3 min read
26 March 2024

Statement by Eric Mariglia, WoodGreen’s Director of Public Affairs, on Ontario Budget 2024

Toronto, Ont. – WoodGreen Community Services applauds the Ontario government for making significant investments in home and community care and mental health and addictions services.

An additional $2 billion over three years will help bolster community care providers’ capacity to increase compensation for frontline care providers and stabilize and expand services. We are pleased that the government is providing supports to strengthen adult day programs, meal services, transportation, and assisted living services.

With an aging population, now more than ever, we need alternative care settings and supports in the community. Ontario needs a strong community care sector that can support and alleviate the strain on hospitals and long-term care. This important allocation will help stabilize and expand WoodGreen’s services that provide personal care, meal preparation, household support, transportation, and assisted living services, which keep clients healthy and well in the community.

We commend the government for recognizing the value of community care and its services that help keep clients safely housed, alleviate pressure off hospitals, and reduce the number of patients waiting for alternate care settings.

WoodGreen also appreciates the government’s additional investment of $396 million over three years to support the stabilization and expansion of existing mental health and addictions services and programs. WoodGreen calls on the government to ensure that some of these funds are dedicated towards expanding community mental health and addictions programs, such as WoodGreen’s:

  • Toronto Seniors Helpline, which provides telephone-based service navigation and crisis de-escalation for older adults, seniors, and caregivers. The helpline is currently in need of expansion funding to become a 24-hour line
  • The Crisis Outreach Services for Seniors (COSS), which provides on-call crisis intervention and outreach for older adults (65+) with dementia, addictions, or mental health crises
  • Comprehensive Care and Integration Specialist Team, which fills gaps in care for individuals living with multiple and highly complex health and psychosocial issues and bridges hospital-to-community transitions
  • Counselling and Support Services and Walk-in Counselling programs, which offer low-barrier, free psychotherapy supports (same-day single-session psychotherapy and ongoing, longer-term counselling) for youth, adults, seniors, couples, and families; both are also in need of expansion.


While we are pleased with investments made towards community care, we are disappointed to see limited action from the government to support non-profit housing providers. The government has made little progress on its two-year-old commitment to provide surplus land to non-profit housing providers. We call on the government to fulfill this commitment and provide more opportunities for non-profits to access surplus land, starting with the near Dufferin and Centre Streets in the city of Vaughan.

WoodGreen looks forward to our continued work with the provincial government to ensure we can support vulnerable members of our society to live healthy and well.

ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org):WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer over 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jen Mayville, Senior Communications Manager;[email protected]; (437) 226-8091 (cell)