Introduction

All Ontarians should have the opportunity to realize their potential and participate fully in an inclusive society. Ontario’s social services will be strengthened to help ensure that people have more stable and secure incomes, more affordable and adequate housing, and more support for adults with developmental disabilities. This will also help ensure more investment in children and youth, and access to an array of social services for new Ontarians so they feel welcome in this province.

The government is also transforming Ontario’s justice system to protect the interests of all people — victims, the public and the accused — while increasing community safety. Ontario also continues to improve the justice system to make it faster, fairer and more accessible through court-process improvements and online service options.

Building Communities

What We’ve Been Doing since 2013

  • Improving social assistance by increasing rates, providing extra support for people in remote and northern communities, introducing an earnings exemption and ending child support deductions
  • Exploring new ways of providing more consistent and predictable support to lower-income Ontarians including developing a Basic Income Pilot
  • Increasing and indexing the Ontario Child Benefit to enhance the incomes of more than half a million families
  • Welcoming more than 17,000 Syrian refugees since September 2015 and helping to support their transition to a new life in Ontario
  • Doubling the number of people who have access to legal aid services
  • Reducing time-to-trial and speeding up the resolution of cases by appointing more judges and delivering more courtroom resources

More Stable and Secure Incomes

Globalization, new technologies, automation and other factors have led to structural changes in the labour market. This includes an increase in non-standard employment, such as temporary and part-time work. While non-standard employment can provide workers with greater flexibility, it can sometimes be precarious and reduce an individual’s ability to earn a stable and secure income. In this context, and to prepare for the future, bold steps are needed to strengthen Ontario’s income security system.

Ontario is responding to these changes with a multi-faceted approach that includes modernizing the Province’s employment and labour laws as part of the Changing Workplaces Review, and equipping workers with the skills needed to succeed through the Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy. See Chapter III: Creating Opportunities and Security for more details. As part of this approach, the Province is also examining new ways to improve the income security system and is enhancing existing supports for Ontarians who need them most.

Introducing a Basic Income Pilot

In response to structural changes in the labour market, the government is developing innovative approaches to support Ontarians. This includes moving forward with the Basic Income Pilot, first announced in the 2016 Budget. A three-year pilot will test the idea that providing people with a basic income could be a simpler and more effective way to ensure security and opportunity in a changing job market, support people living on low incomes, and reduce poverty.

The Honourable Hugh Segal, a long-time advocate and the Province’s Special Advisor for the design and implementation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot, delivered a discussion paper in fall 2016. Guided in part by this paper, the government prepared a consultation document that focused on key questions, such as eligibility for the pilot, where the pilot should take place, what the basic income level should be, and how best to evaluate it. Public consultations took place from November 2016 to January 2017, with more than 35,000 people and a number of organizations participating.

In March 2017, the government released the Basic Income Consultations: What We Heard report summarizing the feedback from the consultations. Many participants voiced support for a basic income pilot that includes a representative sample of Ontarians, lifts people out of poverty, reflects the province’s diversity, runs efficiently and measures specific outcomes. In addition, through a separate but parallel process, a basic income pilot for First Nations is being co-created and designed.

Three communities across the province — Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Lindsay — will be eligible for participants aged 18 to 64. Through this pilot, people earning below a specified amount will receive regular payments that will help them better afford basic needs like housing or food, and participate in the community. Enrolment will be voluntary and based on informed consent. Work will continue with experts and communities to ensure delivery of a Basic Income Pilot that is fair, effective, and based on a representative sample.

Reviewing the Income Security System

Building inclusive communities also requires examining how the province’s system of income supports, including social assistance programs, can better reflect Ontarians’ needs. That is why the government established the Income Security Reform Working Group, and separate working groups with First Nations and urban Indigenous partners. These groups will help guide the Province’s efforts to reduce poverty, support people in their efforts to participate in the economy and their communities, and provide services in a way that makes sense to the people who need them.

Work is underway on the development of a multi-year roadmap for an income security system that is based on equity, adequacy, sustainability and simplicity. A report with recommendations is anticipated before the end of 2017.

Improving Social Assistance Benefits

Ontario’s social assistance programs play a critical role in the province’s income security system and are integral to building communities that are resilient and inclusive.

To help improve Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), the government is investing more than $480 million over four years to raise asset limits, increase income exemptions for cash gifts, and provide a rate increase that will benefit more than 900,000 people across Ontario.

