The Ontario government is calling on citizens 16 years of age and older to help their communities in times of crisis by joining Volunteer Corps Ontario. The new program will register, screen and train volunteers so Ontario is better prepared to mobilize volunteers and safely respond to emergencies, from public health crises to natural disasters.
“We saw the true Ontario Spirit in action during the COVID-19 pandemic when countless heroes stepped up and volunteered their time,” said Premier Ford. “We want to harness that Spirit by establishing Volunteer Corps Ontario to ensure we are prepared and ready to respond when the next emergency comes and requires everyday heroes to once again stand tall and support each other.”
Volunteer Corps Ontario builds on the success of the COVID-19 Volunteer Portal launched last year which matched volunteers to public health units to support vaccine deployment. The new Volunteer Corps Ontario database will be made available to ministries, municipalities, First Nation communities and NGOs in need of emergency volunteers so they can respond quickly and consistently should an emergency arise.
“During times of crisis, our province is stronger when we come together to support our communities,” said Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and flooding and fire seasons around the corner, I hope people from all backgrounds and abilities will answer the call to join Volunteer Corps Ontario.”
Ontarians can register online at volunteercorps.gov.on.ca. Volunteers from all backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged to register. All volunteers would be required to take online foundational courses prior to deployment.
Since launching on December 22, 2021, more than 3,700 Ontarians registered with the COVID 19 Volunteer Portal to support health care providers and others working at COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the province. Individuals who registered with the COVID-19 Volunteer Portal will be automatically added to the Volunteer Corps Ontario database and given the choice to volunteer for other emergencies.