Winter Carnival Season Is Almost Here

By Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton

Sometimes sadness blankets our community.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jing Yu Xiong, owner of Chin Hon Restaurant in Richmond, which is just a few doors down from my Carleton constituency office. Jin’s wife, Wan Juan Xiong, passed away on Dec. 8 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The restaurant has been a cornerstone of the South Carleton business community for many years, and many people in Richmond and the surrounding communities have known the Xiong family for years. I was heartwarming to see local residents rally to support Jing with a giant card and money raised through a GoFundMe campaign.

It was also sad to hear of the tragic accident in the water near Nicholls Island in Manotick that claimed the life of Barrhaven teens Ahmed Haitham and Riley Cotter. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and all those affected by this tragedy.

Winter Carnival Season Is Almost Here

It’s hard to believe that winter carnival season in the Carleton riding is already upon us.

The Greely Winter Carnival runs from January 25-28 this year, followed by Manotick Shiverfest the North Gower Winter Carnival and the Osgoode Winter Carnival taking place on the first weekend of February.

The annual Richmond Run 5k and 10k races are also planned for Jan. 28 with the start and finish both at South Carleton High School. The icy conditions and cold weather never seem to slow down local runners, as they get a jump on the season with the first race of the year.

Keep an eye on the Manotick Messenger for details.

Ontario Increasing Funding to Combat Antisemitism and Islamophobia

The Ontario government is investing an additional $20.5 million this year, to help address the rise of hate incidents against religious and minority groups, particularly amid the recent spike in antisemitism and Islamophobia.

The new funding, prioritizing Jewish and Muslim communities, will expand the province’s Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant, helping faith-based and cultural organizations implement measures to ensure community spaces remain safe and secure.

The funding will provide community facilities, including synagogues, mosques, community hubs and Jewish and Muslim schools and childcare centres, with up to $20,000 to help better protect their spaces from hate-motivated incidents, graffiti, vandalism or other damage. Grant funding can be used for measures such as hiring security staff, surveillance cameras, security assessments, cybersecurity, and building repairs.

This $20.5 million investment builds on the $12.5 million provided to over 1,400 faith-based and cultural organizations through the first round of the Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant. Previous recipients of the grant are eligible for a top-up payment. The application portal opened on December 14, 2023.

Quick Facts

  • The new dedicated stream of funding will provide up to a maximum of $20,000 per non-profit organization, based on its revenues.
  • From October 7 to November 20, the Toronto Police Service reported 55 hate crimes and 280 hate-graffiti incidents related to antisemitism or Islamophobia. This represents a significant increase compared to the same time last year with 14 hate crimes and 21 hate-motivated graffiti related to antisemitism or Islamophobia reported.
  • Since 2021, the government has allocated a total of $86 million in grants and programs to protect faith and cultural communities.
  • All faith-based, cultural, 2SLGBTQQIA+, First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous organizations who need support and meet the criteria are eligible to receive funding; however, priority will be given to those that primarily serve Jewish and Muslim communities.
  • Based on 2021 StatsCan Police Reported Hate Crime data, Jewish and Muslim communities are among those most targeted.

Ontario Helping More Students Kick-Start Careers in the Trades

The Ontario government is investing over $62.9 million in two of the province’s foundational skilled trades programs to help more than 18,000 young people explore and prepare for life-long careers in a growing industry. The record increase in funding will help train the 100,000 skilled workers needed to build transit, hospitals and at least 1.5 million homes.

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a specialized high school program that gives students who have completed Grade 10 the chance to explore the trades through cooperative education courses. The government is expanding OYAP with a $21.1 million investment to help more students across the province gain exposure to the skilled trades by accumulating hours toward an apprenticeship while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The province is also sending 72 OYAP recruiters into more than 800 secondary schools to compete directly with colleges and universities.

The government is also investing $41.8 million to launch roughly 100 pre-apprenticeship training projects around the province to help young people get first-hand experience working in trades that can pay six figures such as welding, electrical and arboriculture. Pre-apprenticeship training is free for participants while costs for textbooks, safety equipment and tools are all covered. Courses can last up to 52 weeks and include an 8–12-week paid work placement with a local employer.

This announcement was made at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353 in Toronto. With a $1.3 million investment from the Skills Development Fund Training Stream, IBEW has launched a free project to prepare 48 people from underrepresented groups as electricians in the Greater Toronto Area. The program includes a free 15-week bootcamp on essential electrical skills and health and safety, along with a 10-week paid job placement with a local employer and a pathway to an apprenticeship.

Quick Facts

  • Apprenticeship registrations increased by 24 per cent in 2023, from 21,971 to 27,319.
  • In total, there were 91,634 apprentices active in Ontario as of April 3, 2023.
  • For more information on pre-apprenticeship training programs, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail, or live chat.
  • There are 144 skilled trades in Ontario.
  • Ontario also offers Dual Credit and Specialist High Skills Major job skills programs that support secondary students to explore careers in the skilled trades.
  • SDF Training Stream and Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program are supported by labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

Office Notice:

My office is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you require assistance on any matter, please contact me at any time. My staff and I will be happy to assist. Even if it’s not a provincial issue, I’ll make sure to connect you with the proper office.


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