This Week in Lloyd: Ukraine Plus Money for the Arts, and Free Wifi

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield [usually works a ways from the Royal City, but he’s still working for the people in his riding. So what has he been up to lately? This is “This Week in Lloyd.”

Help For Ukraine

As you may be aware, we’re now into the second month of Russia’s war against Ukraine. There’s been an outpouring of sympathy for Ukrainians and a strong desire to do something to help out people still in the county, and those who have been forced to flee. Along with directing people to the Holy Protection of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church on York Road in his monthly newsletter, Longfield pointed to actions the government is taking.

“Canada has extended new accelerated programs for individuals fleeing Ukraine. We have waived fees, are processing temporary and permanent applications for workers and refugees and have prioritized travel documents for Canadians and permanent residents and their families in Ukraine,” the newsletter said. “To date we have welcomed over 12,000 Ukrainians to Canada, and that number is growing quickly.”

A dedicated service line has been set-up so that people in Canada and around the world can get quick access to Ukraine-specific immigration requests, and that number is 613-321-4243, Also, webform applications to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada can be accelerated by using the keyword “Ukraine2022,” and you can visit the website here.

Money to Enhance Programming at River Run and GYMC

In a press release last week, new funding was announced for both the River Run Centre and the Guelph Youth Music Centre from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF), which supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. So the Guelph Youth Music Centre is getting the amount of $124,000 and the City of Guelph is getting $102,439 for the River Run Centre.

The GYMC’s funds will go to retrofit their HVAC system with five rooftop units and six ductless heat pumps, as well as the installation of touchless doors, soap dispensers and taps in all five washrooms in their facility. The River Run, meanwhile, is getting new camera equipment, a new video switcher systems, and a video streaming capability with high-end video quality to show their productions online.

“Projects like these highlight the importance of the arts for our personal and community development by making it safer to be there in person, or to provide more opportunities for reaching a broader audience virtually,” Longfield said in a statement.

Get Help to Fill Out Your Taxes

Your 2021 tax return is expected to be received by the Canadian Revenue Agency on May 2, and if you’re a low income individual, couple, or single parent, then you may qualify to get assistance from one of the Government of Canada-sponsored tax clinics taking place at various locations around Guelph in April. Consult Longfield’s website for details, and a list of the papers and forums you’ll need in order to complete your return.

Guelph Library Gets Money to Expand Free Wireless Access

Federal money has flowed from the second round of the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative through the Guelph Community Foundation to the Guelph Public Library. With lack of internet access apparently affecting 11 per cent of Guelph households, the $25,000 from the CHCI is going to be put to good use by making 30 wifi hotspots and 30 wifi-enabled tablets available through the library.

“With this support, we will continue to bridge the digital divide in our community to ensure Guelph residents are able to connect to the essential services and resources they need,” said Meaghan H. Forestell-Page, the library’s supervisor of programming, outreach & digital services. “Providing access to inclusive internet strengthens our community’s connectivity and in effect, creates a resilient and thriving community.”

“Investments like the one announced today in Guelph are vital to strengthening communities and ensuring no one is left behind as a result of the digital divide. This includes seniors and others in our region facing increased isolation,” Longfield added.

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