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Province Continues to Champion the Voices of Patients and Families

TORONTO — The Ontario government has appointed Craig Thompson as Ontario’s new Patient Ombudsman to help improve the quality of care and supports patients and their families receive in hospitals, long-term care homes, and select home and community care settings. “Craig Thompson brings over 30 years of leadership experience in the health care sector and community, including at the Office of the Patient Ombudsman,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As a community leader, he has been a passionate advocate for the voices of patients and caregivers because he knows they can be a powerful catalyst of change. Craig’s experience will be invaluable as Patient Ombudsman as Ontario continues to protect the health and safety of individuals and families during COVID-19 and beyond. I have full confidence that Craig will be a great partner in helping to ensure better, connected patient care for all Ontarians.”

The Patient Ombudsman investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints from patients and caregivers concerning public hospitals, long-term care homes and home and community care services that are provided or coordinated through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The Patient Ombudsman also makes recommendations to health sector organizations and provides reports to the Minister of Health which inform provincewide health system quality improvement.

The Patient Ombudsman’s Office has been operating under Mr. Thompson’s leadership as Executive Director for over four years. As the Patient Ombudsman, Mr. Thompson will oversee the Office’s work and will continue to advance the current investigation into the experiences of residents and caregivers in long-term care homes during COVID-19. This work will complement the government’s independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system which began in July 2020.   “Being appointed Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman is a great honour and a tremendous responsibility,” said Craig Thompson. “I’ve always believed in the power of the complaint to uncover unique insights and perspectives that get to what really matters to patients and caregivers. Which is why it is now more important than ever to actively encourage and seek out a diversity of voices so that people from all walks of life and every community in the province are represented and heard. We all deserve a fair and equitable healthcare system and it is my responsibility and the role of this office to make sure it happens.”

QUICK FACTS

Craig Thompson brings more than 30 years of experience working in public and private organizations in the health care, design sciences and communications sectors. Mr. Thompson is the past Co-chair of the Patient Experience Steering Committee at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and current member of the board of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman (FCO). His appointment came into effect on March 29, 2021.

     The term of the Patient Ombudsman’s appointment is for five years, with the possibility of reappointment for an additional five-year term.

The Patient Ombudsman position was created in December 2014 through amendments to the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010.

Effective April 1st, LHINs will begin operating under a new business name – Home and Community Care Support Services. Services will not be interrupted while home and community care transitions into Ontario Health Teams

Province’s investment will help people participate and stay connected to their neighbourhoods

TORONTO — The Ontario Government is investing $2.9 million through the Inclusive Community Grants program to support 55 diverse community projects that will keep people of all ages and abilities healthy and engaged across the province. This funding will help municipal partners, Indigenous groups and community organizations strengthen and build more inclusive communities. “These projects will make a huge difference in the quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Through the Inclusive Community Grants we are taking steps to ensure that municipalities and local organizations are able to make our communities more inclusive and accessible – it’s a great example of what we can achieve when we work together!”

Projects being supported by this year’s Inclusive Community Grants include:

Making public buildings and outdoor spaces more accessible in 13 rural communities in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock;

Accessibility upgrades for public beach access in Kenora;

Establishing an Age-Friendly Francophone community in London;

Wellness outreach and service referrals for rural seniors in Sudbury-St. Charles;

Refresher driving courses for seniors in Chatham-Kent; and

Culturally appropriate resources (medicine to pray, smudge and wear) for Haudenosaunee Elders at Six Nations.

Municipalities and local organizations across Ontario can receive up to $60,000 through Inclusive Community Grants for projects that foster inclusive community involvement for older adults and people of all abilities, using the province’s age-friendly community planning guide.  

The program is part of the government’s plan to help older adults and people with disabilities become more active in their local communities.

QUICK FACTS

Fifteen per cent of Ontarians have a disability and this number will increase as the population ages.

By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65 – older adults are the province’s fastest growing demographic.

