Ford government economic updates and budgets

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Bacchus

The taxes could not be raised enough on the rich to pay for everything. Xonsumption taxes andéor the raising of everyones taxes would follow

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Bacchus wrote:

The taxes could not be raised enough on the rich to pay for everything. Xonsumption taxes andéor the raising of everyones taxes would follow

It is probably true that income taxes on the rich alone would be insufficient, although I'd like to see the numbers. What is really needed is a wealth tax, as suggested by Thomas Piketty, and as Elizabeth Warren is proposing in her campaign for president. They've been accumulating wealth for a long time, and it badly needs to be taxed.

Debater

Paladin1 wrote:

I still feel some people are being naive about the cuts being made. There has to be cuts. The Liberal spending wasn't sustainable. 

Nail Ford for lying but cuts have to come from somewhere. leaders have to make unpupular decisions. Wynne wasn't a leader in that respect- she hid the truth and burried her spending. And we're suffering for it.

The Ontario Liberals inherited a large deficit from Mike Harris/Ernie Eves.

Don't forget that part.

Aristotleded24

Paladin1 wrote:
I didn't really watch the race and election. I'm definitely glad Ford won. I don't like what I'm reading about autisim funding being cut. I'm certian there's other cuts being made that I wouldn't like. I'm not a beer drinker so I don't really care about the beer issue but I'd have to say I'm not a fan of the 'Beer Store' monopoly and the sweet deal the Liberals gave them. Corner store owners seem supportive of being able to sell beer - and wasn't that something we wanted? More mom and pop stores and less walmarts?

But getting back to Ford lying, maybe. Probably? If he did he should be brought to task for it. I don't fall for that "all politicians lie" excuse.  I still feel some people are being naive about the cuts being made. There has to be cuts. The Liberal spending wasn't sustainable. 

Nail Ford for lying but cuts have to come from somewhere. leaders have to make unpupular decisions. Wynne wasn't a leader in that respect- she hid the truth and burried her spending. And we're suffering for it.

I can't believe that people still keep falling for this. The real problem with the debt and the deficit is political, not finanical. Unless the government is going into an election where they can pat themselves on the back about a wonderful job they've done balancing the budget, actually eliminating the debt and the deficit is not in their best interests. The only time governments ever show any concern about the debt and the deficit is when it comes to spending money on programs and services that benefit the general population. It's never a concern when it comes to enriching the wealthy special interests that got them elected, and that is true across the political spectrum. Remember that under Paul Martin as Finance Minister, the Liberals cut social spending deeply. These programs were very popular. The reason the Liberals were able to get away with it is that they scared us all into believing that the world would end if the deficit didn't get under control, and they promised to re-invest once the budget was balanced. Well, after a few years of massive government surpluses, they brought in massive corporate tax cuts, and the surpuls went away.

On the actual ecnomics of government spending, economist Mark Blyth has explained why fears of deficits are over-blown and used to sell a particular political agenda.

Paladin1

JKR wrote:

Why not raise taxes instead of cutting programs as Ontario’s programs are similar to the other provinces while the level of taxation in Ontario is relatively low compared to the other provinces, especially for higher income brackets. Maybe Wynn’s mistake was keeping tax rates too low?

Caveat- I don't know much about money, taxes, the economy and so on.

If I'm being honest I don't want to pay more taxes to support programs you like and I'd wager you don't want to pay more taxes to support some of the programs I might like. Winning an election on a platform about raising taxes would be pretty difficult. The government needs to be more responsible with where it spends money. I'm not sure if the provincial government gives as much money away as the federal government but I bet even provincially we're just bleeding money. Like $650,000 for the OCS "development of the name, logo and brand guidelines".

Government organizations go on a spending spree every march or april to spend all of their budget otherwise "they won't get as much money next budget". We need more spending oversight (which may have prevented the Liberals from hiding how much money they spent and wasted). Why did Paladin1 order a new $1500 theraputic office chair 3 years in a row? I think being more fiscally responsible, including rewriting some rules, could save us a lot of money.

Paladin1

Debater wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:

I still feel some people are being naive about the cuts being made. There has to be cuts. The Liberal spending wasn't sustainable. 

Nail Ford for lying but cuts have to come from somewhere. leaders have to make unpupular decisions. Wynne wasn't a leader in that respect- she hid the truth and burried her spending. And we're suffering for it.

The Ontario Liberals inherited a large deficit from Mike Harris/Ernie Eves.

Don't forget that part.

 

I just read up on that. Thanks, very true!  90 billion to 132 billion under Harris.

Bacchus

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Bacchus wrote:

The taxes could not be raised enough on the rich to pay for everything. Xonsumption taxes andéor the raising of everyones taxes would follow

It is probably true that income taxes on the rich alone would be insufficient, although I'd like to see the numbers. What is really needed is a wealth tax, as suggested by Thomas Piketty, and as Elizabeth Warren is proposing in her campaign for president. They've been accumulating wealth for a long time, and it badly needs to be taxed.

 

Good luck with that

 

"you cant tax us twice"

"You cant tax whats no longer in the country"

Etc Etc Etc

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Bacchus wrote:

Good luck with that

"you cant tax us twice"

"You cant tax whats no longer in the country"

Etc Etc Etc

I think you are living in the past. The audience at The View seem to think it's a pretty good idea.

jerrym

After promising no job cuts during the election, only efficiencies and attrition, the Ford government cut 416 health care jobs today.

