McGuinty Government Investments will Strengthen Aboriginal Social Service Agencies



    Key Element In Strategy To Boost Jobs And Economic Renewal

    TORONTO, March 15 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing more than
$760,000 to build, renovate, upgrade and repair Aboriginal social service
agencies across Ontario, Community and Social Services Minister Madeleine
Meilleur announced today.
    "Our government is continuing to build a healthier future for Aboriginal
communities across Ontario," said Meilleur. "This investment will help
Aboriginal social service agencies remain safe, secure, and in good repair so
they can focus on providing important services to those who need them."
    More than $650,000 is being directed to seven projects at Aboriginal
agencies that provide services to people with a developmental disability.
Aboriginal community agencies that provide programs and services for women who
are victims of domestic violence and their children will also share in more
than $105,000 for 12 projects. Projects focus on a variety of building and
repair projects to improve their agency sites.
    Overall, the government is investing $36.5 million into Ontario
communities to stimulate employment and improve social services agencies.
Funding for these initiatives comes from the government's $190 million
economic stimulus package, which is a key component of the government's plan
to foster a stronger workforce and a stronger economy.

    Announced in the 2006 Fall Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the
stimulus package aims to boost jobs and growth through a focus on four key
areas:

    
    -   Focused training and job services to help job-threatened and laid-off
        workers find new jobs
    -   Fast-tracking infrastructure projects to generate immediate economic
        activity and job creation
    -   Encouraging Ontario tourism to boost economic activity and tourism-
        related jobs
    -   Strengthening interprovincial trade to match industrial needs in
        Alberta with Ontario's industrial capacity.

    "While the economy remains fundamentally strong, it is important to
remember that slower growth has a real impact on people and communities," said
Finance Minister Greg Sorbara. "Each of the four areas we are focusing on
represents the building blocks of a sound economic foundation. Investing in
these areas now means a more prosperous and competitive future for Ontario."
    "For years, our social services agencies have had to stretch their money
to cover the cost of providing services and maintaining their facilities,"
said Meilleur. "This government recognizes that by encouraging a stronger
workforce and a stronger economy, we can also help strengthen Aboriginal
communities."

    Disponible en français

                             www.mcss.gov.on.ca

    Backgrounder
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            FUNDING BOOST FOR ABORIGINAL SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCIES

    The provincewide economic stimulus program of more than $190 million
includes $36.5 million for Ontario social services agencies that provide
community services to people with disabilities and to women and their children
fleeing domestic violence.
    Social services agencies in Ontario's Aboriginal communities are receiving
more than $760,000 to improve and maintain their facilities. The funding will
be put towards capital and infrastructure projects such as acquiring a new
site for a day program, repairing and replacing floors in group homes, and
increasing accessibility features.
    In Ontario Aboriginal communities, three agencies are conducting seven
capital projects at their developmental services sites, and six women's
agencies are involved in 12 projects. The following are receiving funding for
projects in these two sectors:

    Developmental Services

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Community       Total         Number of   Agencies
                    Investment    Projects
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moosonee        $5,000            1         - James Bay Association for
                                                  Community Living
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ohsweken        $640,450          4         - Six Nations Special
                                                  Services for Special People
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wikwemikong     $12,000           2         - Wikwemikong Unceded
                                                  Indian Reserve
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Violence Against Women Services

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Community       Total         Number of   Agencies
                    Investment    Projects
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blind River     $5,000            1         - Mississauga First Nation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamilton        $34,000           2         - Hamilton-Wentworth Chapter
                                                  of Native Women
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moosonee        $29,232           3         - Town of Moosonee
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Bay       $7,000            1         - Nipissing First Nation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ohsweken        $7,000            1         - Ganohkwa Sra
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thunder Bay     $24,000           4         - Beendigen Inc.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Disponible en français

                             www.mcss.gov.on.ca


    Document d'information
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN ONTARIO COMMUNITIES

    Through targeted investments in Ontario's social services agencies, the
government is helping Ontario workers and communities most affected by slower
growth in the economy. The provincewide economic stimulus program of more than
$190 million includes $36.5 million for Ontario social services agencies that
provide community services to people with disabilities and to women and their
children fleeing domestic violence.
    Infrastructure investments are a key part of this initiative. Ontario's
community social services agencies are receiving a boost in financial support
to improve and maintain their facilities. These investments will help:

    -   Replace or repair buildings (e.g., roof/shingle replacement;
        boiler/hot water/furnace/air conditioning replacement or repair; Fire
        and Building Code compliance)
    -   Improve accessibility for people with disabilities (e.g.,
        installing/repairing ramps; accessible washroom renovations;
        accessible shelter accommodation)
    -   Increase and improve day program and residential spaces for people
        with a developmental disability (e.g., acquiring and/or renovating
        buildings to accommodate high and/or complex needs; increasing rural
        capacity for programs)
    -   Increase and improve shelter spaces for women and their children
        (e.g., acquiring and/or renovating shelter spaces and common areas;
        replacing existing inadequate shelters), and
    -   Improve facilities at agencies that serve Aboriginal and francophone
        communities (e.g., improvements to accessibility for supported
        independent living; adding new shelter beds in French-speaking
        communities).

    These investments will be shared by social services agencies in
communities throughout Ontario, including:

    -   More than $29 million to agencies that support individuals with a
        developmental disability
    -   More than $6.3 million to shelters, counselling agencies and
        transitional and housing support agencies who work to protect women
        and their children.

    More than $2.7 million will support social services agencies that provide
French-language services, and more than $760,000 will go to Ontario agencies
that serve Aboriginals who live on-reserve or in rural and urban communities.

    Disponible en français

                             www.mcss.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Marc Despatie, Minister's Office, (416)
325-5219; Paul Doig, Communications and Marketing Branch, (416) 325-5187

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Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

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