Child Care Workers and ECE Appreciation Day
Thursday, October 24, 2019, was proclaimed Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day in recognition of the education, dedication and commitment of child care workers to children, their families and quality of life of the community. To mark the occasion, education projects were on display in the Atrium of the County Administration Centre in Midhurst from October 21 to October 25, featuring graphic representations of discussions and ideas from the 2019 We Are Stronger Together Early Years Conference.
Seniors Community Grant
On Thursday, October 17, Attorney General and local MPP, Doug Downey, held an event, hosted by the County at the Administration Centre in Midhurst, to announce funding under the Seniors Community Grant Program. The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility is providing the County of Simcoe with more than $13,000. This funding will support with the execution of Simcoe County Seniors Safety and Security Symposiums, as part of our Age-friendly Initiatives, on elder abuse, fraud and cyberscam awareness, fire safety and prevention and personal emergency preparedness.
Paramedic Services Response Time Performance
Prior to the downloading of land ambulance services to the upper tier municipalities there were no legislated response time standards in place. Now, the Ambulance Act mandates that response time performance targets for a given calendar year be reported to the Ministry of Health no later than October 31 of each year.
County Council received a report that confirmed 2018 response time performance targets were reached or exceeded. Review of mid-year 2019 performance suggests that response time targets will continue to be met. Council also learned how Paramedic Services across the Province continue to advocate for enhancing the accuracy in the prioritization of calls through improvement in dispatch practices to reduce response time performance for more urgent patients.
Trillium Gift of Life Network
Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) is the Government of Ontario agency responsible for delivering and coordinating organ and tissue donation and transplantation services across the province. The TGLN is seeking to increase its number of tissue donor referrals by exploring alternative methods of receiving tissue donor referrals from its community-based partners. As Ontario Paramedics often attend 9-1-1 calls that result in pronouncement of death in the home, TGLN has begun partnering with Ontario Paramedic Services to assist in achieving their goal.
County Council voted to implement the Paramedic Service Community-based Death Referral Program in Simcoe County. The program will go live following the final continuing education session for our Paramedics in December 2019. Paramedics will collect next of kin information and call the TGLN, where co-ordinators receive the patient's personal health information provided by the Paramedics and screen the patient for donation eligibility.
Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy Update
Under the Housing Services Act, 2011, Service Managers, including the County, are required to review their Affordable Housing and Homelessness Plans at least once every five years. Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy was approved by Council in 2014. The 2019 update is in alignment with current provincial policy direction, confirms the continuing validity of the original comprehensive strategy, and affirms the County's commitment to the vision of adequate, appropriate and affordable housing for Simcoe County residents.
Council received a report on the 2019 update, which highlights continued need for an increased supply of affordable housing in Simcoe County, particularly the need for rental housing. The target of 2,685 units by 2024 remains a minimum target towards meeting the needs across the County, and to-date since 2014, the County has created approximately 1,500 new units.
County Road 90 / County Road 27 - Speed Reduction Request
In establishing County speed limits, it is important that the posted speed limit meet with driver expectations. Studies show that speed limits should be set to reflect a speed the majority of drivers consider safe and reasonable under favourable conditions. To determine appropriate speed limits along County roadways, the Transportation and Engineering Department uses the Transportation Association of Canada's Canadian (TAC) manual. Many risk factors are taken into account, including lane width, pedestrian and cyclist exposure, and number of private access driveways.
In response to concerns regarding the school bus stops along a section of County Road 90, a speed survey was undertaken on this section of the road from May 6 to May 10, 2019. Approximately 76,000 vehicles surveyed. Based on this information, Council voted that a speed limit of 60 km/h on County Road 90 / Mill St from Turnbull easterly to Don Ross Drive be implemented and that the limits of the 50 km/h speed zone on County Road 27 be extended further north of Thornton to the Thornton Cemetery.