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Ontario Provides Support for Expansion of Community Hubs

 

Ontario has committed to supporting the expansion of community hubs across the province with the addition of four projects. The province will provide funding to cover property holding costs through the Surplus Property Transition Initiative. Costs covered include up to 18 months of ongoing operating and maintenance costs.

One of the projects included in the initiative is the Biindigen Community Hub at St. Helen’s Elementary School in Hamilton, which will offer Indigenous and non-Indigenous services. Among these are “culturally safe health care, health promotion, traditional healing, recreation and wellness programming, before and after school care, licensed child care, and neighbourhood planning work.”

 

The Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Centre and Odawa Native Friendship Centre at Rideau High School in Ottawa. According to the news release, the hub “is a joint project between two community organizations focused on Indigenous and non-Indigenous services.” The services provided include but are not limited to alternative secondary school, urban Indigenous healthy living, programs that combat homelessness, cultural resources, a food bank, an Indigenous job fair, housing, and Inuit supports for students and youth.

The Regional Skills Training, Trades & Innovation Community Hub at Sydenham Community Elementary School in Owen Sound includes a trade and innovation centre designed to address barriers to rural employment and education. Programs offered include fine arts, skilled trades, software development, culinary arts, and hairstyling, among others. “This hub will be connected to regional secondary schools and provide pathway opportunities for students.”

The fourth project adopted by the province is the Indigenous Early Years Hub at Dr. McDougall Public School in North Bay. “This proposed community hub will provide services to Indigenous communities including a child and family program and licensed day care, Indigenous cultural and linguistic programs, and services for families, supported by local elders and Indigenous partners.”

Ontario has also committed to providing support for the development of a francophone community hub in Western Ottawa. The project includes renovating the former Grant Alternative School and expanding it to provide French-speaking families with employment and training programs, as well as social services, childcare services, and healthcare.

 

 

Many officials have expressed excitement for the development of these community hubs. Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure, stated, “I have seen first-hand the extraordinary benefits that community hubs can bring to a region. For too long there’s been a gap in services in our end of Ottawa for the francophone community, and I congratulate Coopérative multiservices francophone de l’Ouest d’Ottawa and Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Ést de l’Ontario for stepping up to meet that need with a new French-language community hub.”

Minister of Francophone Affairs Marie-France Lalonde referred to the development as “another example of our government’s commitment to support Franco-Ontarians across the province.”

“We are proud to partner with the community to ensure Francophone families have more options when it comes to essential services in French,” said Lalonde.

 

 

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