October 4th Weekly Update


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Dear Constituents, 
 

Last Friday, September 30th, was the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a day to recognize residential school survivors and their families. We honour the survivors and acknowledge the long-lasting effect of residential schools still felt in Canada.

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, it was inspired by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a residential school survivor, who at the age of six was gifted an orange shirt by her grandmother, which was taken away from her in the residential school system and never seen again.

Understanding the tragic and painful legacy of residential schools and how it continues to impact the lives of Indigenous Peoples across the country is a vital first step toward advancing meaningful reconciliation.
 

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Province Investing in Ontario-made Research and Innovation

The Ontario government is supporting Ontario-made innovation with an investment of more than $198 million in research projects at colleges, universities and research hospitals across the province. The funding is being delivered through the Ontario Research Fund and Early Researcher Awards and supports researchers in making discoveries that advance knowledge, drive progress and create jobs for the people of Ontario.

The funding will support 241 research projects across the province and will be used to cover the costs of research operations and infrastructure, including building, renovating and equipping research facilities with the latest technology, and supporting researchers to attract and retain research talent.

Examples of funded research projects include:

  • Sinai Health System is receiving $5,830,254 to build an integrated platform to identify and characterize rare cells that contribute to cancer, neurodegenerative and other disorders and develop drug leads to treat these diseases. The platform will be accessible to the scientific community to enable further rare cell studies.
  • Durham College is receiving $788,509 to create a resource for Ontario small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to evaluate, develop and deploy cybersecurity systems, helping them to detect, prevent and respond to cyber-attacks efficiently. This will enable SMEs to monitor for vulnerabilities and protect data.
  • McMaster University is receiving $430,000 to purchase a transmission electron microscope that will support research focused on developing the next generation of advanced steels. Their work will seek to improve the fuel efficiency and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of passenger vehicles.
  • Lakehead University is receiving $127,079 for research that investigates innovative power conversion and control for next-generation offshore wind systems. This initiative aims to reduce the cost and size of existing wind systems while improving their efficiency and reliability.
  • The Hospital for Sick Children is receiving $164,620 to collaborate with Indigenous People, federal and provincial organizations and other conservation and wildlife groups to identify and create high-quality reference genomes for 400 Canadian species. The information will be made freely available on a user-friendly platform so that other researchers can use the data to support biodiversity conservation in Ontario.
  • The University of Waterloo is receiving $738,083 to improve the conversion of food waste into biodegradable bioplastic materials using novel genomic solutions. Through a collaboration of industry partners, this project aims to create a circular economy, which involves sharing, reusing, repairing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.
  • Carleton University researcher Professor Laura Banducci is receiving an Early Researcher Award of $140,000 to train Ontario students in modern archaeological excavation, research methods, digital data management and 3D visualization by exploring the ancient city of Gabii, one of the largest settlements in pre-Roman Italy. This project builds on 10 years of work at the excavation site.
 

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Ontario Expanding Energy Efficiency to Help Families and Businesses Keep Costs Down

The Ontario government is increasing funding for the province’s energy-efficiency programs by $342 million, bringing the total investment to more than $1 billion over the current four-year electricity conservation framework. This funding will support new and expanded programs that will help families and businesses reduce their electricity use so they can save money on their energy bills, while helping to meet the province’s emerging electricity system needs.

“Our government’s success in driving electrification of industry and transportation and strong economic growth is increasing electricity demand, and our government is looking at every option to meet these upcoming needs,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “By 2025, this expansion of energy-efficiency programs will help deliver enough annual electricity savings to power approximately 130,000 homes every year and reduce costs for consumers by over $650 million.”

This funding will support a new voluntary Residential Demand Response Program with an incentive for homes with an existing central air conditioning or heat pump unit and smart thermostat to help lower energy use at peak times and lower bills. It will also provide targeted support for greenhouse growers in Southwest Ontario, in addition to enhancements to existing programs that provide support for businesses, municipalities, hospitals and other institutions to reduce their energy use and their energy bill.

The government accepted the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) recommendation to roll out these new and expanded energy-efficiency programs, which are among the fastest and most cost-effective ways of meeting system needs, with the intention that they will be available to eligible electricity customers beginning in Spring 2023.

 

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Ontario Takes Action to Combat Cybercrime

The Ontario government is investing more than $1.6 million over two years to help fight cybercrime. The funding will be allocated to 18 community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils to support projects that prevent online hate crime, human trafficking and fraud.

“As our lives become increasingly reliant on technology, cybercrime continues to grow and affect an ever-expanding range of victims,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “Our government is committed to finding solutions to help prevent cybercrime – especially crimes such as internet fraud schemes that affect vulnerable seniors; the luring of young people via social media that can lead to human trafficking; online scams that target local businesses; and hate crimes. This funding will support local organizations and their police services to work together to increase awareness about these pervasive crimes and help prevent them from happening in their communities.”

Among the organizations receiving funding is the Jane Finch Community and Family Centre in Toronto. Its “Sister’s Keeper” project, supported by Toronto Police Service’s Community Partnership and Engagement Unit, will work with young Black and racialized women in the Black Creek-Jane Finch community to develop a youth-led prevention and awareness strategy to combat sex and human trafficking. The project’s use of targeted online social media strategies and in-person information sessions in local settings and schools will aim to reduce risks that contribute to human trafficking and to build strengths, skills and resiliency in youth.

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Yom Kippur: Wishing You a Meaningful Fast

Tonight, Jewish Ontarians all across the province mark Yom Kippur, a holy day of atonement and reflection in the Jewish faith. To all those observing, I wish you a peaceful and meaningful fast. G’mar Chatimah Tovah.

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My constituency office is open Monday to Friday from 10AM to 4PM. If you have any questions or concerns we’re readily available to assist. You can also reach us by phone at (416) 781-2395 or by email at robin.martin@pc.ola.org.

 

Warmest Wishes, 
Robin Martin, MPP
Eglinton-Lawrence

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the Government of Ontario visit ontario.ca/coronavirus

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