With the Conservative Government’s Fall Economic Statement, Premier Doug Ford is not reversing his callous plan to fire 10,000 teachers and thousands of education workers, and he’s not releasing the brutal squeeze he’s put on health care. Instead he is barreling ahead with measures that will hurt students, seniors, patients, Indigenous people, and the environment.
“Delaying, backtracking or softening $1.3 billion in cuts is not new spending,” said Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath.
“Doug Ford had an opportunity to listen to Ontarians who have protested his deep and painful cuts, but nothing in this statement shows he’s heard their concerns. Instead of fixing the hallway medicine crisis, he’s holding the line – even while parents cradle crying children during long waits in crowded emergency rooms, and patients line the hallways of hospitals on gurneys. Instead of scrapping his scheme to fire 10,000 teachers and thousands of education workers, he’s plowing ahead with the cuts in schools. Meanwhile, students say they can’t get enough courses into their timetables to graduate this year as a result of the cuts, and schools are plagued by leaky roofs and lead-tainted water fountains.”
After a year of attacking the environment, Ford has taken another $25 million out of Environment, Conservation and Parks. There’s barely any mention at all of the climate crisis in this document. After cutting the Indigenous Affairs budget in half, he’s dragging reconciliation even further backward by cutting $2.2 million more out of the ministry. And after spending a year decimating Legal Aid services, he’s taking another $330 million out of the Justice Ministry.
“At a time when the impact of climate crisis is bringing more forest fires, more flooding, more extreme weather and more damage to homes and communities, Doug Ford is papering over the need to take action with peeling gas pump stickers,” said Horwath. “Everything is at risk – especially for our children and grandchildren – and Doug Ford is pouring gasoline on the fire instead of water.
“Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals put Ontario in a hallway medicine crisis. They let Ontario schools become so run down, rain leaks through ceilings and kids wear winter coats at their desks. Doug Ford should be fixing that. Instead, he’s taking things from bad, to so much worse.”
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