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  • News
  • November 30, 2016

Daiene's Diary - Month in Review - November 2016

In this edition:
  • Driverless Vehicles Coming to Ontario Roads!
  • Improving Cancer Care for Local Patients
  • Supporting Poverty Reduction with Affordable Transit
  • Putting Patients First: Investments in Local Health Care
  • Celebrating Local Seniors at Queen’s Park
Be sure to check out our additional resources and my activities in the community!

Driverless Vehicles Coming
to Ontario Roads!

Ontario is supporting innovation in the transportation sector by launching the first automated vehicle (AV) pilot program in Canada, led by the University of Waterloo, the Erwin Hymer Group and BlackBerry QNX.
Automated vehicles are driverless or self-driving vehicles capable of detecting and navigating the surrounding environment, and have the potential to help improve road safety and fuel efficiency, as well as reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

Improving Cancer Care for Local Patients

Ontario is improving cancer care for patients and families in the Waterloo Region, with new enhancements at the Grand River Hospital that will increase access and reduce wait times for cancer-fighting treatments.

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins joined MPP Vernile at Grand River Hospital to mark the start of construction on enhancements to the cancer centre.  The hospital is the largest provider of treatment and cancer surgery in the region.  When the project is complete, cancer patients will benefit from a new radiation treatment unit that has the capacity to increase the number of patients treated by 24 per cent, and enable approximately 400 more patients to be treated each year.

Supporting Poverty Reduction
with Affordable Transit

Ontario is investing in 30 community projects across the province which are supporting new ways to help people break the cycle of poverty, find good jobs, and end homelessness in Ontario.
MPPs Daiene Vernile and Kathryn McGarry were at the Charles Street Transit Terminal in downtown Kitchener to highlight the Waterloo Region’s Low Income Transit Program, which is receiving $551,100 from the province.  The program will help low-income individuals access discounted transit fares.  The data collected in the pilot project will contribute to a body of knowledge supporting poverty reduction programs across the province.

Putting Patients First:
Investments in Local Health Care

Ontario is improving access to care in Waterloo Region, helping to reduce wait times and support increased access to services on which patients and families rely.

Grand River Hospital is receiving an additional $1,379,900 and St. Mary’s General Hospital is receiving an additional $781,600 this year to improve access to care and reduce the length of hospital stays for patients and families in Waterloo Region.  Recently announced in the 2016 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, the new investments ensures all public hospitals have received, at a minimum, a two per cent increase to their base funding this year.

Celebrating Local Seniors at Queen's Park

This month, Ontario recognized 20 outstanding seniors for their significant contributions to their communities and to the province with the Ontario Senior Achievement Awards. The Ontario Senior Achievement Awards are the province's highest form of recognition for individuals over the age of 65.
This year's recipients include Elizabeth South and Robert Povey of Kitchener:
Elizabeth (Betty) South of Kitchener has volunteered at Grand River Hospital's Freeport Campus every Monday for 39 consecutive years. Her current volunteer work includes delivering flowers to new patients, training new volunteers, keeping display boards updated with current information and maintaining the patient library. She has also conducted tours, helped in the gift shop and edited newsletters, among other activities.

Robert Povey of Kitchener is an advocate for stroke survivors and caregivers in his community. He served as co-president of the Kitchener Stroke Recovery Chapter, where he helped triple its membership and established a support model to address caregiver burnout.

Out in the community & beyond!

Remembering the sacrifices of our brave men and women who have, and continue to serve, our great country.
Students from Wilfrid Laurier University joined Premier Kathleen Wynne and MPP Vernile at Queen’s Park for an informational tour.
Touring RenewABILITY Energy Inc., home of the Power-Pipe which helps reduce energy use and water heating costs.
Celebrating Narrunzunft Concordia’s Anniversary, marking 50 years of the preservation of the Karneval/Mardi Gras festival in Waterloo Region!
Taking a sneak peak at Perimeter Institute’s “Power of Ideas” exhibit before it hits the road on a cross-country tour to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and 150 years of innovation!

In other news:

Nominate a Leading Woman or Girl! Do you know a girl or woman in our community who is a positive role model or works to bring positive change to Kitchener-Centre? 

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Leading Women, Leading Girls, Building Communities Award, offered through the Ontario Women’s Directorate.  For more information of assistance, please contact my office or follow the instructions here.
Nominations for the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism in Ontario are now open. 
This award recognizes exceptional leadership, innovation and creativity in voluntarism and community service. 
Visit my website for more information on this award and how to submit a nomination.
Applications for the 2017/2018 Seniors Community Grant Program are new open!
The Seniors Community Grant (SCG) Program grant provides funding to groups or individuals representing both incorporated and unincorporated not-for-profit community seniors groups for projects that encourage greater social inclusion, volunteerism and community engagement for seniors across the province.
The application deadline is March 3, 2017 at 5:00pm. Apply here.
Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP)

This program provides up to $50 in monthly credits directly on the bills of eligible low-income electricity consumers, and up to $75 for those with unique electricity requirements.

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

This program provides a one-time grant towards your electricity or natural gas bill if you are temporarily unable to make ends meet in an emergency situation.

saveONenergy Home Assistance Program

The saveONenergy Programs are offered by local distribution companies. These programs provide financial incentives for electricity-saving measures like LED light bulbs, ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fans, baseboard programmable thermostats, clotheslines, and advanced power bars.

Community Resources:

Bridges to Belonging’s Mission: Through meaningful relationships, we support you to build on your unique abilities, to create the life you want in the community.
KW Counselling Services Mission: Inspired by our belief in the power of relationships, we reach out with our partners to support all families, individuals and communities to discover together the positive changes that lead to fulfilled and productive lives.
Daiene Vernile, MPP Kitchener Centre
Constituency Office
379 Queen St S., Unit 3
Kitchener, ON N2G 1W6
T | 519-579-5460
F | 519-579-2121
E |
W |
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