The Glengarry News

funding

Health unit decries restructuring

publisher Apr 25, 2019 - 5:08pm

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s Board of Health has issued a Position Statement laying out its concerns about the Ford government’s aggressive plan to restructure public health, warning that it could have significant long and short-term impacts on the local community.

The government made the surprise announcement in the recently released 2019 provincial budget, outlining its plan to cut the number of public health units in Ontario from 35 local health units to 10 larger regional entities over the next two years. It has also announced plans to slash provincial funding of public health by $200 million, offloading a significant portion of public health funding from the province to municipalities. The cut in provincial funding is effective immediately despite the fact that municipalities were given no advance warning, and have already planned and started spending their budgets for the current year.

The province has provided few details about the restructuring, leaving the EOHU and municipalities uncertain about how the changes will be implemented. A major concern is that while municipalities will be expected to pay more, they could have less decision-making power when it comes to how public health programs are delivered locally. Moving governance of public health services from the eastern counties to a broader regional area could reduce the capacity to address the unique public health needs of the eastern counties (serving rural populations, higher rates of chronic diseases and poverty, reduced access to primary healthcare). In a larger regionalized model, public health’s ability to respond quickly to local emergencies and health threats – such as disease outbreaks or flood emergencies – may also be negatively affected.

“Having a local presence with close ties to community partners and residents has ensured that the health unit is well-positioned to respond to local needs,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health. He adds that the EOHU provides a wide range of essential public health programs, including immunization clinics, infectious disease outbreak management (including the recent follow up of measles contacts), low-income dental clinics, well-baby programs for families who don’t have access to pediatricians or family physicians, water safety monitoring, inspections of local food premises and more. “We’re very concerned that moving to a larger regional model, combined with significant cuts to funding, could compromise the public health services that protect the health and safety of our region’s residents.”

Dairy farmers get help

publisher Jan 29, 2019 - 3:32pm

Agriculture and AgriFood Minister Lawrence MacAulay, and Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Francis Drouin, were at Ferme Geranik on Monday to announce an investment of up to $2.7 million to support Dairy Farmers of Canada's program to enhance public trust in dairy production through the continuation and implementation of its quality assurance program, proAction, and an environmental sustainability strategy.

"Dairy farmers are a vital part of our communities. These investments will benefit our local farmers and enhance our reputation for high quality and sustainability," said Mr. Drouin.

Cold reception

publisher Dec 1, 2018 - 4:24pm

The weather was warm but the response was chilly when Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell addressed a rally held Saturday at his Cornwall office to protest cuts to French-language services.

He was at one time booed when he attempted to explain the rationale behind the measures which led to Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Amanda Simard to leave the Tory caucus and sit as an independent. 

North Glengarry grant

publisher Nov 20, 2018 - 3:16pm

North Glengarry is receiving $47,600 for a facilities assessment and asset management software project, delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' federally-funded Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP).

The funds were part of the $4.5 million the FCM) and the federal government have announced for 109 initiatives across the country.

Aging roads, buildings and bridges are the challenges to be tackled under the FCM's new Municipal Asset Management Program, a five-year, $50-million program designed to help Canadian municipalities make informed infrastructure investment decisions based on sound asset management practices. The program is funded by the Government of Canada.

$1 million rain forecast

publisher Aug 31, 2017 - 3:51pm

While they cannot do anything about the weather, area farmers will be able to better prepare for heavy rain falls thanks to a $1 million contribution from the federal government. 

Ottawa is investing $997,654 so the South Nation Conservation Authority can develop “a hydrologic model that will provide farmers with real-time weather and water information to help inform water management decisions.”

The 15-month project will construct an integrated groundwater – surface water forecasting model for the South Nation Watershed using HydroGeoSphere, which is a Canadian hydrologic simulator that predicts water movement on and through the ground.

The platform will help predict “water events” and provide an array of potential mitigation practices.

“Our government recognizes that Canadian farmers face risk every day in managing their businesses,” says Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Druouin. “This investment is all about giving farmers the tools they need to adjust their farms to a changing climate. Helping farmers be better informed in making their water management decisions is good for the sector's sustainable growth, good for farmers' bottom lines, and good for the Canadian economy,” adds Mr. Drouin who announced the contribution on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay.

$22.8 million for water and sewage

publisher May 26, 2017 - 2:39pm

The federal and Ontario governments are providing $22.8 million to finance a remedy to Maxville's chronic water problem and to plan an expansion of Alexandria's sewage treatment facility.

North Glengarry will receive $15.2 million from the federal government and $7.6 million from the province, while the township will be required to pay $7.6 million.

Funds were announced Friday in Maxville.

More details in the May 31 edition of The News.