Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP on healthcare, jobs and agriculture
Article by Valerie MacDonald
Asked about his and the provincial government’s accomplishments in 2020, MPP David Piccini listed health care improvements, increases in jobs and the economy, and financial assistance to farmers.
There are three main issues on the health file, said the member for Northumberland-Peterborough South, listing: increased funding for small and medium-sized hospitals; creation of Ontario Health teams like the one in Northumberland that has instituted community paramedicine assisting people in their home; and changes to long-term care.
On the latter matter, the Ontario government has promised a minimum of four hours of care per resident in long-term care facilities per day to be “phased in over three years,” Piccini said. That length of time will allow time for recruitment and training of additional personnel and what is called “laddering.” A professional development term that refers to upgrading from one occupation to another such as a Personal Support worker upgrading to the position of a Registered Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse, the MPP explained.
There is a compensative healthcare review underway said the MPP who has personal knowledge of the importance of healthcare having been in hospital himself in November. Piccini said he subsequently received home care as he recovered.
In other matters, despite the impact of COVID-19, province-wide there has been an increase in the number of industrial and manufacturing jobs totalling 17,000 as of December, the MPP said. While he did not have job figures for this riding, he noted the replacement of Weston Foods’ bakery located in Cobourg by newcomer, Baxter’s Bakery. Then he pointed out that there is a new operation going into the former Campbellford Dart facility. The continued operation of a number of successful industries like Cameo in Port Hope and Cobourg was also mentioned.
The Ontario Government has assisted business and individuals in a variety of ways, helping them go digital and conduct business online, dedicating $1-billion to improve Broadband with intake applications for projects taking place this month and next, he said. Piccini said he expects continuing improvements in this riding in 2021 “and beyond.”
Talking about agriculture, Piccini mentioned, 22 projects funded in the riding with some of them, such as Algoma Orchards improving processing capabilities leading to the creation of new jobs. Another 16 agriculture businesses were assisted financially such as Rutherford’s Market, through Agri-Food Pilot.
The MPP said his holiday time would be a quiet one. “We will follow public health guidelines,” he said. It will be just his girlfriend and himself, plus his dog, at Christmas – with outdoor visiting with friends and families.
Piccini said he hopes Northumberland residents will follow provincial COVID-19 guidelines to help reduce the transmission of COVID and “hopefully this will be the last Christmas with these measures because of the vaccine.”
Finally, because the pandemic has limited the number of public events he would normally attend, there has been more time for PIccini to work on projects such as public transit and affordable housing. He said he would also be bringing forward some new projects in 2021.