Leadership with the Kenora District Services Board and Northwest EMS are set to receive another $1 million in land ambulance funding from the province – as staff work to address an ongoing staff shortage and the growing demands on local healthcare providers.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Minister of Northern Development, Greg Rickford, explains that Ontario is investing over $13.4 million in the KDSB’s annual Land Ambulance Service Grant, part of a $764 million announcement across the province.

“As a government, we recognize the unique challenges that Kenora District Services Board faces while providing emergency health services across the Northwest,” said Rickford. “[This] announcement is another example of the targeted investments we are making to relieve pressure on the local health care system.”

Ontario notes that funding provided through the Land Ambulance Service Grant can go towards hiring additional paramedics, wage and cost of living adjustments, as well as general ambulance operations.

“On behalf of the Board, I'd like to express appreciation to the Ministry of Health and Minister Rickford for the additional funding for our paramedic services program,” said Barry Baltessen, Board Chair, KDSB.

“The additional investment represents a $1,039,907 increase in funding that will support us in addressing the growing staffing shortage and financial pressures being faced by our service.”

The province explains that municipalities currently receive funding for 50 per cent of the costs of their land ambulance operations, part of Ontario’s commitment to building a modern, sustainable and connected emergency health system.