Newmarket-Aurora MPP Dawn Gallagher Murphy writes a regular column for NewmarketToday about provincial initiatives and issues impacting our community.
Spring is in the air and a coronation is around the corner. It has been more than seven decades since the Commonwealth celebrated a coronation. To the residents of Newmarket-Aurora, you are cordially invited to attend a community event I will be hosting to view the King Charles III coronation on Saturday, May 6.
It will be held at the Aurora Royal Canadian Legion at 105 Industrial Parkway North, Aurora from 6 to 11 a.m. Please join me to celebrate our new monarch. We will have an assortment of scones, tea and coffee and a breakfast will also be served. Don’t forget to wear your favourite fascinator.
In April, I had the privilege of visiting York Regional headquarters in Newmarket to announce the Regional Municipality of York will be receiving more than $36.7 million in 2023-2024 for the homelessness prevention program. This funding ensures supportive housing service managers such as York Region have the flexibility to allocate funding where it is needed, including on capital projects, instead of on red tape and administrative tasks.
I am proud to say the amount represents a 76 per cent increase in annual funding compared to the 2022-2023 allocation of more than $20.8 million This boost in funding builds on the government’s investment of nearly $4.4 billion over the past three years to grow and enhance community and supportive housing.
I experienced great visits at Blue Door’s social enterprise and skills training facility, Construct, in Aurora, and male youth supportive housing, Kevin’s Place, in Newmarket. Blue Door is the largest emergency supportive housing provider in York Region. This organization addresses the root causes of homelessness head-on by focusing on four priorities:
- Housing stability/homelessness prevention, expanding housing options to meet the needs of individuals/families.
- Health (improving the mental/physical health of people at risk/experiencing homelessness).
- Employment — creating new employment opportunities for those at risk/experiencing homelessness.
- Organizational capacity/excellence — increasing organizational capacity to innovate and revise existing services to ensure the delivery of relevant programs/services.
During my visit, alongside my colleague York-Simcoe MPP Caroline Mulroney, we spoke with Blue Door staff about the advancement of their work, and how they will use two grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund – totalling $349,000 – to increase capacity as an organization and improve service delivery. Thank you to the Blue Door team for thinking outside the box and creating innovative solutions to help our vulnerable community members.
Some exciting news for our community is the government's announcement of plans to create the province’s first urban provincial park in the Township of Uxbridge, just a short drive from Newmarket-Aurora. It will encompass 1,315 acres of protected land. The creation of the Uxbridge Urban Park will mark a significant milestone in safeguarding the natural beauty of this region in perpetuity, for generations to come.
Situated in the heart of the Oak Ridges Moraine, this provincial park will offer an array of outdoor activities, including hiking and birdwatching, while also reinforcing the long-term health and protection of local wildlife. As a regulated Ontario Park, it will also serve as a hub for research and environmental monitoring, ensuring the continued preservation of this vital ecosystem. Our government is building Ontario for all Ontarians to enjoy, and I can assure you, this is just the beginning.
To schedule a meeting to discuss any of these topics, please call me at 905-853-9889 or email me at [email protected] and if you and your family would like to join me for the coronation viewing, please RSVP to the same email address.