Inclusive and Age-Friendly Communities work to promote accessibility, safety and active living for older adults and people with disabilities.

The intensity of job search in Ontario has reached the pre-pandemic level

Ontario province has been experiencing numerous restrictions aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of the virus. Gradual reopening in March gives a silver lining. People are reacting to the changes in the colour-coded system of the province with cautious optimism. The whole situation with pandemiс dynamics still looks unstable, but one thing remains firm – job search. What are the trends in this sphere nowadays? Specialists from Jooble – the second-biggest job search engine worldwide analysed the labour market situation in Ontario They figured out how actively users seek new jobs, what vacancies they look for, which industries are eager to employ, and where to start the career path.

If you are looking for options in different cities, check out Toronto first. It’s an absolute leader in terms of job postings over the past two months. More than 33 000 new positions! Ottawa and Mississauga are following but with a big gap – a bit over 8000 vacancies each. Then go Brampton, Markham, Hamilton and London.

Job search intensity is stably high. It decreased dramatically only once over the past year – in March-April 2020 when the wave of chaos and uncertainty stuck the whole country. But as soon as the first shock wore off in May, users reinforced their attempts. The high season fell on August-September 2020. These months users were 32% more active at looking for a job than during the same period in 2019.

As the number of cases went up in autumn, activity slowed down, reaching its minimum in December. However, since the beginning of 2021, when the case rate started declining, job search reached its pre-pandemic level.

Part-time jobs, night shifts options and vacancies where you get paid in cash are on-trend. In January, users in Ontario also actively considered jobs for governmental institutions. In February top search inquiry was an elderly caregiver. Then went cashier and customer experience associate vacancies. Truck and delivery driver positions were right behind.

Employers are looking for workers in retail. The most frequent job titles posted in January-February were department managers, merchandising store associates, administrative store support, fresh food store associates and cashiers.

As of the beginning of spring, the situation has not changed much. People in Ontario keep eagerly looking for partial employment opportunities and those which assume a fast learning process.

Ontario Supporting Career Development in the Transportation Sector

Investment to address truck driver shortage and help job seekers find meaningful work

April 13 – The Ontario government is investing nearly $400,000 in a skills training project to prepare 24 newcomers for careers in the trucking industry in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The investment is part of an effort to provide more people with opportunities to find meaningful, well-paying jobs while keeping Ontario competitive in a sector that is expected to see 25,000 vacancies across Canada by 2023.

The program, in partnership with Hamilton’s Immigrants Working Centre, Commercial Heavy Equipment Training and several transportation companies, comes at no cost for participants. They will obtain their AZ drivers licence, which is required to become a commercial truck driver in Ontario. This program also provides language training and interview assistance, a paid job placement for each participant, and funds to cover expenses such as travel costs or childcare.

Recruitment for the program has already begun, and the first cohort of 12 participants is expected to begin training by the end of May. Participants are expected to be ready for employment by the end of September. The second 12-participant cohort is scheduled to begin training in August.

Job seekers interested in applying for this local SkillsAdvance Ontario project should contact Employment Ontario.

Protecting our economy, and supporting families, workers and employers, is part of the government’s 2021 Budget, which includes measures to help workers recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and develop the in-demand skills needed for the future. This is why Ontario is investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020-21 and 2021-22 for employment and training supports, including $117.3 million to assist those who are facing the highest rates of unemployment during the pandemic such as women, racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, youth and people with disabilities.

Quick Facts

This driver training project is one of 49 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across the province dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs in hospitality and tourism;

hospitality and food; steel; mining; construction; manufacturing; warehousing; transportation; healthcare; social assistance; PSW; early childhood education; agriculture,

forestry, fishing and hunting; arboriculture; landscape and horticulture; cannabis; financial services; and accessible digital media transportation sectors.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, training will be a combination of virtual and in-person.

The Employment Ontario network includes more than 300 partner organizations across Ontario that offer a range of free services and supports that help businesses find

workers and connect job seekers to training and job opportunities.

