home and in their community
      • work with the health care sector to implement the strategy, once approved.
    • Did you know?
      • Older adults make up 14 per cent of Ontario’s population and account for nearly half of current health care spending in the province.

      To get more info, please click here on the following text:

      Contact Info:

      • For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline
        1-866-532-3161
        (Toll-free in Ontario only)
      • Zita Astravas
        Minister’s Office
        416-327-9728
      Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
      ontario.ca/health
Above, My Account is a new online service from ServiceOntario Service for Ontario Drivers.
Above, My Account is a new online service from ServiceOntario Service for Ontario Drivers.

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