The Ford government announced Wednesday that 416 layoff notices will be handed out to employees at health agencies across the province.

The agencies include those that will be merged into the health super agency the government is creating, which was announced late last year and is called Ontario Health. The super agency includes the province’s local health integration networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario, the Trillium Gift of Life Network and others. ...

The NDP disagreed with Elliott’s and the government’s announcement and issued a statement saying the cuts will end up affecting patients.

“Patients battling cancer can’t afford to have Cancer Care Ontario operations upended with firings. Those waiting for an organ donor match to be found can’t afford for the Trillium Gift of Life Network’s work to grind to a halt. Those desperately waiting for home care can’t afford for home care coordinators [sic] to be taken away from them,” said NDP MPP Marit Stiles.

“Health care in Ontario was left hanging by a thread by Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals, and Doug Ford is now cutting the thread,” said Stiles. “That leaves us all worried that the hallway medicine crisis, the long waits, and the troubles in Ontario’s health care system are going to go from bad to worse.”

OPSEU President Smokey Thomas said the announcement is just another “promise betrayed. Ford promised no job losses, but it’s becoming clearer by the day that he never had a real plan. He’s running a government by chaos and the people of Ontario are paying the price. Ford won based on lofty promises to reign in the deficit without any consequence for frontline jobs and services – he’s now proven himself incompetent on both ends,” Thomas said in a statement.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5406962/ontaro-health-jobs-layoffs/

Debater

Robert Benzie:

Premier Doug Ford's cabinet is ballooning from 21 members to 28, including him. That's a 33 per cent increase in size.

https://twitter.com/robertbenzie/status/1141721444088504320

jerrym

The Ford government is making one of the largest cabinet shuffles ever after just one year in power in response to a large drop in the polls. Ford says its a communication problem in that the government has not done a good job of getting all the good news about what his government has done out to the public. If they keep on thinking that way without addressing the many policy issues and cuts that have turned a large part of the public off, their poll numbers will drop even further.

Moving a finance minister out of his portfolio after one year is almost unheard of, as well as the moving of all but seven of the cabinet ministers, reflect how deep the problems are.

Some of Ontario Premier Doug Ford's most high-profile cabinet ministers have been moved out of their posts as part of a major shuffle that came amid slumping poll numbers for the premier and controversies on several important files.

In the day's biggest move, Vic Fedeli lost his job as finance minister. He was demoted to minister of economic development, job creation and trade.

Fedeli's departure from the top cabinet position comes after he oversaw the release of just one provincial budget, an exceedingly rare situation for a finance minister in Ontario.

The decision to move Fedeli was not necessarily surprising to political observers — Ford's government faced weeks of intense criticism and protests after near-daily stories emerged of cuts that came in the aftermath of the April budget. ...

Meanwhile, Rod Phillips, who served as environment minister for the first year of the PCs' mandate and played a key role in the cancellation of Ontario's cap-and-trade program, will take over the finance portfolio. Jeff Yurek will move from transportation to the environment portfolio. 

Lisa Thompson, who had been education minister, and Lisa MacLeod, who was minister of children, community and social services, were both demoted as well. The two files have seen considerable strife recently as the province cut funding to school boards and revamped Ontario's autism program, moves that sparked large protests from parents and educators.  ...

Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, considered by many to be one of the Ford government's most effective public speakers, will step in to MacLeod's former role. Thompson will now be responsible for government and consumer services, while MacLeod takes over the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

All but seven ministers saw their roles changed Thursday. With the shuffle, the size of Ford's cabinet grows from 21 to a total of 28 ministers and associate ministers, despite Ford saying last year that he intended to keep his cabinet small to save taxpayers' money.

Christine Elliott will remain deputy premier and minister of health, though the portfolio now has two additional cabinet positions. ...

Ford has recently been slipping in public opinion polls, and some suggest he could hurt Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's chances of winning in Ontario in the October federal election.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-cabinet-shuffle-live-po...

 

Debater

Humiliating for Vic Fideli.

It's unprecedented for a Finance Minister to be demoted after only 1 year in the job.

jerrym

Doug Ford's chief of staff, Dean French, has resigned one day after one of the largest cabinet shuffles in Canadian history was aimed at giving Ford's government a new face following all of the criticism of its cuts.

"The news comes less than one day after Global News first reported on controversial appointments made by the premier’s office which included people who had personal ties to French." (https://globalnews.ca/news/5419370/ford-chief-of-staff-resigns/)

Two of four appointments to the job of agent-general, a position that has not existed in Ontario since the 1990s, were given to people with connections to French. So the Ford government is not afraid to grow government expenditures in jobs that were deemed surplus for more than 20 years when its their friends that are involved despite all of the cuts elsewhere. One of these people on the gravy train, aka called The Swamp in Trumpspeak, is described in the article below. 

Global News has learned the Ford government is appointing 26-year-old Tyler Albrecht, a friend of Premier Ford’s chief of staff’s son, to an advisor role in New York City.

In a release, the province announced four of eight appointments to the role of agents-general in different cities around the world.

According the government, the new advisors will be responsible for providing expert guidance and helping Ontario businesses attract investment and grow international trade.

Agents-general positions have not existed in Ontario since the 1990s.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5413872/ford-government-appointment-advisor-nyc/

jerrym

French typifies the Ford approach to governing in both Toronto under Rob Ford and the province under Doug, in running things in a dictatorial style with deep cuts to social problems. 

