Markham-Stouffville Community Update For September 28, 2022

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Markham-Stouffville Community Update for September 28, 2022

Thank You!
Dear *|FNAME|*,

I am honoured to continue serving Markham-Stouffville as your Member of Provincial Parliament. Receiving your support to continue our important work at Queen’s Park is humbling, especially after these last challenging two years. 

I am grateful to the many friends and neighbours that shared their feedback with me during the election. I’ve heard overwhelmingly of your desire to continue on our path of growth and prosperity as the government works to build Ontario, protect our progress, and work for workers.

There is lots of work ahead of us. I hope you will continue to appreciate these email updates which share the latest provincial announcements and news. If you do not wish to receive these email updates, please click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of this message.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding services offered by the Government of Ontario, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 905-642-2588 or by email at


Paul Calandra, MPP
Speech from the Throne: Together, Let’s Build Ontario
On August 9, Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell presented the Throne Speech to open the 1st Session of the 43rd Parliament of Ontario. Entitled Together, Let’s Build Ontario, the speech outlined the government’s key priorities for the upcoming mandate:
  1. Living with COVID-19 by managing the virus through antiviral medications, free rapid tests, deployment of thousands of HEPA filters, and unprecendented investments in hospitals and nurses/PSWs.
  2. Building Ontario’s economy with better jobs and bigger paycheques, including by leading Ontario to become the electric vehicle production capital of North America through lower taxes and building opening the Ring of Fire.
  3. Investing a historic $86.6 billion over the next 10 years to build and expand roads, highways and transit infrastructure across Ontario, including Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.
  4. Supporting more training for more women and men to enter rewarding careers in the skilled trades and expand three-year college degrees for in-demand fields.
  5. Return Ontario students to a full in-class learning experience that includes extracurriculars like sports, clubs and field trips, while supporting new tutoring supports to fill gaps in learning, and provide an additional $225 million in direct payments to parents to help their kids catch up.
Read the entire speech here:
Ontario’s Plan to Build Supporting Stronger Province and Economy

As part of its commitment to implement the 2022 Budget and build a stronger Ontario for workers, businesses and families, the Ontario government passed the Plan to Build Act (Budget Measures), 2022.

Reintroducing the 2022 Budget is an important part of the government’s plan to Get it Done by:

•    Rebuilding Ontario’s Economy
•    Working for Worker
•    Building Highways and Key Infrastructure
•    Keeping Costs Down
•    A Plan to Stay Open

To help those who qualify for disability support, the government is delivering on its commitment to increase the rates for income support by five per cent beginning in September 2022, for families and persons under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Beginning this month, the government will increase both the ODSP rate and the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Program maximum monthly amount by five per cent. Future ODSP rates will also be adjusted to inflation.

To help fill gaps in learning for students after two years of pandemic disruptions, the government is also investing $225 million for direct payments to parents. This is in addition to the previously announced $175 million tutoring support program, the largest of its kind in Ontario’s history. The government will have more details later in the year on how families can access this new support.

Learn more:
Ontario Introduces A Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery
The Ontario government introduced its Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery, a five-point plan to provide the best care possible to patients and residents while ensuring the resources and supports are in place to keep the province and economy open. The plan further bolsters Ontario’s health care workforce, expands innovative models of care and ensures hospital beds are there for patients when they need them.

When fully implemented, this next phase of the Plan to Stay Open will add up to 6,000 more health care workers. Combined with the initiatives included in the first phase of the plan that are adding 13,000 more staff, the two plans together are adding 19,000 more health care workers, including nurses and personal support workers, to Ontario’s health workforce. It will also free up over 2,500 hospital beds so that care is there for those who need it, and expand models of care that provide better, more appropriate care to avoid unnecessary visits to emergency departments.

The next phase of Ontario’s Plan to Stay Open also temporarily covers the costs of examination, application and registration fees for internationally trained and retired nurses, so they can resume or begin caring for patients sooner.

