On Wednesday March 10th, Lanark County council held a regular and virtual session along with 3 committee meetings; Community Services, Corporate Services, and Public Works. All members of county council sit on and vote at these committee sessions.
At the Corporate Services committee meeting, councilors received a presentation from Lanark Paramedics Chief Travis Mellema regarding recent funding from the province to operate a community long term care project. Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario Minister of Long Term Care announced on March 1st that $3.2M would be forwarded to the county for their paramedic service to operate a 4 year pilot program to support seniors who are on the provincial long-term care wait-list, or who will soon be eligible for long-term care, by providing them with community paramedic services in their own homes. Mellema needed county council approval to begin accessing the funds to prepare for the project’s launch later this year. He received that approval.
At the Community Services committee meeting, councilors approved dispensing $274K in funds received from the province to contracted and licensed daycare operators for expenses related to additional operational costs due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. The monies would cover such things as PPE, additional staff, and minor facility upgrades due to new public health regulations, among other reasons. This amount covers the first 3 months of this year’s operations.
At that same committee meeting, County Director of Social Services, Emily Hollington brought councilors up to date on the province’s new delivery model. She reported that between now and 2024, the Ontario government plans on centralizing financial payments out of Toronto to social assistance recipients across the province, leaving county and municipal departments to manage all of the casework for a much larger group of the population. She noted that no financial or accountability models had yet to be announced by Queen’s Park to go along with these system-wide changes.
At the full council meeting that starts off the evening, County Warden and Mississippi Mills Mayor, Christa Lowry proclaimed that Tuesday April 6th will be Family Caregiver Day in Lanark. The declaration was in recognition of the tremendous contribution from caregivers in Lanark County who provide limitless hours of care and the dedicated local agencies who support these caregivers.
For those wishing to join a virtual county council or committee meeting, their schedules are posted on the county’s website at lanarkcounty.ca. An email request can be made to the clerk’s office via firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a virtual meeting link.