French reportedly brought a female MPP to tears recently for daring to speak up at a caucus meeting. (The Star didn’t identify the MPP in question, but I’m told by one Queen’s Park insider that it’s Mississauga MPP Natalia Kusendova and that she’s not the only female MPP to be scolded by French). 

Ford’s Etobicoke pal has been a fixture at caucus meetings, sitting at the front with Ford and dutifully taking notes (and apparently keeping score). It’s made MPPs wary of stepping out of line. Now French is suing former PC caucus member Randy Hillier for allegedly defaming his good name after Hillier got booted from caucus.

Ford may not have colluded with the Russians to win last year’s provincial election, but it’s not the first time the workings of his regime has been compared to a dictatorship. To be sure, his government has ruled by fiat. 

Beginning with using the notwithstanding clause to cut Toronto council in half and cancelling renewable energy and other contracts for purely ideological reasons, it’s been one attack after another on our democratic institutions – not to mention the poor, health care and education.

What is it about so-called populists that makes them act like authoritarian dictators when they get into power? Maybe they’re not populists, but fakes simply employing populist rhetoric to get elected. That would certainly apply to Ford and his death by a thousand cuts visited on Ontarians under his “For The People” austerity agenda.

https://nowtoronto.com/news/doug-ford-cabinet-shuffle-vic-fedeli-dean-fr...

 

jerrym

In April the Ford government also cut legal aid by $133 million, a cut of 30%. However, the specific cuts, which vary from one legal aid organization to another, have only become known very recently. This forces these groups to make deeper cuts for the rest of the year, something that Ford was forced to back off on when he tried the same thing with Toronto because of the political backlash.

Many of these cuts have their greatest effect on the racialized poor. For example, in a Power and Politics interview on CBC Shalini Konanur,  Executive Director of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, this means severe cutbacks for dealing with cases of forced marriage and people earning as little as $3 an hour in Ontario's South Asian community. 

Ford has also failed to keep his promise to rectify the funding problem when he was pilloried on a radio program in April.

Ontario has made deep cuts to the legal aid system. Deep cuts — to the tune of $133 million — that mean that many impoverished and marginalized Ontarians will now face prosecution, conviction, and the possibility of jail time without the assistance of a lawyer.

They include a 70-year-old woman with no criminal record who lives on a meager pension. She had too much to drink one night and got into a fight with her abusive partner. The police were called and now the Crown wants to brand her a criminal.

And man on disability who only has one lung and uses an oxygen tank. He was charged with failing to provide a breath sample because he could not blow enough air into the breathalyzer. Prosecutors want to give him a criminal record and ban him from driving. ...

This is one fight where there can be no winner. Ford's cuts are not just financially reckless, but will also result in wrongful convictions, as well as serious criminals escaping justice. Ontario will see immigration unfairness, vulnerable tenants left without any meaningful recourse to hold predatory landlords to account, and the shuttering of community legal clinics. ...

So, immigrants and refugees, many of whom have escaped desperate and dangerous circumstances will now face a hopeless situation in Canada. Many refugees don't speak English and don't have a sophisticated understanding of Canada's legal system. Most live in poverty. And now they will not have access to a lawyer through the province's legal aid system.  ...

When the stark reality of his cuts was discussed on talk radio back in April, it seemed to get under Ford's thin skin. After almost "hitting three telephone poles," Ford called in to defend himself. At the end of that impromptu call Ford said that, "if anyone needs support on legal aid, feel free to call my office. I will guarantee you that you will have legal aid."  ...

Ford made his personal guarantee more than 50 days ago. Since then, he has not responded to emails, faxes, or text messages about how people who have been denied legal aid can take him up on his promise. Because he was never serious.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/legal-aid-1.5169428

jerrym

Another area where there has been massive cuts is postsecondary education.

Thousands of students in Ontario have learned they are receiving significantly less OSAP funding this year following the Ford government’s drastic cuts.

Earlier this year, the PC’s announced a number of changes that would affect post-secondary students, including eliminating free tuition for low-income students, while imposing a 10% across-the-board tuition fee cut. The government also made several once-mandatory student fees, such as those that fund campus organizations and clubs, optional.

The six-month grace period on student loan interest was also cancelled, in addition to $670 million in cuts to OSAP funding.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario called the cuts “unacceptable” and a poll from the organization found that 77% of students won’t be able to cover their expenses next year because of the cuts. ...

Now, students are realizing how their OSAP is being impacted and one student says she’s receiving half the amount that she received last year. ...

Another student called the funding cuts “a slap across the face,” while another says if they can’t afford tuition in September they’ll be “forced to drop out and go on welfare.” ...

Felipe Nagata, the organization’s chairperson, said: “a government that is truly for students would be investing on youth by creating more grants, not loans. Cuts to OSAP are just going to create barriers for people to access education.”

https://dailyhive.com/toronto/students-ford-government-osap-funding-cuts...

jerrym

Here's a summary of all of the cuts the Ford government has made on the anniversary of his first year in office. 

Ontario premier Doug Ford was elected on a platform that promised to find billions of dollars in efficiencies in Ontario’s provincial budget. For a year after he and his majority Conservative government were sworn in, we’ve kept a running tally on what exactly the Ford government has cut (or is intending to cut) and what the consequences might be. June 7 marks the first year of Ford’s premiership—and Queen’s Park is about to go on a 144-day break from passing legislation until after the federal election in October—so take a moment to catch up with all the cuts and changes here. ....

https://www.chatelaine.com/living/politics/doug-ford-cuts/

Aristotleded24

Ford's pettiness knows no bounds:

Quote:

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government has cancelled Canada Day celebrations at Queen's Park for this year and will instead divert funds that would be used to put on the celebration to offer limited free admission to attractions across the province.

A spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford confirmed to CBC Toronto Saturday that the decision was made a few months ago.

Rather than offer the typical games, crafts, rides and other festivities outside the Ontario legislature, free admission will be offered to the first 500 visitors on July 1 at 10 Ontario attractions. They are:

  • Ontario Science Centre.
  • Cinesphere at Ontario Place.
  • Royal Ontario Museum.
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Vaughan.
  • Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.
  • Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay.
  • Huronia Historical Parks in Midland and Penetanguishene.
  • Butterfly Conservatory — Niagara Parks Commission.
  • Science North in Sudbury.
  • St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

"Instead of hosting a single event at Queen's Park, we are providing free admission for thousands of people to Canada Day events across the province," Laryssa Waler Hetmanczuk, executive director of communications in the premier's office, said in an email to CBC.

jerrym

The Ford government faces another scandal related to the now fired Dean French: French's niece, through marriage, resigned from her appointed position after her connection to French was revealed. This very definition of nepotism further damages the Ford brand of saving taxpayer's money by ending patronage.

Former Chief of Staff to the Premier Dean French’s niece has resigned, hours after it was revealed she had been appointed to the Ontario’s Public Accountants Council back in December.

NDP MPP Taras Natyshak said in a statement, “This reeks of nepotism, with paycheques, power and favours for Ford’s inner circle, while everyday Ontarians get nothing but cuts.”

It’s not clear whether Premier Doug Ford was aware of the familial relationship between Dean French and Pal when she was appointed.

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/06/25/dean-frenchs-niece-resigns-from-o...

 

jerrym

Another case of nepotism has come to light with the appointment of Associate Transportation Minister Kinga Surma’s father to a policy advisor’s job. The Premier's office would not say whether Ford was involved in the hiring. Ford set the standard by changing the standards for hiring the next chief of the Ontario Provincial Police so that his personal friend Ron Taverner could apply for the job and this further tarnishes his brand.

Ontario MPP Kinga Surma’s father scored a job in Premier Doug Ford’s government after the spring 2018 election, according to sources in the Progressive Conservative Party.

Surma, who has been in the premier’s inner circle since the two worked at Toronto City Hall, was appointed associate transportation minister in a cabinet shuffle last week.

According to the government’s directory, Miroslaw Surma is a policy advisor in the minister of economic development’s office. Several conservative sources told iPolitics he is Surma’s dad.

Miroslaw has a limited online presence and his LinkedIn profile only lists his current job.

Neither Surma nor her dad replied to requests for comment on Wednesday.

The premier’s office did not answer questions about the process involved in his hiring, what his previous qualifications were and whether Ford was involved.

https://ipolitics.ca/2019/06/26/ontario-mpp-kinga-surmas-dad-landed-poli...

jerrym

The Ford government cuts to municipalities leaves them with $2 billion less in funding to deal with over the next decade. 

Ontario municipalities should brace for a $2-billion shock in the decade ahead, as cuts in provincial transfers sink in, according to the credit rating service Moody's. The warning comes in a report released last week, and set to be presented at Peel Region's council meeting Thursday.

Peel and the other three Greater Toronto regional councils — Halton, York and Durham — are well-positioned to weather the storm, the report says, because they have the healthiest reserve funds.

But several other jurisdictions with smaller reserve funds, including Toronto, will be especially hard hit, according to Moody's vice president Adam Hardi. "Raising taxes is not a very popular choice among municipalities," Hardi told CBC Toronto Tuesday. "But we have heard already that some municipalities may be looking at least to fund some of the funding shortfalls through higher taxes."

In 2020, when all the reductions and cost-share adjustments are in place, Moody's says Ontario municipalities will face a total of about $300 million in added costs  and another $2 billion — minimum — in the subsequent 10 years. ...

Moody's also expects municipalities to rely on their reserve funds to help weather the coming financial storm. That's where some municipalities, like Toronto, could find themselves struggling, the report says.

Toronto has estimated it'll cost about $178 million a year to cover the cuts once they're in place. The province has disputed that figure, pegging it at about $130 million.

That's because Toronto's reserve funds are especially weak — second lowest of the 10 Ontario municipalities that Moody's tracks. Only Waterloo's are lower. Coun. Gary Crawford, Toronto's budget chief, acknowledged that the city needs to find more sustainable ways to operate, rather than drawing on reserves to balance the budget. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ford-government-cuts-will-blow-2-...

    Debater

    Leaked internal report says Ford Government botched new autism program and misled public about the waiting list

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-leaked-internal-report-says-ford-government-botched-new-autism-program/

    jerrym

    A leaked government document prepared by one of Ford's own MPPs, Roman Baber, reveals that the government lied about there being a waiting list of 23,000 for autism funding, even though there was no waiting list. This was the excuse used to greatly reduce autism funding. 

    The document addressed to Premier Ford and his former Chief of Staff Dean French was prepared by Toronto-area MPP Roman Baber on June 13. ...

    Baber also says the government’s claims that the new funding structure would clear a treatment wait list of 23 000 children with autism was “inaccuarate” and that there was no waitlist to begin with. He later recommends a full reset of the program to a needs-based format.

    https://www.chch.com/leaked-autism-file-leaves-families-complaining-abou...

    jerrym

    The Ford government has cut the funding for flood management programs in half as global warming helped trigger extensive flooding around the province. I suspect they particularly didn't like the idea of educating the public about the risks of climate change induced flooding that some of these programs engaged in.

