Ministry overview

Ministry’s vision

The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility’s vision is an inclusive Ontario that supports the health and well-being of people with disabilities and older Ontarians and strives to improve their quality of life by changing perceptions and promoting the benefits of an inclusive, age-diverse, and accessible Ontario where everyone is respected and able to participate. The ministry works across government, and with community, business, and other partners to deliver programs and services to create social and economic environments that: i) support older Ontarians in staying safe, healthy, active, independent, and engaged in their communities, and ii) create conditions to remove barriers so that people with disabilities can live independently and fully participate in their communities and economy.

To achieve its vision, the ministry:

  • Collaborates across government and with key partners like municipalities, provincial and community organizations to inform policies and develop and fund programs to support greater access, independence, social connection, and active living for older adults/seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Helps older adults/seniors stay healthy and safe, including through the prevention of elder abuse and by supporting the safety of retirement home residents.
  • Ensures that people with disabilities with diverse lived experience and expertise are represented and are engaged in ministry activities and legislative bodies such as the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, and Standards Development Committees.
  • Works with employers to champion the business case and economic benefits of employing seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Partners with disability organizations to help connect together people with disabilities and employers.
  • Brings an accessibility and older Ontarians’ lens to government policies, programs, services and initiatives.
  • Supports the development of educational tools and resources.
  • Administers and oversees development, implementation, and enforcement of accessibility laws as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (referred to as AODA throughout the rest of this document).
  • Oversees and/or administers the Seniors Active Living Centres Act, 2017 (SALCA), the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA) and the Senior Volunteer Appreciation Week Act, 2021.
  • Oversees the administration of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (RHA).
  • Works with Federal/Provincial/Territorial partners and participates in policy forums and tables to discuss common challenges, share best practices, and identify opportunities for collaboration.

COVID‑19 response

The top priority of the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility is the health and well-being of seniors and people with disabilities. Older adults and people with disabilities have unique vulnerabilities due to barriers that have arisen because of the pandemic. Congregate settings, including retirement homes, are at greater risk of COVID‑19 outbreaks. The ministry works closely with partner ministries and stakeholders to develop and implement policies and programs that address the pressing needs of seniors and people with disabilities due to COVID‑19. These policies and programs also impact the residents and staff in licenced retirement homes.

The ministry has been steadfast in its efforts to protect the health and safety of people living and working in the retirement homes sector. This has resulted in amendments to legislations and regulations to, developing emergency orders, and working across government to establish supports for preventing and containing outbreaks in the retirement homes sector. The ministry is also working across government to provide advice on ways accessibility barriers can be addressed and removed for persons with disabilities and seniors.

The ministry has also refocused existing programs, services, and activities to address the impact of the pandemic by changing how services are delivered while meeting new and/or existing needs of socially isolated seniors and people with disabilities.

Ministry programs

The ministry supports, develops, and delivers policies and public services to improve the quality of life for older adults/seniors and people with disabilities. It helps older Ontarians lead safe, engaged, active, and healthy lives and improves accessibility and employment for people with disabilities. Acting as an agent for positive change, the ministry plays a leadership role in advising on the development of government policies and programs that impact seniors and people with disabilities.

The ministry is organized into two divisions that play the following key roles:

Policy, Program, and Strategic Partnerships

  • Develops policy, programs, and strategic partnerships to help older Ontarians and people with disabilities stay independent, active, safe, and socially connected.
  • Collaborates with other ministries to ensure seniors and accessibility considerations are built into government-wide policies and programs.
  • Leads policy and program development and implementation to respond to the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic in retirement homes through collaboration with other ministries, the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) and the sector.
  • Collaborates with stakeholders including accessibility and seniors organizations, employers, partner ministries, and the broader public sector to support evidence-based, informed policy approaches and to undertake joint initiatives.
  • Leads policy and regulatory development related to the RHA and oversees the RHRA, with the aim to ensure that retirement home residents are safe, respected, and can make informed choices about their care options.
  • Leads policy development related to the SALCA and oversees the design, implementation, and management of grants under the Seniors Active Living Centres Program.
  • Supports hundreds of projects that help promote the engagement and inclusion of seniors and people with disabilities through the design, implementation, and management of the Seniors Community Grant, EnAbling Change Program and the Inclusive Community Grants Programs.
  • Improves access to information about programs and services available to seniors and individuals with disabilities by supporting the development of educational resources and facilitating information-exchange with key partners and Ontarians.
  • Convenes the Seniors Liaison Committee and consults with partner ministries, federal and other provincial/territorial jurisdictions to develop user-centred evidence-based policies and programs.
  • Oversees a number of strategic Transfer Payment Agreements (TPA) with various stakeholders to deliver programs that support older adults and people with disabilities and COVID‑19 response in licensed retirement homes.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

