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Premier at 8 Wing to announce consultations, hotline to support military families

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and MPP for Bay of Quinte Todd Smith, Minister Laurie Scott, with Premier Doug Ford, MPP Lindsey Park, and Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

Premier Doug Ford and Ontario government members at 8 Wing CFB Trenton Wednesday morning announced the launch of consultations and services to assist and support military families.

“During this week of Remembrance, we should never, ever forget families and the loved ones who stand behind the members of our military,” said Ford. “The upheaval of moving weighs heavy on their shoulders when they have to go from city to city right across the country. You can just imagine the stress they feel. Each and every one of us knows the stress to move a house; imagine doing that many times. Military families on average move three times more often than most families – uprooting their supporters so that they can fulfill their duty to the military and to Canada.”

A 2013 report by the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence found that relocation is a major cause of strain for spouses and children of members of the Canadian Forces.

Ford, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, and Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, spoke to the establishment of a one-stop hotline, website portal and consultations designed to help military families get information about schooling, job opportunities, child care, licensing and other programs and services.

The results of the consultations, expected to take about three months, will help create a dedicated hotline that provides support and services for military families.

Through his connections and discussions with military members over the years in this riding, Smith got the ball rolling over the past months as Minister Government and Consumer Services. Following Monday’s shuffle, he is now Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

“Having spent the last 25 years in this region I’ve seen military families come and go here at Trenton; many of them have made their home here and I’ve spoken with these families and know how difficult transition can be when coming from another province or country,” said Smith. “I’ve heard first-hand of the challenges they have faced in accessing services and resources when they first move to Ontario. By launching these consultations, our government is taking swift action to move forward with its Speech from the Throne commitment to create a military hotline.”

Smith noted he was also pleased to announce the launch of a military caucus at Queen’s Park, an initiative he has been talking about for the last couple of years.

“Here at CFB Trenton, members can be called away at a moment’s notice to offer disaster relief anywhere in the world,” said Walker. “Our government wants to make life a bit easier for these military family members…
The consultations will include online feedback from military families so we can better understand the programs and services needed by them and identify the problems they face when moving to Ontario. We’ll also talk with other provinces, the Federal government and Canadian Armed Forces to get a complete picture of any gaps that might exist when members move to a new province. We will also hold in-person consultations in military communities across the province.”

“The people of Ontario are grateful for the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform,” said Ford. “We know their dedicated service is only possible with the support of their families. We promised we would do what we can to make moving to and living in Ontario easier, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Details on in-person consultation sessions will be available at a later date. In the meantime, families can visit Ontario.ca/MilitaryFamilies.

The Canadian Forces, in June this year, launched the Seamless Canada initiative to better align programs and services for military members that may change within different provinces where they may be deployed.

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  1. ron slatter says:

    a good thing to support our military families is this Fords way of distracting the people from what is going on in his party

  2. Jennifer says:

    If this goes through. That would be amazing. I am q military spouse. And I know first hand how difficult it is. And I am kinda glad to see that the families of the members are finally getting the recognition..especially ones who have young kids. I love my boyfriend to death. And cannot imagine my.life with out him.

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