    Ontario conservation authorities say the provincial government has cut their funding for flood management programs in half.

    Conservation Ontario, which represents the province's 36 conservation authorities, said impacts of the cuts will be felt immediately, particularly in smaller and more rural areas. ...

    "Cutting natural hazards funding is particularly problematic right now in light of the fact that — like everywhere else — Ontario is experiencing stronger and more frequent flood events as a result of climate change impacts," general manager Kim Gavine said in a statement.

    "Using a watershed-based approach, conservation authorities deliver effective and cost efficient flood management programs across the province, partnering for many years with the province, municipalities and others."

    Ontario had given $7.4 million to the conservation authorities for that work, but they say that has now been reduced by 50 per cent.

    Conservation authorities forecast flooding and issue warnings, monitor stream flow, regulate development activities in flood plains, educate the public about flooding and protect natural cover that helps reduce the impacts of flooding.

    jerrym

    The Ford government is not only scandal-ridden it is disorganized and ineffective. It is already a month late in laying out its plans for its $28.5 billion transit expansion project, at a time when it is most likely to get financial support from the federal Liberals because we are on the eve of an election. Of course, many also do not see this expenisve proposal as anywhere near meeting the needs of commuters effectively. 

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/07/18/weeks-after-its-own-deadline...

    jerrym

    The federal Ministry of Health has sent a letter to the Ontario Ministry of Health warning "the province that changes proposed in the 2019 budget to OHIP’s payments for out-of-country health care breach the principles of the Canada Health Act. ... Responding to reports that Ontario abortion clinics have been charging fees outside of OHIP, the federal health minister asked the province to “ensure that Ontario residents do not face any financial barriers when accessing insured abortion services.” 

    https://www.tvo.org/article/the-ford-government-may-be-recovering-from-i...

    jerrym

    The Ford government is also planning to cut payments for out-of-country health care, which would violate the Health Act, according to the federal government. 

    Ontario is moving ahead with a plan to scrap a provincial program that offers basic out-of-country travel insurance.

    Health Minister Christine Elliott says the Progressive Conservative government has decided to make the change after holding a six-day public consultation that ended Tuesday. ...

    The program currently covers out-of-country inpatient services to a maximum of $400 per day for a higher level of care, such as intensive care, as well up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient services, and doctor services.

    Elliott says the program’s administrative costs are too high and the level of coverage too low to help travellers who already largely depend on private travel insurance. ...

    Opposition politicians have said ending the program will hurt snowbirds and frequent travellers.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/5226830/ontario-scrap-ohip-travel-insurance-a...

    jerrym

    The Ford Con government has taken so much criticism over its reduction in autism funding that it has had to back down, while admitting that its original scheme was a failure. However, the Cons have not committed to starting a new program until 2020, as noted by the NDP.

    The Ontario government failed to get its autism program redesign “right” and will launch a new needs-based strategy by next spring, Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith says.

    “We are certainly sorry for the anxiety that this has caused parents across Ontario,” Smith said Monday, announcing an additional six-month extension to funding for existing Ontario Autism Program Behaviour Plans for children already receiving services. “We are committed, though, as a group to making sure that we get this program right … No government has ever really ever solved this issue or got this file right.”

    An advisory panel has been asked to report back by the end of the summer with its recommendations for a needs-based program within a $600-million budget, Smith said. ...

    NDP MPP Monique Taylor said the government has not committed to a new program before next April.

    “Kids and families simply cannot wait for April 2020 to get the services they need,” Taylor said in a statement. “Literally every day, the developmental potential of children with autism is slipping away.”

    https://torontosun.com/news/provincial/ford-government-hits-reset-on-fai...

     

    jerrym

    The Ford Cons are now looking to sell off anything they can to private interests, including Ontarians data.

    Ontario is considering the sale of naming rights for GO Transit stations, parking lots and even washrooms in a bid to find new revenue sources for its regional transit network in the Greater Toronto Area.

    Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said Thursday that the government believes the move will increase income for provincial transit operator Metrolinx, and help keep fares low. 

    "We are looking to maximize the value of Metrolinx assets, properties, and services to increase non-fare revenue while improving services for our customers," she said in a statement. 

    The province estimates it can make between $50,000 to $500,000 a year on rights for some stations, which would retain their original names while also featuring a sponsor's name and branding. ...

    The agreements — which could range between five and 10 years — would also provide sponsors with ridership data, although Mulroney noted that it would be stripped of personally identifying information. ...

    The agreements — which could range between five and 10 years — would also provide sponsors with ridership data, although Mulroney noted that it would be stripped of personally identifying information.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/metrolinx-naming-rights-1.5233131

     

     

    nicky

    New abacus poll:

    Ford’s approval rating is 65 to 20 % negative

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EBsT6j6VAAAApjM?format=jpg&name=large

    alan smithee alan smithee's picture

    Ontario you are making me happy. But one question ; Why did Ontarians vote for this putz in the first place? His campaign had no platform and ran on a simple message 'For the People' And you all fell for it and handed a career charlatan and  and drug dealer (ex?) the keys to your province

    You voted for a party that you all should know better to not vote for.

    So I'll ask again. Was Wynne that awful? Was it worth it? You have Ford fatigue. Hmmm...didn't see it coming..(a quiet lol)

    NDPP

    Doug Ford's Economic Agenda: Giveaways For the Rich

    https://twitter.com/wearenorth99/status/1163839861096407040

    "Doug Ford's economic agenda is massive giveaways for the rich, paid for by the rest of us..."

