Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said with Thursday’s cabinet shuffle, Doug Ford is attempting to throw his own cabinet under the bus for executing cuts that he ordered.
“The problem over the last year wasn’t who was executing Doug Ford’s cuts — it was Doug Ford’s cuts. Today, he had a chance to change direction. Instead, he’s throwing his team under the bus for decisions he made, and changing the roles people will play in executing his failed agenda.
“Make no mistake: It was Doug Ford that ordered supports to be ripped away from children with autism. It was Doug Ford that decided that thousands of teachers and education workers would be fired. And it was Doug Ford that ordered the cuts to OSAP, legal aid and so much more.”
Horwath said cabinet ministers have been forced to defend the indefensible, and that Thursday’s cabinet shuffle will mean nothing if the new ministers don’t have more success standing up to Ford and saying no to his cuts.
“I’m sure that some now-demoted ministers tried to stand up to Mr. Ford, and look what happened to them,” said Horwath. “This cabinet shuffle will mean nothing if new ministers don’t stand up to Doug Ford, and start dragging the premier’s office in a new direction.”
Horwath said the new direction cabinet ministers should fight for includes walking back the cuts to education and the pink slips sent to teachers and education workers, cancelling cuts to health care, legal aid and autism supports and, ultimately, tabling a new budget for 2019.
But, she said, hiring seven new cabinet ministers, increasing the size of cabinet by a third — while firing education and health care workers — is already a step in the wrong direction.
“The priorities of the Ford direction have been dead wrong, and people are paying the price,” said Horwath.
“Today, what we’re seeing is Doug Ford changing ministers without changing direction.”