To help workers get the training they need, the government is also proposing the new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit. This would be a temporary, refundable Personal      Income Tax credit that would deliver support for 2021. The credit would provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses. The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit would provide an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021, or about $1,100 on average.

RVH directed to cancel non-emergency surgeries and procedures to ensure safe response to rising COVID cases

The province’s hospitals, with exception of those in Northern Ontario, have been directed by Ontario Health to ramp down all non-emergency, scheduled surgeries, procedures and other non-urgent activities, effective Monday April 12th.

The measure comes as COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations continue to increase at an alarming rate, putting extreme pressure on hospitals. The order is designed to preserve critical care bed capacity and ensure hospitals have enough staff to safely care for patients, particularly those requiring intensive care.

RVH will continue to perform emergency and urgent surgeries and procedures, such as trauma, cancer and vascular procedures however, to comply with the order:

All non-urgent surgical and endoscopic procedures will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later date.

Virtual visits will continue to be offered for many exams and assessments, including cardiac, mental health and cancer.

Patients will be notified directly if this ramp down impacts their surgery, procedure or clinic appointment. Only those patients whose appointments are cancelled will be notified. If you do not receive a call, your surgery/appointment will proceed and closer to the date, you will receive instructions to prepare and what to do upon arrival.

This is the second ramp down for Ontario hospitals; they were first directed to pause non-emergency surgeries and procedures in March of 2020.  In June RVH began ramping up surgeries and procedures and has worked hard to ease the surgical backlog sustaining access to surgical procedures with little disruptions.

As they did during the first ramp down, physicians will keep a close eye on patients whose procedures have been cancelled to ensure their non-urgent condition doesn’t progress and become urgent.

Province Continues to Champion the Voices of Patients and Families

TORONTO — The Ontario government has appointed Craig Thompson as Ontario’s new Patient Ombudsman to help improve the quality of care and supports patients and their families receive in hospitals, long-term care homes, and select home and community care settings. “Craig Thompson brings over 30 years of leadership experience in the health care sector and community, including at the Office of the Patient Ombudsman,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As a community leader, he has been a passionate advocate for the voices of patients and caregivers because he knows they can be a powerful catalyst of change. Craig’s experience will be invaluable as Patient Ombudsman as Ontario continues to protect the health and safety of individuals and families during COVID-19 and beyond. I have full confidence that Craig will be a great partner in helping to ensure better, connected patient care for all Ontarians.”

The Patient Ombudsman investigates and facilitates the resolution of complaints from patients and caregivers concerning public hospitals, long-term care homes and home and community care services that are provided or coordinated through the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). The Patient Ombudsman also makes recommendations to health sector organizations and provides reports to the Minister of Health which inform provincewide health system quality improvement.

The Patient Ombudsman’s Office has been operating under Mr. Thompson’s leadership as Executive Director for over four years. As the Patient Ombudsman, Mr. Thompson will oversee the Office’s work and will continue to advance the current investigation into the experiences of residents and caregivers in long-term care homes during COVID-19. This work will complement the government’s independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system which began in July 2020.   “Being appointed Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman is a great honour and a tremendous responsibility,” said Craig Thompson. “I’ve always believed in the power of the complaint to uncover unique insights and perspectives that get to what really matters to patients and caregivers. Which is why it is now more important than ever to actively encourage and seek out a diversity of voices so that people from all walks of life and every community in the province are represented and heard. We all deserve a fair and equitable healthcare system and it is my responsibility and the role of this office to make sure it happens.”

QUICK FACTS

Craig Thompson brings more than 30 years of experience working in public and private organizations in the health care, design sciences and communications sectors. Mr. Thompson is the past Co-chair of the Patient Experience Steering Committee at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and current member of the board of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman (FCO). His appointment came into effect on March 29, 2021.

     The term of the Patient Ombudsman’s appointment is for five years, with the possibility of reappointment for an additional five-year term.