Raising Social Assistance Asset Limits and Gift Exemptions

People who are able to build savings are more resilient and better able to manage temporary financial setbacks. This is why the government is providing more opportunities for people receiving social assistance to save and avoid the need to deplete their assets before getting help.

The government is increasing limits on cash and other liquid assets. These limits will be increased for single individuals receiving Ontario Works from $2,500 to $10,000, and from $5,000 to $15,000 for couples. For ODSP recipients, the cash and other liquid asset limits will be increased from $5,000 to $40,000 for single individuals, and from $7,500 to $50,000 for couples. Increases to asset limits will take effect by January 2018.

Recognizing that people receiving social assistance may also rely on the support of family or friends, the income exemption for cash gifts will be increased from $6,000 up to $10,000 per year in both ODSP and Ontario Works. In addition, gifts in any amount will not reduce the amount of social assistance people receive if the funds are used to pay for first and last month’s rent, purchase a principal residence, or buy a vehicle that they may need. These changes will take effect in September 2017.

Increasing Social Assistance Rates

The government is also increasing Ontario Works and ODSP benefit rates for everyone by two per cent. This change will include increases to other social assistance benefits and allowances, such as the Personal Needs Allowance, which is available for those residing in institutions and emergency shelters. These rate increases will take effect in September 2017 for ODSP, and in October 2017 for Ontario Works.

In addition, the Comfort Allowance provided by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to low-income residents of long-term care homes will be raised by two per cent.

To help address the unique challenges in northern and remote communities, including the higher cost of food and transportation, the Province will also increase the Remote Communities Allowance by providing an additional $50 per month for the first person and $25 for each additional family member.

Increasing Access to Affordable and Adequate Housing for All Ontarians

Implementing the Updated Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy

To increase access to affordable housing and accelerate the goal to end chronic homelessness, the government has committed to initiatives that make housing programs more coordinated and responsive to the needs of individuals and families. The government will continue to support the implementation of the updated Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy (LTAHS) to help the people of Ontario obtain access to affordable and adequate housing and to help them secure employment, raise families and build strong communities, including:

  • Transforming Ontario’s supportive housing system, targeting homeless priority populations — such as chronic and youth homeless — as well as homelessness among Indigenous peoples and following transitions from provincially funded institutions and service systems, by:
Front view of new affordable rental home in Kingston
Creating affordable housing options, including these new homes in Kingston.
    • Developing a Supportive Housing Policy Framework to improve client outcomes;
    • Providing approximately $200 million in funding over the next three years to improve access for up to 6,000 families and individuals to housing assistance and services such as counselling, assistance with medication, and life skills training; and
    • Supporting the construction of up to 1,500 new supportive housing units over the long term.
  • Investing $30 million over the next three years in the Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot to eventually support up to 3,000 survivors of domestic violence and provide them with the flexibility to choose where they want to live; and
  • Providing $90 million to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) over the next three years to help families and individuals stay in their homes or get the housing they need, through a wider range of services and homelessness prevention programs that meet local needs.

Leveraging Provincial Land Assets to Build Affordable Housing

The affordable housing sector faces a number of challenges, including a high level of demand for new units, an overall lack of supply, and limited capacity for construction in the not-for-profit housing sector.

To address this challenge, the Ontario government, through its agency Infrastructure Ontario, will establish a new program that would strategically leverage Provincial land assets as a way to build more affordable housing units across the province. The program would involve disposing of appropriate Provincial surplus land for below market value as a mechanism to leverage long-term affordable housing supply as part of the development.

This program would complement the work being done to establish Community Hubs, which will also use land assets to advance community use of public properties, when a clear provincial interest is identified and a viable business case can be demonstrated. A key element of the initiative’s success will be ensuring that the new units have access to efficient and well-aligned support services that meet the community needs. The new units will also support the government’s environmental and climate change goals.

The Province will pilot the program at multiple sites in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Under the program, the Province will commit $70–100 million in land to develop up to 2,000 new housing units, including a mix of market and affordable housing. Beginning in spring 2017, the Province will work with municipalities, the federal government, the housing sector and other interested stakeholders to confirm the pilot sites and final program design.