    WWWTT

    alan smithee wrote:

    Ontario you are making me happy. But one question ; Why did Ontarians vote for this putz in the first place? His campaign had no platform and ran on a simple message 'For the People' And you all fell for it and handed a career charlatan and  and drug dealer (ex?) the keys to your province

    You voted for a party that you all should know better to not vote for.

    So I'll ask again. Was Wynne that awful? Was it worth it? You have Ford fatigue. Hmmm...didn't see it coming..(a quiet lol)

    who are you talking to? I think if it was up to the babblers from Ontario, Horwath would be the premiere. Instead the NDP are the official opposition 

    jerrym

    The Ford government may be doing it in a quieter manner but there are more cuts on the way in the form of daycare and public health care cuts. 

    Local taxpayers will feel the pinch of higher costs for new daycare spaces and public health programs under funding changes from Premier Doug Ford’s government, critics say, with Mayor John Tory warning of “significant” impacts on Toronto’s finances. 

    The province unveiled its revised plan Monday, just three months after backing down on retroactive and controversial cuts to public health, daycare and ambulance services in the face of stiff criticism from Tory and other leaders after municipal budgets were set for the year.

    “We recognize our government moved quickly when we came into office,” Ford told about 2,000 delegates at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa. “But we’ve listened to you.”

    NDP Leader Andrea Horwath suggested Ford’s listening skills have not improved. “This morning, Doug Ford confirmed that the countdown to devastating cuts is on,” she said in a statement. “He’s slashing things like public health and child care, things that keep families safe and healthy, and throwing the problems his cuts will create at the feet of municipal councils.”

    The changes take effect in January, including a move first announced in the provincial government’s spring budget to make municipalities pay 20 per cent of the cost of new daycare spaces — which had been fully funded by the province.

    Carolyn Ferns with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care said the change will be challenging for municipalities that agreed to expand child care in their communities on the understanding that Queen’s Park would pick up the full cost. “It’s going to create a chill for any municipality thinking about expanding child care,” Ferns said. “If suddenly they can be on the hook for more of the cost — and with all the other budget pressures they are facing under this government — they are just not going to do it.”

    https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2019/08/19/ford-government-u...

     

    jerrym

    At the end of August news reports announced the Toronto District School Board was facing 300 job cuts because of the Ford government's funding cuts.

    Nearly 300 full-time jobs are on the chopping block at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) as they look to save millions of dollars following cuts by the provincial government.

    A report, which you can read below, will go before the TDSB board on Wednesday — combining both layoffs and attrition to appease budget restrictions.

    Staff reductions include learning coaches, guidance counsellors, principals, custodians, student support services and 36 teaching jobs.

    The TDSB said many of the jobs have already been eliminated in preparation for the new school year.

    Reductions are also being made to the number of students eligible to receive TTC tokens if they live far away from a specialized school.

    The report also looks at increasing fees for extra-curricular programs.

    The board is looking to cut $46.8 million from the budget.

    When asked previously about the cuts needed to be made by school boards to meet the provincial budget, Premier Doug Ford said they would amount to attrition.

    However, both the teachers’ union and government opposition have said this isn’t true. It’s estimated that as many as 3,500 teaching jobs will be lost across the province because of these cuts.

    https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/08/28/tdsb-job-cuts-budget/

    jerrym

    In August, the NDP also called out the Ford government for funding private schools that were providing grades for cash.

    The NDP are calling on the Ford government to “reign in” Ontario private schools after an CityNews report found a handful of GTA schools were faking grades in exchange for cash.

    Alice Boyle, a recently retired public school teacher in York Region who brought her concerns to CityNews, said things such as falsifying report cards, inflating marks and faking attendance records have been going on for years and claims the Ministry of Education isn’t doing enough to stop it.

    “There’s a credit mill around here, you just walk over, plunk down your $600-$800 and sometimes, depending the school, they may ask you what mark you need for what course and you don’t have to go to a class.” she said.

    NDP education critic Marit Stiles is calling for the Ford government to act swiftly to protect the integrity of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

    “Private schools in Ontario are playing fast and loose with the rules while Doug Ford’s Minister of Education looks the other way,” Stiles said in a release on Thursday.

    “These institutions are cashing-in on a ‘Wild West’ of lax oversight and students and families are paying the price. The Ford government and Minister Stephen Lecce should inspect these businesses, strengthen oversight, and take responsibility for protecting the integrity of the OSSD.”

    Private schools operate independent of the Ministry of Education, but they still must pass provincial inspection before being given the green light to offer official Ontario Secondary School Diploma credits.

    According to the Ministry’s website, more than 20 private secondary schools have had their credit-granting status revoked since 2013. Fifteen of those schools are located in the GTA. Of those 15 schools, 9 of them were located on a stretch of Yonge Street between North York and York Region. Many of those schools are in plazas and largely corporate buildings.

    It’s no surprise these for-profit companies are circling Ontario’s public education sector just as Doug Ford is weakening our public schools with damaging cuts” Stiles said. “Ford needs to be up front with Ontarians and commit, unequivocally, that public dollars won’t be siphoned off to private schools, and private school students will be subject to the same rules as everyone else

    https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/08/01/ndp-calls-out-ford-government-ove...

    jerrym

    The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario projects that increasing student-teacher ratios and mandatory online courses and associated funding cuts will result in the loss of more than 10,000 teaching jobs in the next five years. 