The Patient Ombudsman position was created in December 2014 through amendments to the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010.

Effective April 1st, LHINs will begin operating under a new business name – Home and Community Care Support Services. Services will not be interrupted while home and community care transitions into Ontario Health Teams

Province’s investment will help people participate and stay connected to their neighbourhoods

TORONTO — The Ontario Government is investing $2.9 million through the Inclusive Community Grants program to support 55 diverse community projects that will keep people of all ages and abilities healthy and engaged across the province. This funding will help municipal partners, Indigenous groups and community organizations strengthen and build more inclusive communities. “These projects will make a huge difference in the quality of life for older adults and people with disabilities,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “Through the Inclusive Community Grants we are taking steps to ensure that municipalities and local organizations are able to make our communities more inclusive and accessible – it’s a great example of what we can achieve when we work together!”

Projects being supported by this year’s Inclusive Community Grants include:

Making public buildings and outdoor spaces more accessible in 13 rural communities in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock;

Accessibility upgrades for public beach access in Kenora;

Establishing an Age-Friendly Francophone community in London;

Wellness outreach and service referrals for rural seniors in Sudbury-St. Charles;

Refresher driving courses for seniors in Chatham-Kent; and

Culturally appropriate resources (medicine to pray, smudge and wear) for Haudenosaunee Elders at Six Nations.

Municipalities and local organizations across Ontario can receive up to $60,000 through Inclusive Community Grants for projects that foster inclusive community involvement for older adults and people of all abilities, using the province’s age-friendly community planning guide.  

The program is part of the government’s plan to help older adults and people with disabilities become more active in their local communities.

QUICK FACTS

Fifteen per cent of Ontarians have a disability and this number will increase as the population ages.

By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65 – older adults are the province’s fastest growing demographic.

Inclusive and Age-Friendly Communities work to promote accessibility, safety and active living for older adults and people with disabilities.

The intensity of job search in Ontario has reached the pre-pandemic level

Ontario province has been experiencing numerous restrictions aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of the virus. Gradual reopening in March gives a silver lining. People are reacting to the changes in the colour-coded system of the province with cautious optimism. The whole situation with pandemiс dynamics still looks unstable, but one thing remains firm – job search. What are the trends in this sphere nowadays? Specialists from Jooble – the second-biggest job search engine worldwide analysed the labour market situation in Ontario They figured out how actively users seek new jobs, what vacancies they look for, which industries are eager to employ, and where to start the career path.

If you are looking for options in different cities, check out Toronto first. It’s an absolute leader in terms of job postings over the past two months. More than 33 000 new positions! Ottawa and Mississauga are following but with a big gap – a bit over 8000 vacancies each. Then go Brampton, Markham, Hamilton and London.

Job search intensity is stably high. It decreased dramatically only once over the past year – in March-April 2020 when the wave of chaos and uncertainty stuck the whole country. But as soon as the first shock wore off in May, users reinforced their attempts. The high season fell on August-September 2020. These months users were 32% more active at looking for a job than during the same period in 2019.

As the number of cases went up in autumn, activity slowed down, reaching its minimum in December. However, since the beginning of 2021, when the case rate started declining, job search reached its pre-pandemic level.

Part-time jobs, night shifts options and vacancies where you get paid in cash are on-trend. In January, users in Ontario also actively considered jobs for governmental institutions. In February top search inquiry was an elderly caregiver. Then went cashier and customer experience associate vacancies. Truck and delivery driver positions were right behind.

Employers are looking for workers in retail. The most frequent job titles posted in January-February were department managers, merchandising store associates, administrative store support, fresh food store associates and cashiers.

As of the beginning of spring, the situation has not changed much. People in Ontario keep eagerly looking for partial employment opportunities and those which assume a fast learning process.

Ontario Supporting Career Development in the Transportation Sector

Investment to address truck driver shortage and help job seekers find meaningful work

April 13 – The Ontario government is investing nearly $400,000 in a skills training project to prepare 24 newcomers for careers in the trucking industry in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The investment is part of an effort to provide more people with opportunities to find meaningful, well-paying jobs while keeping Ontario competitive in a sector that is expected to see 25,000 vacancies across Canada by 2023.