Social Infrastructure Fund

Under the Social Infrastructure Fund, the Province and federal government have agreed to provide more than $640 million from 2016–17 to 2018–19 to support the repair and modernization of community infrastructure and address local service capacity and emerging needs. The funding will, among other things, expand the Investment in Affordable Housing for Ontario Program, support the new construction and renovation of affordable housing units for seniors, renovate and retrofit social housing units, and assist in the construction and renovation of shelters for victims of family violence.

Helping Vulnerable People

Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The government remains committed to transforming Ontario’s developmental services system with the goal of supporting people to live as independently as possible in inclusive communities across Ontario.

The government will take immediate action and invest $677 million over four years to help keep people out of crises and give more people the supports that are right for them. In particular, in 2017–18, the government will:

  • Provide over 375 additional residential developmental services placements for individuals with urgent needs and youth transitioning from the child welfare system;
  • Support 1,000 additional adults with developmental disabilities to participate in their communities through the Passport program;
  • Establish a specialized residential support home for individuals with complex needs who are moving from justice facilities;
  • Expand specialized clinical responses for individuals with complex special needs; and
  • Improve access to local community services by making the system easier to navigate.

Over the next two years, the government will work with families and community partners to transition over 400 young adults currently in the children’s system into adult developmental services.

This investment will support the government’s response to the recommendations of the Ombudsman of Ontario to address situations of crisis involving people with urgent and complex care needs. The Province is committed to continuing to work with individuals, families and champions to build on the foundation set to date. The government’s goal is to provide greater flexibility, choice and inclusion in the developmental services that are offered.

Supporting Children and Youth

Child Welfare Reform

The government is committing an additional $134 million over four years to support new initiatives in the Child Welfare sector. In addition, on December 8, 2016, Ontario took key steps to support future system transformation by introducing legislation to strengthen and modernize child and youth services. The Supporting Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, if passed, would put children at the centre of decision-making; support more accountable, responsive and accessible child and youth services; and strengthen oversight for children’s aid societies (CASs) and licensed residential services by:

  • Raising the age of protection from 16 to 18 to increase protection services for more vulnerable youth in unsafe living conditions. These services would support their educational achievement and reduce their risk for homelessness and human trafficking.
  • Improving oversight of service providers, including CASs, so that children and youth receive consistent, high-quality services across the province.
  • Incorporating new initiatives from the Province that will also support better service planning and delivery, such as the creation of the Supporting Families Fund, as well as the implementation of the One Vision One Voice plan in CASs.

Collective Impact for At-Risk Youth

In 2016, the government committed to pilot a Collective Impact (CI) approach to improve outcomes for the approximately 170,000 youth in Ontario who are not employed or in education or training. CI is an innovative approach to achieve social change that encourages cross-sectoral collaboration. The government is working with a group of senior leaders from the public, private, philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors to facilitate and support communities to better align services and support for at-risk youth. The Leadership Council will work with five pilot communities in 2017 to remove community-identified barriers to collaboration across sectors and to improve education and labour market opportunities for these young people.

Improving Autism Services

In 2016, the government announced changes to autism services and supports, and introduced the new Ontario Autism Program. This commitment was supported with new investments of $500 million over five years. Ontario is providing children with more flexible services at a level that meets each child’s individual needs, reduces wait times for service, and increases the number of treatment spaces available to assist children. From January 2017 to March 2018, five new diagnostic hubs will be established to improve the availability of more timely Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnostic assessments so children can start accessing services as quickly as possible.

Addressing Racism

As part of the 2016 Budget, the government committed to addressing racism in all forms — including individual, systemic and cultural racism — and to advance equality for all Ontarians regardless of race, ethnicity, creed or cultural background. This included the creation of the new Anti-Racism Directorate.

Anti-Racism Strategy

Following province-wide consultations, the government released A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan in March 2017. The strategy includes:

  • Developing a framework for the collection of race-based data in various institutions, including the child welfare system and the justice, education and health sectors;
  • A new Ontario Black Youth Action Plan targeted at increasing access to supports and opportunities for Black children, youth and their families, to address outcome disparities;
  • Implementing an anti-racism impact assessment framework to help anticipate and remove unconscious bias in proposed policies, programs and decisions;
  • New legislation that would, if passed, ensure the sustainability and accountability of the Province’s anti-racism work by providing a framework for government and organizations to identify and combat systemic racism; and
  • Public education and awareness initiatives targeting racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

As part of the strategy, the government will continue to deepen its understanding of systemic racism with race-based data and stronger community collaboration, and will develop tools and methods to intervene before unconscious biases influence government decision-making and impact the people of Ontario.

