Dear experts, service providers, and faith and community leaders,
I am writing to you in my capacity as Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities and Special Advisor to the Premier to thank you for your hard work during these chaotic times, and ask for your help with two objectives. I apologize in advance for the mass communication, but I wanted to be in touch quickly given the current crisis.
First, I am asking that you help us spread the word about the province’s $200M social services relief fund, which allocates $148M to charities through municipalities and $52M to community members through social assistance programs. We are encouraging charities to contact their municipalities (information about contacting municipalities is available here https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-your-local-service-manager) and also looking at ways to ensure those in need of social assistance know they qualify for additional support. More information about this fund is available here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/ontario-protecting-the-most-vulnerable-during-covid-19-crisis.html.
Second, I am asking that you help us understand what is happening on the ground in your communities by sharing your observations, concerns, and insights with my team. We want to know if the support offered by the province to vulnerable Ontarians is making a difference during this crisis, and if more needs to be done. You are welcome to contact my team at ACO@ontario.ca
I greatly value the time offered by experts and service providers to help governments. Your help will not be taken for granted. The aforementioned $200M social services relief fund is a direct result of community groups making their voices heard and working with us. I will continue to do my best to be a helpful voice in Queen’s Park, and I thank you for reading this email.
Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities
Special Advisor to the Premier of Ontario