Message from Your MPP
As spring unfolds its renewed vigor around us, I extend my heartfelt wishes for a season of growth, rejuvenation, and happiness. May this season of new beginnings bring forth an air of hope and possibility for all.
I’m excited to share the momentous events and milestones of March in our province. The release of Budget2023 Building a Stronger and Inclusive Ontario exemplifies a proactive approach to the uncertain global economy, laying a strong fiscal foundation for investment in our economy, infrastructure, and worker training, providing women equal opportunities to grow, supporting our youth to become job ready and cost relief for those most in need. These measures are critical for ensuring a prosperous future for our communities.
Moreover, March provided a remarkable opportunity to honour and celebrate the remarkable women of Mississauga-Malton on International Women’s Day, showcasing their resilience, passion, and inspiring stories. Furthermore, Persian Heritage Month and the Hindu festival of Holi provided opportunities for us to appreciate the rich cultural diversity of our province and recognize the invaluable contributions of various communities.
As we commence the month of Ramadan, I extend my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, contemplation, and charity, representing a critical opportunity for us to acknowledge the importance of compassion, self-control, and gratitude.
It is an honour to collaborate with you in building a stronger and more prosperous Mississauga-Malton, and I remain dedicated to serving you to the best of my abilities. Please do not hesitate to contact my office for any questions/concerns or suggestions to make Mississauga-Malton a better place to work, raise a family, and have a thriving career.
Women’s History Month
Celebrating International Women’s Day
It was an honour to celebrate International Women’s Day with residents of Mississauga-Malton at Frank McKechnie Community Centre. I was excited to meet these inspiring women from different facets of life.
In the first portion of the event, it was truly inspiring to listen to their personal stories of overcoming the adversities and expectations of being a woman, achieving their vision of success in what matters to them, while taking care of family and putting effort into bringing positive change to their communities.
It was loud and clear that while we are blessed to live in a country like Canada, there is still much work to be done to ensure equal opportunities for everyone without gender bias.
In the second half of the event, several ideas were suggested to increase women’s engagement including adopting a project-based approach for breaking barriers to connect more women, engaging men as allies, and creating a local forum to explore women’s issues.
Women can empower one another and inspire future generations by sharing their stories. I am thrilled to have hosted such an event. In the coming months, we hope to create a platform to continue this important conversation and build a more inclusive, equitable world for all.
Our government is actively working hard to break barriers and make Ontario inclusive for everyone.
Investing In Women’s Futures
Our government is investing $6.9 million over 3 years in expanding the Investing in Women’s Futures program, adding 10 new locations across the province.
The Investing in Women’s Futures program provides a range of flexible services and employment readiness supports for women facing social and economic barriers, including those experiencing gender-based violence and social isolation. These services and supports help women to overcome any barriers, increase their well-being, build skills, and gain employment. The addition of 10 new sites brings the total number of service delivery locations to 33, providing greater access for more women across the province.
The 10 new Investing in Women’s Futures program locations are:
- Huronia Transition Homes in Midland
- Community Resource Center (Killaloe) Inc. in Killaloe
- Keepers of the Circle in Kirkland Lake
- Achēv in Mississauga
- Resolve Counselling Services Canada in Kingston
- Women’s Centre of York Region in Newmarket
- Roots Community Services Inc. in Brampton and Mississauga
- Up with Women in Toronto
Women’s Multicultural Resource & Counselling Centre of Durham in Pickering
Counselling Centre of East Algoma in Elliot Lake.
Making Work Sites More Inclusive
There are nearly 600,000 construction workers in Ontario, but only 1-in-10 are women, which can sometimes lead to being overlooked or feeling unwelcome on job sites.
Expanding on the Working for Workers Acts, of 2021 and 2022, our government has introduced new legislation creating new standards for construction sites to ensure the workplace comfort, safety, and privacy that everyone deserves.
- Requiring employers to have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is made to fit female employees.
- Requiring portable washrooms to be private and completely enclosed, have adequate lighting and hand sanitizer (where water is not available).
- Requiring employers to have women’s only washroom facilities, unless the facilities are intended to be used by only one person at a time.
Updates from Queen’s Park
Ontario’s 2023 budget was proposed on March 23, 2023. If passed:
Ontario Releases This Year’s Job Numbers
Last month we added 15,600 full-time jobs, marking the lowest unemployment in our province since 1989.
Ontario’s job market is changing rapidly, and our government is taking steps to ensure Ontarians have the skills & training required for better jobs, brighter futures and a stronger Ontario.
- Quick Facts
In February, employment in Ontario edged up by 15,600 (+0.2%), after a net gain of 62,800 (+0.8%) in January.
- The unemployment rate in February fell to 5.1%, the lowest rate since October 1989 (4.7%)
In February, average hourly wages in Ontario were $34.00, up 4.8% (+$1.57) compared to a year ago.
Protecting Ontarians by Enhancing Gas Station Safety to Prevent Gas and Dash Act 2023
On March 29th I was proud to introduce The Protecting Ontarians by Enhancing Gas Station Safety to Prevent Gas and Dash Act 2023 which if passed, will amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to add a new section to require customers to prepay for gasoline before pumping it from a gasoline pump that has prepayment technology.