Indigenous-Focused Anti-Racism Strategy

As part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Reconciliation, and as a key component of Ontario’s broader Anti-Racism Strategy, the government is providing $4 million over two years to support development of two Indigenous-designed and delivered anti-racism programs. This includes a youth-leading-youth program to train Indigenous youth to lead interactive workshops in elementary schools, high schools, postsecondary schools and other community settings, and to discuss their community’s experiences with racism and biases and their impact.

The second program is an anti-racism training toolkit for use in postsecondary institutions and professional organizations to help build self-reflection and the ability to recognize biases that can impact the provision of services to Indigenous peoples.

Ontario Black Youth Action Plan

Ontario is committed to developing a plan to more specifically address the needs and improve the outcomes of Black youth in Windsor, Ottawa and the GTHA.

As announced on March 7, 2017, an investment of $47 million over four years will increase access to supports for 10,800 Black children and youth by 2019–20. The Action Plan will:

Two Black students reading
Ontario is building partnerships in the community to provide more targeted support for Black youths
  • Invest in culturally focused parenting initiatives and mentoring programs;
  • Encourage Black children to stay in school by investing in early intervention programming;
  • Help Black students access higher education through culturally focused outreach;
  • Ensure programs and policies meet the specific needs of at-risk youth through Ontario-based research;
  • Help Black youth find their career path by investing in targeted skills development programs; and
  • Invest in community outreach and promote anti-violence.

The Action Plan outcomes are focused on ending disparities related to graduation rates, admission to postsecondary education, and youth unemployment rates.

Welcoming New Ontarians

Ontario’s Response to the Global Refugee Crisis

Ontario’s humanitarian commitment to assist refugees focuses on saving lives and offering protection to the displaced and persecuted. In 2016, Ontario communities welcomed refugees at an unprecedented level, as approximately 20,000 refugees from all areas of the world resettled in Ontario.

The government provides assistance to enable refugees to settle into communities in Ontario and enter the labour market by funding settlement services, language training and bridge training programs. These investments offer services in refugees’ first language and special programming for refugee women, children and youth, and enable community partners to address refugee needs in areas such as adult language training and employment assistance, and mental health.

Chart 4.5 Ontario’s Response to the Global Refugee Crisis

Ontario's Response to the Global Refugee Crisis
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Accessible description of Chart 4.5
Syrian father and son standing in a living room
Helping refugees start new lives by supporting settlement agencies and local partners.

Ontario expects to receive high levels of refugees and newcomers in the coming years. Refugees will also continue to arrive in Ontario through secondary migration and relocation from other provinces as they search for work opportunities. The Province’s ongoing investments will help newcomers and refugees build new lives in Ontario.

Multicultural Community Capacity Grant

Ontario receives an average of 100,000 immigrants per year and has the most ethnically diverse population in Canada. Ontario will provide $3 million each year for the next two years to establish the Multicultural Community Capacity Grant to help immigrants, refugees and ethnocultural communities navigate barriers and advance toward full integration and participation in Ontario society. Funding would target activities that facilitate community engagement, social integration, education and empowerment to promote intercultural understanding and break down barriers to participation in community life and civic decision-making processes.

Improving the Justice System

The justice sector continues to undergo long-term transformation to create a justice system that is modern, focused on prevention, community-based and people-centred. To achieve this, the government is focusing on initiatives that will increase community safety and well-being, enhance system effectiveness and efficiency, improve outcomes for those in contact with the justice system, and strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities.

Building Safer Communities

The government is committed to finding smarter, better ways to build safer communities. Working with police services, local agencies and the communities they serve, the Province is developing the Strategy for a Safer Ontario to help create stronger, more integrated communities across the province and modernize police services to ensure they are community-focused, accountable, sustainable and culturally responsive.

The Province’s Strategy for a Safer Ontario is about proactive and collaborative approaches to build even safer communities. The government’s goal is to build a proactive, sustainable and effective model of policing, focused on community safety and well-being.

The Strategy will include a new:

  • Collaborative, risk-based approach to community safety and well-being with improved interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians;
  • Community safety services structure that clarifies core police responsibilities, provides flexibility for the use of a range of community safety personnel, and modernizes entry and training requirements for police officers;
  • Suite of measures to enhance civilian governance and oversight for police services that strengthens accountability to the public; and
  • Legislative framework that ensures the sustainability of First Nations policing.