The program, in partnership with Hamilton’s Immigrants Working Centre, Commercial Heavy Equipment Training and several transportation companies, comes at no cost for participants. They will obtain their AZ drivers licence, which is required to become a commercial truck driver in Ontario. This program also provides language training and interview assistance, a paid job placement for each participant, and funds to cover expenses such as travel costs or childcare.

Recruitment for the program has already begun, and the first cohort of 12 participants is expected to begin training by the end of May. Participants are expected to be ready for employment by the end of September. The second 12-participant cohort is scheduled to begin training in August.

Job seekers interested in applying for this local SkillsAdvance Ontario project should contact Employment Ontario.

Protecting our economy, and supporting families, workers and employers, is part of the government’s 2021 Budget, which includes measures to help workers recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and develop the in-demand skills needed for the future. This is why Ontario is investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020-21 and 2021-22 for employment and training supports, including $117.3 million to assist those who are facing the highest rates of unemployment during the pandemic such as women, racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, youth and people with disabilities.

Quick Facts

This driver training project is one of 49 active SkillsAdvance Ontario projects across the province dedicated to sector-specific training for jobs in hospitality and tourism;

hospitality and food; steel; mining; construction; manufacturing; warehousing; transportation; healthcare; social assistance; PSW; early childhood education; agriculture,

forestry, fishing and hunting; arboriculture; landscape and horticulture; cannabis; financial services; and accessible digital media transportation sectors.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, training will be a combination of virtual and in-person.

The Employment Ontario network includes more than 300 partner organizations across Ontario that offer a range of free services and supports that help businesses find

workers and connect job seekers to training and job opportunities.

To help workers get the training they need, the government is also proposing the new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit. This would be a temporary, refundable Personal      Income Tax credit that would deliver support for 2021. The credit would provide up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of eligible expenses. The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit would provide an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021, or about $1,100 on average.

RVH directed to cancel non-emergency surgeries and procedures to ensure safe response to rising COVID cases

The province’s hospitals, with exception of those in Northern Ontario, have been directed by Ontario Health to ramp down all non-emergency, scheduled surgeries, procedures and other non-urgent activities, effective Monday April 12th.

The measure comes as COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations continue to increase at an alarming rate, putting extreme pressure on hospitals. The order is designed to preserve critical care bed capacity and ensure hospitals have enough staff to safely care for patients, particularly those requiring intensive care.

RVH will continue to perform emergency and urgent surgeries and procedures, such as trauma, cancer and vascular procedures however, to comply with the order:

All non-urgent surgical and endoscopic procedures will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later date.

Virtual visits will continue to be offered for many exams and assessments, including cardiac, mental health and cancer.

Patients will be notified directly if this ramp down impacts their surgery, procedure or clinic appointment. Only those patients whose appointments are cancelled will be notified. If you do not receive a call, your surgery/appointment will proceed and closer to the date, you will receive instructions to prepare and what to do upon arrival.

This is the second ramp down for Ontario hospitals; they were first directed to pause non-emergency surgeries and procedures in March of 2020.  In June RVH began ramping up surgeries and procedures and has worked hard to ease the surgical backlog sustaining access to surgical procedures with little disruptions.

As they did during the first ramp down, physicians will keep a close eye on patients whose procedures have been cancelled to ensure their non-urgent condition doesn’t progress and become urgent.

RVH is well-prepared for this third wave of the pandemic. It has enacted its critical care capacity plan which will enable the health centre to open 21 additional critical care beds throughout the hospital. It also continues to operate its Regional Pandemic Response Unit, a 70-bed field hospital located in RVH’s parking lot, 27 transitional care beds at the IOOF Seniors Home and 29 additional beds throughout the health centre, helping to reduce hallway medicine.