  • Leads the planning, delivery and oversight of all activities undertaken by the Minister’s statutory advisory bodies including the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, Standards Development Committees, and Legislative Reviewers.
  • Leads all legislative and regulatory policy activities on the development and implementation of the AODA, new accessibility standards and the review of existing standards in the O.Reg. 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards.
  • Helps ensure public, private, and not-for-profit sector organizations understand and comply with the provincial accessibility standards by providing compliance assistance, audit, and enforcement activities in alignment with the government's overall compliance objectives.
  • Educates, partners with, and builds awareness among businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and the broader public sector about accessibility laws, and ensures organizations and communities understand and have the tools and supports required to comply with the AODA and to champion accessibility.
  • Supports programs that educate about accessibility and support regulatory compliance.
  • Supports programs that recognize individual Ontarians who, and organizations in Ontario that have excelled in improving and championing accessibility for people with disabilities.

COVID‑19 response

Given the population base the ministry serves, all programs and activities have been refocused to address the needs of seniors and people with disabilities during the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Additionally, the ministry has invested funding and developed new policies and programs to support seniors and people with disabilities in their community and to support the safety and well-being of licensed retirement home residents and staff due to the significant impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the sector.

2022–23 Strategic plan

The ministry works to support and deliver on the government’s plan for growth, prosperity, jobs, building more highways and hospitals, and keeping costs down for seniors, families and workers. In 2022–23, the ministry will continue to work towards improving the lives of older adults and people with disabilities across Ontario to support them to live active, healthy, safe and socially connected lives. The ministry will achieve this by focusing on key priorities such as:

  • fostering an inclusive Ontario
  • supporting the well-being of seniors and people with disabilities
  • promoting modern-user centred regulation
  • achieving organizational and operational excellence.

In 2022–23, the ministry will focus on:

  • Helping licensed retirement homes continue to prevent and contain respiratory outbreaks as the province transitions to a post emergency state of COVID‑19.
  • Helping seniors stay safely in their homes by extending the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit for another year. The credit extension will provide an estimated $25 million in support to about 32,000 people, or $1,100, on average, up to a maximum benefit of $2,500 in eligible expenses for a senior’s principal residence in Ontario.
  • Proposing a new, refundable Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit to help low-to moderate-income senior families with eligible home care medical expenses, including for attendant care, assistive breathing devices, and hearing and walking aids. In 2022, this new Personal Income Tax credit will provide an estimated $110 million in support to about 200,000 low-to moderate senior families, or about $550 on average. Starting with the 2022 tax year, senior families would claim the new Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit when they file their personal Income Tax and Benefit Returns.
  • Improving seniors’ engagement and active aging by:
    • Continuing to invest in the Seniors Active Living Centres Program, which provides funding to almost 300 social and recreation programs across Ontario for seniors living in community.
    • Doubling funding to $6 million for the Seniors Community Grant Program to support projects that help Ontario seniors stay safe, healthy, active and connected to families and friends in their communities. This funding is available to community organizations, municipalities and Indigenous groups for various programs and services across the province that empower seniors to continue to be active participants in their communities.
    • Providing up to $750,000 for the Inclusive Community Grants Program to support projects that will build more inclusive and accessible communities for people of all ages and abilities (Source: Ontario Newsroom, Ontario Investing in Inclusive and Accessible Communities, January 25, 2022).
  • Providing seniors with the services they need:
    • The province announced the Temporary Retention Incentive for Nurses Program (TRINP) with an aim to retain Ontario’s nurses across the healthcare sector. The TRINP includes up to $18.8 million of funding provided from the Ministry of Health to Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA) over 2021–22 and 2022–23 to support the retention of nurses in the licensed retirement home sector. (Source: Ontario Newsroom, Ontario Making Historic Investment in Provincial Nursing Workforce).
  • Investing $15 million over the next three years to support more than 1,200 individuals and families each year in making their homes safer and more accessible. Eligible individuals may receive a grant of up to $15,000 to modify their home and/or vehicle so they can live safely and comfortably in their homes, avoid job loss and participate in their communities.
  • Expected outcomes include:
    • Retirement home residents and staff are kept informed, safe and healthy during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
    • People with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, who require transportation to get to and/or from a COVID‑19 vaccination site have access to it.
    • Seniors and people with disabilities who require meals, groceries and other essentials during the COVID‑19 pandemic period have received such support.
    • Increased digital literacy among seniors to ensure older Ontarians can access more services and information from home, and to reduce risks associated with social isolation.
    • Older Ontarians remain in the community, reducing demand on acute and long-term care.
    • More older adults are connected and engaged, reducing social isolation and leading to wellness and better health.
    • Older Ontarians being less at risk for abuse and fraud, and their rights and dignity are protected.
    • More older adults are employed and volunteering, helping them achieve greater financial security.
    • More businesses engaged in employing people with disabilities and helping grow the economy.
    • People with disabilities fully participating in all aspects of daily life, reducing social and economic isolation as well as leading to overall improved health.
    • Barriers faced by people with disabilities and older Ontarians are prevented and removed to the extent possible in all areas of daily life.
Ministry planned expenditures 2022–23
ExpenditureAmount ($M)
COVID‑19 approvals31.09
Other operating203.87
Other capital0.00
Total234.96