The government will be introducing legislation to modernize the Police Services Act and implement the Strategy.

Police officer talking to two elderly women on a bench
Ontario is modernizing police services to improve public safety in communities across the province.

This modern approach will also help ensure police can focus on core services that reduce victimization and harm, which will be reflected in an updated Police Services Act. The Act has been largely unchanged since its drafting in 1990. Modernizing the Act will help communities better respond to 21st-century issues and provide the blueprint that brings police and social service providers together.

Key pillars of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario include:

  • Modernizing core police responsibilities to ensure the right personnel provide the right response at the right time; and
  • Improving interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians by enhancing the front-line response to persons in crisis and addressing the increasing number of mental health-related calls that could be more appropriately handled by other community service providers.

In April 2016, the Ministry of the Attorney General appointed Justice Michael Tulloch to conduct a review of Ontario’s independent police civilian oversight bodies: the Special Investigations Unit, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Justice Tulloch’s review will help inform the government’s Strategy for a Safer Ontario in a number of areas, including as it relates to oversight for sworn officers, community safety personnel, board members and other members of the policing community.‎

Ensuring Wage Parity for First Nation Police Officers

The Ontario and federal governments are partners in supporting First Nation police services, under the First Nations Policing Program (FNPP), funded 52 per cent by Canada and 48 per cent by Ontario. Historically, under this partnership, salaries for officers employed by First Nation police services were lower than those for OPP officers.

Earlier in 2017, the Ontario government provided 100 per cent of the necessary funding to ensure that all First Nation police officers in communities across the province are remunerated at the same rate as those employed by the OPP. The Province will continue to work with First Nation partners and the federal government to strengthen policing and community safety in Ontario’s First Nations, including as Canada engages in a review of the FNPP.

Expanding Indigenous Supports

The government is also investing $44.2 million over two years to expand or establish programs that support a justice system which is culturally relevant and responsive to Indigenous communities, including:

  • Expanding the Gladue Program, which directs courts to consider non-custodial sentencing options and provides after-sentencing supports for Indigenous offenders;
  • Providing Indigenous-specific services for victims to help address unique needs;
  • Offering dispute-resolution processes that divert accused persons from the justice system and focus on restoring relationships based on Indigenous principles; and
  • Enhancing healing services and cultural supports for inmates in custody and offenders under supervision.

See also Chapter V: Working with Our Partners for more information on Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Taking Steps to End Human Trafficking

Though human trafficking is a largely hidden problem, its effect on survivors and their families is acute and pervasive. In June 2016, the government announced its anti-human trafficking strategy, together with an investment of up to $72 million. This investment will improve survivors’ access to services, increase awareness and coordination, and establish two separate funds for community-based supports and for Indigenous-led initiatives.

The strategy is also enhancing justice-sector initiatives by:

  • Increasing funding by $6.7 million over four years to Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario, under which 47 community-based service partners deliver programs to provide better supports for survivors;
  • Expanding the Victim/Witness Assistance Program to hire specialized human trafficking survivor services workers in Newmarket, Brampton and Toronto;
  • Expanding the Victim Quick Response Program by $1.9 million over four years to allow victims of human trafficking to access new benefits, such as tattoo removal, replacement of government documents and recovery in a trauma-informed facility; and
  • Recruiting a Provincial Crown Coordinator who will create a Provincial Human Trafficking Prosecution Team that will ensure the province-wide coordination of an enhanced prosecutorial model and work collaboratively with police and survivor assistance programs to improve and enhance investigations and prosecutions.

Ontario will also continue to look for ways to partner with governments across the country on issues such as a national hotline to support survivors of human trafficking.

Streamlining and Modernizing the Court System

The government, in collaboration with the judiciary and other justice participants, is undertaking several court modernization initiatives, including:

  • Standardizing pre-trial practices to reduce the number of court appearances in a case.
  • Supporting early resolution of cases where appropriate.
  • Exploring alternatives to costly in-court appearances to better use police, court and corrections resources. These include the increased use of video technology for defence counsel consultations with in-custody accused, as well as for bail hearings and remand court appearances.