Learn more:

Hydro One Concerns
My office has recieved several messages from constituents respecting Hydro One infrastructure in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville in the wake of recent storms.

On August 17, senior staff from Hydro One visited Stouffville Town Council to address the concerns of residents and discuss future investments to reduce the impact of power outages going forward.

You can watch the archived meeting video here:
September GO Transit Service Expansion
As summer ends and more riders return to GO Transit to commute to work and school this Fall, Metrolinx is increasing and adjusting its services to match demand.

Some of the service changes include:

  • Bringing back seasonal bus service to post-secondary institutions and;
  • Offering more frequent trips for buses on select routes. 

With ridership returning to pre-pandemic levels, Metrolinx continues to monitor demand across its network on an ongoing basis to ensure commuters have access to reliable and consistent service.

Please visit for noteworthy service updates and the most current information on schedules and trips before travelling.

PRESTO contactless payment
NEW: PRESTO contactless payment launches on GO Transit
Metrolinx has announced the expansion of PRESTO contactless payment across more transit agencies in the Greater Toronto Area. Customers travelling on GO Transit are now able to pay their fare by tapping their credit card on a PRESTO device.
These new payment options provide more choice and convenience for customers in Markham-Stouffville and across the GTA. PRESTO contactless payment options will be added to the wide variety of fares and payment methods available – giving customers the freedom to choose the payment method that’s right for you.
Coming next, Metrolinx will be adding debit payment as well as rolling these new payment options to more transit agencies across the region in a phased manner.
To learn more about contactless payment, please visit the official PRESTO website:
Helping People Train for Good Jobs 
The Ontario government is working for workers by investing $5 million to provide free training to 500 people from underrepresented groups to prepare them for well-paying jobs in the province’s thriving automotive manufacturing sector. The project will provide participants with the necessary skills for rewarding careers in machine operation, assembly, quality control, and logistics. The program will also help address a critical shortage of workers in a vital industry as Ontario positions itself as a North American leader in auto manufacturing.

The program features a combination of online and on-the-job training, where participants learn critical skills, such as manufacturing essentials, project management, and troubleshooting. Training is tailored to the needs of each participant and employers can receive up to $4,600 in wage subsidies for each trainee.

Read more:
Ontarians 18+ Eligible for Bivalent Booster

The Ontario government is reminding individuals that all adults aged 18 and over are eligible to receive the bivalent booster dose, which may offer more targeted protection against the Omicron variants.

Appointments can be booked through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre (PVCC) at 1-833-943-3900. Eligible individuals can also book an appointment directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating health care providers and participating pharmacies.

Also, the new pediatric Pfizer vaccine is another option available for children aged between six months to under five years old. Parents and caregivers can continue to book appointments through the same methods as for the bivalent vaccination.

For more information, visit:

Ontario Making it Easier and Faster to Renew Ontario Photo Cards
The Ontario government is making it more convenient for people to keep their government-issued identification and permits up to date. Holders of Ontario Photo Cards can now sign up for free reminders by email, text, or phone call 60 and 30 days before it is time to renew, providing a convenient way to get notified when the photo cards are set to expire.

All Ontarians are also encouraged to sign up for free digital renewal reminders for health cards, driver’s licences and licence plates.

It’s easier, faster, and more convenient to renew Health Cards, Drivers Licences, and Licence Plates (now free) now than ever before. Customers can renew online at in minutes. Those who need to visit a ServiceOntario centre in person can book an appointment at to make the visit quicker and hassle-free.

Signing up for digital reminders is quick and easy online at or by calling ServiceOntario at 1-800-387-3445 (TTY: 1-800-268-7095).
Constituency Office Services
My constituency office is here to serve you. We offer assistance for various provincial government services such as the renewal of Driver’s Licences, Health Cards, WSIB claims, ODSP/FRO cases, and any other service under provincial jurisdiction.

Should you require any assistance, please email or call 905-642-2588. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Copyright © Paul Calandra, MPP, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Suite 400, 37 Sandiford Dr. Stouffville, ON L4A 3Z2