Detailed financial information

Combined operating and capital summary by vote

Operating expense
Votes/programsEstimates 2022–23
$
Change from Estimates 2021–22
$
%Estimates 2021–22footnote 1
$
Interim Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Actuals 2020–21footnote 1
$
Ministry administration7,562,6003,787,400100.33,775,2007,130,2005,284,188
Policy, Program, and Strategic Partnerships220,422,000147,110,000200.773,312,000105,394,000199,313,212
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities6,904,400(8,221,000)(54.4)15,125,4008,558,40011,733,064
Total operating expense to be voted234,889,000142,676,400154.792,212,600121,082,600216,330,464
Statutory appropriations66,0140066,01466,01487,448
Ministry total operating expense234,955,014142,676,400154.692,278,614121,148,614216,417,912
Consolidation adjustment – General Real Estate Portfolio000000
Consolidation adjustment – Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation000000
Total including consolidation & other adjustments234,955,014142,676,400154.692,278,614121,148,614216,417,912
Operating assets
Votes/programsEstimates 2022–23
$
Change from Estimates 2021–22
$
%Estimates 2021–22footnote 1
$
Interim Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Actuals 2020–21footnote 1
$
Ministry administration0(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,0000
Total operating assets to be voted0(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,0000
Statutory appropriations000000
Ministry total operating expense0(1,000)(100.0)1,0001,0000
Capital expense
Votes/programsEstimates 2022–23
$
Change from Estimates 2021–22
$
%Estimates 2021–22footnote 1
$
Interim Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Actuals 2020–21footnote 1
$
Ministry administration1,000001,0001,0000
Policy, Program, and Strategic Partnerships1,000001,0001,0000
Total capital expense to be voted2,000002,0002,0000
Statutory appropriations2,000002,0002,0000
Ministry total capital expense4,000004,0004,0000
Total including consolidation & other adjustments4,000004,0004,0000
Capital assets
Votes/programsEstimates 2022–23
$
Change from Estimates 2021–22
$
%Estimates 2021–22footnote 1
$
Interim Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Actuals 2020–21footnote 1
$
Ministry administration1,000001,0001,0000
Policy, Program, and Strategic Partnerships1,000001,0001,0000
Total capital assets to be voted2,000002,0002,0000
Statutory appropriations000000
Ministry total capital assets2,000002,0002,0000
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)
ItemEstimates 2022–23
$
Change from Estimates 2021–22
$
%Estimates 2021–22footnote 1
$
Interim Actuals 2021–22footnote 1
$
Actuals 2020–21footnote 1
$
Ministry total234,959,014142,676,400154.692,282,614121,152,614216,417,912
Historic trend analysis data
ItemActuals 2019–20footnote 2
$
Actuals 2020–21footnote 2
$
Estimates 2021–22footnote 2
$
Estimates 2022–23
$
Ministry total operating and capital including consolidation and other adjustments (not including assets)62,969,412216,417,91292,282,614234,959,014
Percent change0244%−57%155%

For additional financial information, see:

Agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs)

Accessibility Standards Advisory Council

The statutory Accessibility Standards Advisory Council is responsible for providing strategic advice to the Minister responsible for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 on the process and progress on accessibility standards, matters related to the implementation of this legislation and other accessibility matters.