Through its plan to reduce time-to-trial and improve the bail system, the government is delivering new courtroom resources, including more Crown Attorneys, duty counsel and court staff, and will allow a focus on early case resolution and increase capacity in the system. The plan also includes:

  • Province-wide expansion and enhancement of the Bail Verification and Supervision Program to help facilitate the successful release on bail of low-risk accused pending trial, by making the program available at a number of weekend court locations and extending eligibility to allow more vulnerable people to be served across the province;
  • Launching an innovative new “bail beds” program to provide safe, supervised housing for low-risk individuals in five Ontario communities;
  • Making duty counsel available at six correctional facilities across the province to allow for more effective bail hearings; and
  • Developing a new, culturally responsive program to provide supports to Indigenous people undergoing the bail and remand process.

The government is also appointing 13 more judges to support more effective and timely case progression, bringing Ontario’s complement of full-time judges to 299.

Transforming the Corrections System

The government is also undertaking broad reform of Ontario’s corrections system, based on a progressive and collaborative approach to individual rehabilitation and reintegration. The initiatives will seek to reduce — through prevention and diversion — the number of individuals in custody, ensure those in custody receive services and programs that are responsive to individual needs, and better support staff in corrections.

To reduce the number of people held — and time spent — in segregation, and to improve the conditions under which individuals are held, the Province is:

  • Hiring an additional 239 staff to increase health and social supports for inmates, particularly those with significant challenges related to long-term segregation;
  • Enhancing services for inmates on remand and those serving custodial sentences to ensure they have access to a standardized set of core services, spiritual services and programming with a focus on enhanced mental health and well-being of inmates;
  • Implementing dedicated managers at institutions with higher segregation rates to help reduce the use of segregation, and support inmates as they transition back to the general population; and
  • Retrofitting, repairing and repurposing existing spaces, including common rooms and yards, by, for example, changing/upgrading doors, and repainting and creating new day areas.

The government is committed to providing humane and compassionate care to individuals in custody and ensuring their legal and human rights are respected. The government appointed independent advisor Howard Sapers to review the use of all forms of segregation in corrections facilities and to identify opportunities for longer-term transformation of the corrections system in Ontario.

Mr. Sapers has been asked to provide advice on building a system where appropriate alternatives to segregation are more available for vulnerable populations — particularly people with acute mental health issues. He has also been asked for advice on delivering enhanced oversight of inmates and correctional institutions, and improving the living conditions for inmate populations.

Work is ongoing to develop a better approach to segregation as part of Ontario’s broader corrections transformation initiative. The government is also exploring options for correctional facilities that will improve the health and safety of both inmates and staff, address capacity issues, and better accommodate the delivery of programming.

Enhancing Mental Health in Corrections

As part of transforming the provincial correctional system, the government is increasing access to health care services, including mental health and addictions services, for persons with mental illness who are involved in the justice system. The Province is investing $51 million over three years to improve services for people with mental health and addictions issues, from their first point of contact with the system, until reintegration into the community after release. This investment will help provide more effective services where appropriate and reduce pressure on the criminal justice system. It will expand the availability of safe beds, providing time-limited emergency housing where suitable as an alternative to hospital or jail. It will also increase access to supports that will help facilitate the reintegration of people with mental illness back into the community, helping reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

For further information on the Province’s mental health investments and Ontario’s Opioid Strategy, which includes increasing access to naloxone, an anti-overdose medication, see Chapter IV, Section A: Strengthening Health Care.

Justice Infrastructure

The Province is continuing to make investments in justice facilities that support the long-term transformation of the justice system. These investments help strengthen community safety while providing timely access to justice and assisting vulnerable populations.

Examples of Projects in Planning or Underway

  • Work is underway to open the first phase (32 beds) of dedicated mental health units for female adult inmates at the site of the Roy McMurtry Youth Centre by 2018. The centre will address the unique environmental and programming needs of adult female offenders, including those who require specialized mental health services.
  • The second phase of modernizing OPP facilities across the province is underway, with the construction of several new OPP detachments.
  • Construction is expected to start in 2017–18 for a new London Provincial Communications Centre, which will address growing demand and will link the public and the police during emergency and non-emergency situations, 24 hours a day.
  • Construction of a policing detachment is planned for the Weagamow Lake First Nation community, in a funding partnership with the government of Canada.

Chart Descriptions

Chart 4.5: Ontario’s Response to the Global Refugee Crisis

This chart chronicles the additional funding announced by the Ontario government since September 2015 to help refugees settle into communities in Ontario and enter the labour market.

Return to Chart 4.5