The section applies to gas stations in the GTA and any other municipality that passes a resolution requesting the application of the section.
Hopefully, we can prevent more crime that puts employees, innocent bystanders, and even criminals at risk while costing Ontario businesses millions of dollars a year.
Gas & Dash Impact in Ontario
- Drive-offs: 150/day (avg.)
- Cost to businesses: $3.75 million in 2022
- Cost in tax revenue: $197,270 in 2022
- Burden on police: York police spent 1,896 hours on gas theft calls for $112,988 in 2022
- Caused preventable deaths of gas station workers, bystanders, even those stealing gas
The scale of gas and dash problem in the GTA
- York: 66.3% rise in gas thefts (2021-22)
- Peel: 43.7% rise in gas thefts (2021-22)
- Halton: 1,000 average cases per year
Ontario Working for Workers Act
The Ontario government is introducing changes to continue leading the country in providing ground-breaking protections for workers. These proposed changes expand on the ground-breaking actions in the Working for Workers Acts, 2021 and 2022, which are already helping millions of people in Ontario.
The main highlights include:
- Expanding work protections for military reservists to ensure they keep their jobs when deployed or are injured in the line of duty.
- Protecting all Ontarians by increasing fines for companies who violate the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Giving more certainty to employees starting new jobs by requiring employers to provide information before start dates.
- Ensuring remote workers are given the same rights as office workers during mass lay-offs.
- Recognizing more international credentials and removing barriers that prevent trained professionals from entering the workforce in their field.
- Expanding presumptive cancer coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for Ontario firefighters.
Ontario Connecting Long-Term Care Residents in Mississauga to Specialized Care & Supports
Our government is investing $871,565 in 7 projects with long-term care homes in Mississauga to help connect seniors with complex medical issues to the care they need.
This investment comes as part of the $20 Million Local Priorities Fund which provides funding for regional projects across the province.
The projects in Mississauga that are receiving funding are:
- $250,000 to Partners Community Health for enhanced wrap-around support for residents placed in interim beds at Camilla Care long-term care home, to address more complex clinical and social needs;
- $224,549 to The Village of Erin Meadows long-term care home for bariatric and diagnostic equipment;
- $121,808, to Erin Mills Lodge long-term care home for bariatric and diagnostic equipment;
- $110,685 to Sheridan Villa long-term care home for bariatric, diagnostic, and a variety of medical equipment;
- $94,784 to Malton Village long-term care home for bariatric, diagnostic, and a variety of medical equipment;
- $39,167 to Trillium Health Partners and long-term care homes in the community for the expansion of nurse-led outreach teams, to provide more specialized nursing care in homes and build the capacity of home staff; and
- $30,572 to Cooksville Care Centre long-term care home for equipment to prevent and minimize falls and injuries related to them.
Minimum Wage Increasing to $16.55 Hour
As of October 1st, 2023, the government will be raising the minimum wage from $15.50 to $16.55 per hour to help families offset the cost of living. This will make Ontario the highest minimum wage in the country.
More than 940,000 workers were earning $16.55 per hour or less in 2022, the majority of whom are women.
This 6.8% rate will mean an increase of nearly $2,200 annually for minimum-wage workers working 40 hours per week.
Special minimum wage rates will also increase:
- Students under the age of 18, work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays, from $14.60 to $15.60 an hour.
- Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers), from $17.05 to $18.20 an hour.
- Hunting, fishing, and wilderness guides, from $77.60 to $82.85 per day when working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $155.25 to $165.75 per day when working five or more hours in a day.
Grade 11 Students Can Now Apply for Full-Time Trades Apprenticeships
Ontario is preparing young people for in-demand, well-paying careers by allowing students in grade 11 to transition to a full-time, skilled trades apprenticeship program.
It’s projected that by 2026, approximately one in five job openings in Ontario will be in skilled trades-related fields.
In the construction sector alone, 72,000 new workers are needed by 2027 to fill open positions because of retirements and expected job growth.
There are over 25,500 Approved Dual Credits, of which 10,900 are related to skilled trades and technology.
Upon receiving their Certificate of Apprenticeship, these young workers can apply for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma as mature students.
Ontario Connecting Children and Youth with Specialized Care
Our government is investing $97 Million over 3 years in a pilot program at major hospitals throughout the province to connect youth with complex special needs to the individually specialized care they need.
The Integrated Pathway for Children and Youth with Extensive Needs pilot program will connect families with teams of physicians, social workers, and behavioural consultants to develop tailored support programs addressing intellectual disabilities, mental health concerns, chronic medical conditions, and physical disabilities.
Services can include:
- Adjusting medications
- Personalized behavioural support plans
- Mental health assessments and treatments
- Counselling for parents and caregivers
- Specialized interventions to help build communication and self-regulation skills
Ontario Approves First Nations-led Plan for the Road to the Ring of Fire
Ontario is investing in building roads to “The Ring of Fire”
Ontario’s mining sector produces over 75,000 jobs and $11 Billion in minerals per year. These new roads will play a vital role in accessing the critical minerals required for modern technologies, ensuring Ontario’s competitiveness moving forward.
Investments In Ontario
Out and About in the Community