COVID-19 Resiliency Infrastructure Stream Intake Open, Expanding Mental Health Services and AODA Compliance Report Deadline Extended
Project Intake: COVID-19 Resiliency Infrastructure Stream
As AMO reported to members on October 28, municipal governments have access to $250 million federal and provincial funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) COVID-19 Resiliency Steam. Today, The Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure, announced that the application intake for this funding is open.
Municipalities have been provided with their funding allocations. All ICIP projects require review by the provincial government and nomination to the federal government for approval. The intake deadline for projects is December 21, 2020 for municipalities eligible to submit single projects and January 7, 2021 for municipalities eligible to submit multiple projects.
For more information, see the program guidelines and FAQs.
Expanding Mental Health Services
The Ontario government today announced over $37 million to significantly expand mental health services across the justice system. The funding will be used to expand mobile crisis teams across the province, hire additional staff, and support the creation of tailored programs for First Nations communities. This is part of the government's $176 million investment this year in the Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario's plan to build a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system.
As part of this investment, the Province is providing mental health and justice services that will lead to better supports for individuals with mental health and addictions challenges, including help to reduce their interactions with police. This includes:
- Over $6.5 million for mobile crisis services. This funding will allow 33 communities across the province to expand or launch mobile crisis response services, including a brand-new service in Ottawa, a new Indigenous service in Six Nations of the Grand River, and additional teams in smaller communities in the Northwest, such as Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Atikokan, Fort William First Nation, and the surrounding area of Marathon. These services support individuals in mental health and addictions crisis and help determine if the crisis can be resolved at the scene or if further supports, such as psychiatric attention at hospital emergency departments, are required.
- $5 million for safe bed programs to support mobile crisis teams. This funding will enhance four existing programs while implementing seven new programs across Ontario, including two urban safe bed programs in downtown Toronto and Ottawa. Safe bed programs provide individuals in mental health and addictions crisis who are in contact with mobile crisis teams with short-stay, 24/7 community residential crisis services. The mobile crisis teams assist local police services in de-escalating high-pressure situations and connect individuals with the mental health and addictions services they need.
- Over $14 million for supportive housing programs designated for justice involved individuals. This will fund up to 524 new units across the province for individuals who are either on diversion plans from mental health court or have been released from a provincial correctional facility, including $1.03 million for up to 20 units that are affiliated with five new post-court transitional case managers. Transitional case managers will also provide support to individuals involved in the justice system with mental health and/or addictions challenges to rapidly access services, such as counselling, therapy and peer support, so that they can live safely in the community.
- $2 million for addictions/withdrawal specialists to support safe beds. This funding will provide eight communities with addiction specialists for their safe bed programs, as well as addiction specialist support for the Kenora and Toronto Downtown East Justice Centre pilots.
- $2 million for mental health and addictions peer support for offenders under community supervision. This funding will help establish partnerships with local community-based mental health and addictions service providers and Indigenous organizations.
- $1.1 million for mental health and addiction supports to vulnerable and marginalized persons as part of the Ministry of the Attorney General's Justice Centres. Investments will provide critical mental health and addictions supports to prevent crime, break the cycle of offending, and create safer communities in Kenora, London, Toronto's Downtown East, and Toronto's Northwest areas. These investments will also enhance access to culturally relevant mental health and addictions services for Indigenous and Black communities.
In addition, Ontario will continue to build evidence-based research on post-traumatic stress disorder and occupational stress injury - two common mental health challenges affecting Ontario's frontline emergency providers. These findings will help identify new tools and programs to support their mental health and well-being.
Province Extends AODA Compliance Report Deadline
Public sector organizations, including municipal governments, are required to submit a report by year end to report on compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements.
The deadline has been extended from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021. See the Ontario website for more information on completing your accessibility compliance report and on municipal compliance requirements.