    Ontario will have 10,000 fewer teaching positions over the next five years as the Ford government boosts class sizes and introduces mandatory online courses, says the legislature’s independent financial watchdog. 

    Some 994 elementary and 9,060 secondary positions will be gone from the system based on the previous student-teacher ratios, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario said in an explosive report — one that landed in the midst of contract negotiations and just days before the high school teachers’ union is set to sit down at the bargaining table with the government and school boards. ...

    https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2019/09/26/ontario-to-lose-m...

    jerrym

    Major problems are already starting to occur in Ontario's school system because of Ford government cuts. 

    The fact that thousands of teachers won’t be handed pink slips, but will disappear from schools through attrition, and many more thousands simply won’t be hired in the first place doesn’t make this a successful education policy. ...

    The FAO report says there will be 10,000 fewer teachers over the next five years as a result of the government’s decision to increase class sizes. High school classes will rise to an average of 28 students from 22. ...

    In year one, when the government is still providing significant extra funding to prevent mass layoffs and system chaos, there’s already a ton of problems.

    Award-winning music programs have been cut. The physics and calculus classes required for university aren’t available in some high schools this year. And two of the province’s largest school boards have had to reduce classes in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math — the very subjects those “jobs of the future” Lecce referred to require.

    And 10,000 fewer teachers doesn’t just mean fewer (and larger) classes. It also means fewer coaches for sports teams and fewer people to run everything from school clubs to the yearbook.

    The government’s education cuts mean all students, whether they’re struggling, gifted or somewhere in between, will get less than they should from a public education that is supposed to be top notch.

    That’s the price that comes with the $900 million the report says the government will save per year once its class size increases are fully implemented.

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2019/09/30/fords-failing-form...

    jerrym

    Educational custodians, clerical workers and early childhood educators, who are members of CUPE, have begun work-to-rule in Ontario schools.

    Tens of thousands of education workers across the province began a work-to-rule campaign on Monday as confusion mounted about when their union and the government would return to the bargaining table.

    Education Minister Stephen Lecce said CUPE, which represents 55,000 custodians, clerical workers and early childhood educators, had accepted a government offer of new mediation dates and talks could resume as early as this week. ...

    “I’m grateful for the union accepting those days,” he told a morning news conference at a school in Nobleton, Ont. “I hope that that can be a legitimate, bona fide, constructive dialogue that actually leads to a deal.”

    But hours later, the president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, refuted Lecce’s statement, saying no dates were offered and that the parties remained too far apart to return to the table.

    “There’s a clear disconnect between what we hear from the minister and what we hear at the table and this would be another really good example of that,” Laura Walton said.

    During the work-to-rule campaign, education workers will stop working overtime and won’t perform extra duties. ...

    Walton said the union is willing to return to talks if there is a prospect of meaningful progress.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/5967841/ontario-education-workers-work-to-rule/

     

    alan smithee alan smithee's picture

    WWWTT wrote:

    alan smithee wrote:

    Ontario you are making me happy. But one question ; Why did Ontarians vote for this putz in the first place? His campaign had no platform and ran on a simple message 'For the People' And you all fell for it and handed a career charlatan and  and drug dealer (ex?) the keys to your province

    You voted for a party that you all should know better to not vote for.

    So I'll ask again. Was Wynne that awful? Was it worth it? You have Ford fatigue. Hmmm...didn't see it coming..(a quiet lol)

    who are you talking to? I think if it was up to the babblers from Ontario, Horwath would be the premiere. Instead the NDP are the official opposition 

    It was rhetorical.

    Many here were trashing Wynne while she was Premier, ecstatic with her failing numbers.

    Now look what they got. 

    You have to be careful what you wish for. 

    That is not a comment aimed at you. It was a rhetorical question. 

    That's pretty much all I have to say in this thread.You dug up a comment I have totally forgot I said. IMO Ontario shit the bed. Echoes of what people here are wishing for now federally.

    voice of the damned

    Yeah, I really don't get how there can be any shock or disillusionment with Doug Ford among Ontario voters.

    I am not someone who believes that people should ever be judged by who their relatives are, but voluntary associations are fair game, and Doug has always identified himself very closely with Ford Nation. So, how could anyone have expected that his stint in the premier's chair would be anything other than a repeat of the right-wing clown show that enraptured Toronto for nearly four years?

    jerrym

    The cuts to arts funding are also going to have a major negative impact. 

    Provincial cuts to the Ontario Arts Council will leave small magazines struggling to pay writers and illustrators, silencing important minority and marginalized voices and putting the magazines’ survival in jeopardy, New Democrat MPP Jill Andrew says.

    The arts council lost $10 million in funding in the spring budget and has been forced to make cuts of its own, including to its “publishing organization project” that provided maximum grants of $10,000 to Ontario-based magazine and book publishers, Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s) told a news conference Tuesday.

    “Arts are not efficiencies,” added Andrew, who said she is waiting for a response from Tourism, Culture and Sports Minister Lisa MacLeod on a demand to rescind the cuts as Premier Doug Ford’s government works to eliminate annual deficits. ...

    The editorial and art director of Shameless magazine, which describes itself as “an independent Canadian voice for smart, strong sassy young women and trans youth” with a social-justice message as an alternative to typical teen magazines, said losing the $10,000 grant amounts to a 30 per cent budget cut.