Regulatory authority

Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority

The ministry is responsible for policy and regulatory development related to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (RHA) and for managing the government’s accountability relationship with the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA). The RHRA is a self-funded independent regulatory body created by the RHA to administer and enforce the RHA and its regulations on behalf of the government. The RHA provides a framework for the regulation of retirement homes in Ontario and establishes a requirement for a memorandum of understanding between the ministry and the RHRA setting out the requirements related to the governance of the RHRA, the requirements with which the RHRA shall comply in connection with its administration of the RHA and in carrying out its other objects under the RHA and set out the financial terms of the administration of the RHA.

The RHRA is responsible for licensing retirement homes, educating licensees, and conducting inspections, investigations and enforcement activities. It also handles consumer complaints about retirement homes, provides consumers with information about retirement homes, and maintains a public register of licensed retirement homes in Ontario.

During the COVID‑19 crisis, the RHRA has played a key role in communicating with retirement homes and supporting them by working with the ministry to provide necessary resources and guidelines on infection prevention and control based on directives of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, as well as connecting them to relevant contacts and authorities for additional information and supply of staffing and personal protective equipment. The RHRA also monitors and supports homes in outbreak and provides daily outbreak reports to the ministry and ongoing updates with respect to status of specific homes.

The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario completed a Value for Money Audit on the RHRA in 2020 with key recommendations to strengthen their oversight role and ensure the health and safety of residents. The RHRA and ministry have implemented many of the 26 recommendations and will continue to work together on the implementation of the remaining audit recommendations.

Legislation

The ministry administers the following legislation:

  • Seniors Active Living Centres Act, 2017
  • Retirement Homes Act, 2010
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
  • Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001
  • Senior Volunteer Appreciation Week Act, 2021

Ministry organization chart

September 2022

  • Minister for Seniors and Accessibility — Raymond Sung Joon Cho
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility — Daisy Wai
    • Deputy Minister — Nancy Matthews
      • Executive Advisor — Letitia Nolasque
      • Executive Lead, Strategy, Planning and Organizational Integration Office — Michelle Consul (A)
      • ADM, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities — Jacqueline Cureton (A)
        • Director, AODA Policy and Standards — Mary Bartolomucci
        • Director, AODA Compliance Assurance — Nuhaad Abbas (A)
      • ADM, Seniors and Accessibility Policy, Programs and Strategic Partnerships — Jacqueline Cureton
        • Director, Planning and Programs — Kathleen Henschel
        • Director, Policy and Partnerships — Don Embuldeniya
        • Director, Pandemic Response and Recoveryfootnote 3 — Marsha Pinto (A)
        • Director, Retirement Homes Modernizationfootnote 3 — Harriett Grant (A)
      • ADM/CAO, Regional and Corporate Servicesfootnote 4 — Melody Robinson
        • Director, Human Resources — Jennifer Stewartfootnote 5
        • Director, Corporate Finance — Nadia Eidfootnote 5
        • Director, Regional Services — Marie Campbellfootnote 5
        • Director, Strategic Policy Development and Planning — Kristina Lauesenfootnote 5
        • Director, Business Services Integration — Michael Van Wyk (A)footnote 5
      • Director, Communicationsfootnote 6 — Peter Spadoni
      • Director, Legal Branchfootnote 7 — Cheryl Carson (A)
      • Chief Information Officer, Government Services Integration Clusterfootnote 8 — Manish Agarwal

Note: "(A)" denotes acting.

Annual report

The ministry supported the government’s plan to build a future with a better quality of life and a higher standard of living. The ministry contributed to a better quality of life by continuing work on creating an inclusive, barrier-free Ontario, where seniors and people with disabilities are independent, safe, active, and socially connected. It worked on making Ontario more accessible for everyone as well as promoting the benefits of age-diverse, accessible workplaces and communities where everyone is respected and able to participate and enjoy the future they deserve.

Below are results the ministry achieved in 2021–22:

  • Invested $2.9 million through the Inclusive Community Grants program which supported 55 diverse community projects to keep people of all ages and abilities healthy and engaged across the province. This funding helps municipal partners, Indigenous groups and community organizations strengthen and build more inclusive communities. Municipalities and local organizations across Ontario received up to $60,000 for projects that foster inclusive community involvement for older adults and people of all abilities, using the province’s age friendly community planning guide that promotes the international Age-Friendly Communities model.
  • Invested $1.3 million with the Rick Hansen Foundation to launch the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program in Ontario as part of a three-year commitment continuing into 2021–22.
  • Continued to work with partner ministries, stakeholders, and businesses to make it easier for businesses to be accessible and inclusive based on key inputs from reviews and to comply with the law through simplified messaging and processes.
  • Supported the administration of the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility program which recognizes individual Ontarians, and organizations in Ontario that have gone above and beyond to improve and champion accessibility for people with disabilities, raise awareness about the benefits for inclusion, and foster positive change in their communities. In doing so, recognized the exceptional contributions of three individuals.
  • Invested $5 million with the Seniors Community Grant (SCG) Program that will help municipalities and local organizations across the province deliver programs that safely bring seniors together to learn new skills, socialize and keep fit. Funding supported over 250 local initiatives to help Ontario’s seniors stay safe, healthy and active in their communities. (Source: Ontario Newsroom, Ontario Keeping Seniors Health and Engaged, February 17, 2022). The 2021–22 SCG Program focused on projects that aligned with the following four pillars which help improve the lives of older adults in the province:
    • enabling aging-at-home and in communities
    • safety and security
    • remaining healthy, active and socially engaged
    • participating in the labour market and economy.
  • Provided $325,000 to implement the Employment Inclusion Project, through the Project Search model, an employment initiative operated by Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital intended to help secondary school students with intellectual disabilities obtain work experience and facilitate their transition into employment after graduation.
  • Invested $240,000 in the Abilities Centre Lead On initiative to support organizations in embedding accessibility and inclusion into their organizational planning and processes by guiding them through a facilitated self-assessment of their current inclusion practices, helping them create an action plan to increase involvement and participation by people of all abilities, ages and backgrounds in their business or community.
  • Invested $3.7 million in a partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association to help remove barriers and provide safe, accessible transportation for persons with disabilities to and/or from travel to their COVID‑19 vaccination appointments. This initiative focused on helping people who do not have access to accessible transportation. Since programs inception in June 21, 2021, and as of March 31, 2022, the Accessible Drive to Vaccine program provided transportation to 3,252 individuals with a total of 3,231.5 rides (one ride is a round trip/half a ride is a one-way trip). Further, helping vulnerable Ontarians get safe and reliable access to COVID‑19 vaccines and booster shots by extending the program to March 31, 2023.
  • Strengthened local supports for seniors by investing $17 million for 299 Seniors Active Living Centres program across Ontario. These programs offered virtual and in-person recreational activities for seniors living in the community.
  • Invested more than $2 million over two years through the Recruitment and Retention Incentive Program to provide new and recently hired personal support workers and nurses with financial incentives to encourage them to work in retirement homes. This program is delivered by the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario and is part of the government’s plan to modernize the provincial retirement homes sector.
  • Provided up to $527,900 to expand the Finding Your Way program through Dementia Friendly Communities so that people living with dementia can be included in all aspects of community life. The Dementia Friendly Communities approach is a new model of community development which expands the Finding Your Way program to reach new target populations, including Indigenous communities, newcomers, police, fire and EMS first responders and local service providers to promote a better understanding of the safety risks people with dementia may face.
  • Provided Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario (EAPO) with up to $812,000 in 2021–22 to deliver activities that support elder abuse prevention awareness, build community capacity, and increase public education to address the rise of elder abuse cases.
  • Provided $165,000 to the Seniors Safety Line (operated by the Assaulted Women’s Helpline (AWHL) through a Transfer Payment Agreement (TPA) between AWHL and the ministry for Children, Community and Social Services. The AWHL provides safety planning and counselling to older adults experiencing abuse, or those who are at-risk of abuse in Ontario.
  • Provided Queen’s University at Kingston with up to $200,000 in 2021–22 to continue the Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program which strengthen the development of inclusive and accessible age-friendly community initiatives.
  • Provided funding to Older Adults Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO) with up to $372,000 in 2021–22 to coordinate the development and operation of virtual and in-person Seniors Active Living Fairs across Ontario, build the capacity of the Seniors Active Living Centres (SALC) sector and administer the Seniors’ Centre Without Walls (SCWW) Micro-Grant program.
  • Held the Ontario Senior Achievement Awards, which celebrated 15 outstanding seniors for their exceptional contributions to their communities and to the province. The seniors who are being recognized are dedicated and compassionate individuals who are helping to improve the lives of older adults through community services and humanitarian activities. Their contributions include fundraising, helping with Meals and Wheels programs, and volunteering in local churches, retirement homes and long-term-care homes. They support and empower seniors serving as mentors, environmental stewards, agricultural ambassadors, and educational, cultural, and artistic organizers.
  • Launched the 2021–22 EnAbling Change Program (ECP) to provide funding to not-for-profit organizations, industry organizations, and professional associations to educate their stakeholders about accessibility, drive cultural awareness about the value and benefits of accessibility, and support regulatory compliance. Invested over $1.3 million through the ECP to support 14 regional projects that help create a stronger, more accessible and inclusive province.
  • Helped seniors stay in their homes longer through the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit. The tax credit program assists seniors, or those living with senior relatives, to renovate their homes to make them safer and more accessible.
  • Announced on February 1, 2022 the appointment of Rich Donovan to conduct the fourth legislative review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). Mr. Donovan is an accessibility advocate with lived experience and leads a business that helps clients find economic value within the disability market. Mr. Donovan will consult with the public, including people with disabilities, as part of his review of the effectiveness of the AODA and its standards. The AODA includes a requirement that the Act be reviewed regularly by an individual (a ‘Reviewer’) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council on the advice of the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. The first reviewer was required to be appointed within four years (of 2005), and subsequent reviewers must be appointed within three years of the tabling of the previous review.
  • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) includes a requirement that the Act be reviewed regularly by an individual (a ‘Reviewer’) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council on the advice of the Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. The first reviewer was required to be appointed within four years (of 2005), and subsequent reviewers must be appointed within three years of the tabling of the previous review. The appointment of Rich Donovan to conduct the fourth legislative review of the AODA was announced on February 1, 2022. Mr. Donovan is an accessibility advocate with lived experience and leads a business that helps clients find economic value within the disability market. Mr. Donovan will consult with the public, including people with disabilities, as part of his review of the effectiveness of the AODA and its standards.
  • Continued the ongoing work of identifying, removing and preventing barriers for people with disabilities by appointing Julie Sawchuk as the chair of the Standards Development Committee to lead the provinces review of the Design of Public Spaces accessibility standards for outdoor and indoor public spaces. The committee includes people with disabilities from across the province, as well as businesses, municipalities, and other impacted stakeholders; and is tasked with reviewing existing accessibility standards, and to determine whether new standards are required to improve accessibility in Ontario’s public spaces.
  • Provided an additional $18 million to licensed retirement homes so residents could continue to stay healthy and safe through the pandemic. Funding included:
    • up to $8 million (Source: Fall Economic Statement, November 4, 2021) to support eligible licensed retirement homes with infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures, including ongoing active screening and antigen testing, IPAC monitoring, audits and compliance, and purchase of replacement filters for High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air purification systems during the fourth and fifth waves of the COVID‑19 pandemic; and
    • up to $10 million for staffing costs related to IPAC measures and supplies to respond to the impacts of the Omicron variant during the fifth wave of the COVID‑19 pandemic.
  • Provided up to $3 million to the Canadian Red Cross for mobile staffing support teams to assist licensed retirement homes with infection prevention and control, vaccination, and antigen testing.
  • Launched the latest round of the Inclusive Community Grant Program. The grant provides $750,000 towards programs across the province that help communities become more inclusive and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Successful municipalities, non-profit community organizations and Indigenous communities are awarded up to $60,000 for local projects to help older residents and people with disabilities participate in community life. For this cycle, Ontario prioritized projects that supported under-served communities and those that addressed COVID‑19 related challenges.
  • Invested $5.3 million for the Ontario Community Support Program for a total investment of $16.3 million. Since the program began in April 2020, this funding has allowed for more that 1.6 million deliveries of meals, groceries and other essentials to more than 70,000 older adult and people with disabilities.
  • Introduced legislative and regulatory amendments to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, that improve the health, protection, and well-being of residents in retirement homes across Ontario.
  • The total number of self-reported activities by transfer payment (TP) recipients doubled from 3,200 in 2019–20 to 6,355 in 2020–21. These activities included seminars, webinars, workshops and training sessions provided to seniors, caregivers and service providers.
    • In 2020–21, COVID‑19 pandemic lockdown measures and restrictions on in-person gatherings affected attendance across all TP recipients' funded programs. Although TP recipients shifted from an in-person to virtual delivery format, the target audience, which is predominantly seniors, preferred in-person programming. The number of participants in programs and services offered though Transfer Payment Agreements went from 176,365 for 2019–20 to 95,194 for 2020–21.
    • In the same period of time, the number of website visits to TPAs that report on this Key Performance Indicator increased from 53,882 in 2019–20 to 459,814 in 2020–21. This was due to increased marketing and pivoting to online activities.
Ministry interim actual expenditures 2021–22
ItemAmount ($M)footnote 9
COVID‑19 approvals34.88
Other operating57.40
Other capital0.00
Staff strengthfootnote 10 (as of March 31, 2022)156.0