    “We paid 147 writers and illustrators last year,” Sheila Sampath added, noting the magazine that publishes three times a year will no longer be able to pay its youth advisory board for monthly meetings and is scrambling to do fundraising. The magazine is published by a staff of volunteers.

    https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2019/10/01/doug-fords-arts-c...

     

    jerrym

    Social activists have played a major role in causing the Ford government to not implement child benefit and some other social assistance cuts. 

    Doug Ford's PC government is scrapping planned cuts to social assistance programs, including the Transition Child Benefit — which helps families in the most need — following an outcry from across the province.

    Earlier this year, the province announced changes to Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program and the child benefit. The Transition Child Benefit (TCB) was slated to end on Nov. 1.

    In the wake of that announcement, municipalities and social justice advocates said losing the benefit, which amounts to a maximum of $230 per child per month, would leave low-income families — in particular refugee claimants, who are not eligible for other child benefit payments — in a budget shortfall.

    The money is designed to supplement Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

    "After careful consideration, these programs will continue in their current form to all recipients in accordance with existing policies," Christine Wood, a spokesperson for Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith, told CBC Toronto Thursday in an emailed statement.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-government-rolls-back-s...

     

    jerrym

    However, Ford government cuts are like Trump scandals: there have been so many of them you lose track of even the last one because there is new one just about every day.

    Here's a summary of cuts that Ford has backtracked because of public opposition. 

    Transition Child Benefit 

    The government had planned to stop the benefit as of Nov. 1, but has now decided to continue it as the province reviews its social assistance programs. The benefit provides up to $230 a month for low-income families not receiving other child benefits.

    Children's Aid Society funding

    The government's spending estimates for this fiscal year had showed a $28-million cut to funding for children's aid societies, but has now decided to maintain the same funding model as last year. 

    Autism

    In February, the government announced a revamp of the Ontario Autism Program. It was framed as a way to clear a massive waiting list for services, but would have given families a relatively small amount of money based on their income, not the needs of their child. It also would have effectively cut off thousands of kids currently in government-funded therapy.

    After a loud and sustained outcry, the government announced a reversal, saying it was going back to the drawing board on a needs-based program and would double the current budget.

    Public health 

    Mayors across the province banded together to fight retroactive cuts to public health funding, and the government ultimately relented.

    Doug Ford reverses millions in cuts to Ontario municipalitiesOntario Premier Doug Ford has reversed himself on millions of dollars in cuts to municipalities after a growing backlash turned the tide against his Tory government. 3:24The cuts, in the form of a new cost-sharing arrangement, will mostly go ahead in 2020, but the mid-year cuts that would have taken effect after municipalities had already passed their budgets were cancelled. 

    Child care 

    Municipalities will still have to pay 20 per cent of the cost of creating new child-care spaces — which the province previously fully funded — as announced at the same time as the public health cuts. But the government backed off somewhat on other elements of child-care funding cuts, delaying some to 2021 and others to 2022. 

    French university 

    As part of the government's efforts to balance the books, it announced last fall that it was cancelling plans for a French-language university. The move sparked an outcry among Franco-Ontarians and prompted a Progressive Conservative caucus member to quit. In September, Ontario and the federal government announced they had reached an agreement on jointly funding a French-language university. 

    Appointments 

    Ford revoked two appointments for agents-general positions in London and New York City. One person was reported to be related to Ford's then-chief of staff, Dean French, and it emerged  that the other played lacrosse with French's son. 

    Greenbelt

    Ontario announced in January that it would not move forward with a controversial element of proposed legislation that could have opened up the province's protected Greenbelt to development. 

    Size of cabinet 

    When Doug Ford came to power he cut the size of the cabinet to 21 people, down from 29 under former premier Kathleen Wynne. In a cabinet shuffle this summer, he added several new portfolios, bringing the size to 28. 

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-ontario-cuts-backtrack-...

    jerrym

    While the government problems in Ontario continue t0 escalate exponentially, Ford has been Missing In Action for almost a month. What a way to solve problems! On the other hand maybe the province would be better if he went on an extended holiday in Costa Rica à la Pallister in Manitoba. 

    In the midst of a heated labour dispute with 55,000 educational workers, the threat of schools across the province shutting down Monday, and the backdrop of a federal election campaign, Premier Doug Ford remains tight lipped and out of the media spotlight.

    The last time the premier spoke to press was on Sept. 17 in North Bay.

    Since then, Ford has ducked media when attending cabinet meetings, opting to enter the executive council chamber though back hallways at Queen’s Park. ...

    The premier’s office declined to disclose Ford’s calendar for the past two weeks; an interview request with Global News was also denied and the office would not answer questions on when the premier would hold his next media availability. ...

    When asked about the premier’s current whereabouts, Yelich said, “The premier is in Ontario.” She did not provide further details.

    Government sources not authorized to speak publicly say advisors are telling the premier to stay out of the news until the federal election campaign is over.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/5989758/where-is-doug-ford/

    jerrym

    Another day - another set of Ford government cuts, this time to low-income families. 

    A new City of Toronto report details the loss of hundreds of child care fee subsidies for low-income families due to Provincial budget cuts.

    The report before the Economic and Community Development Committee revealed the impacts to the city due to a change in funding structure from the provincial government.  Child care expansion was previously funded entirely by the province, but it announced in the spring it would only fund 80 per cent at the beginning of 2020.

    In Toronto’s case, provincial expansion funding will be cut by about $15 million in 2020, from $74.9 million to $59.0 million. The city report said the loss of funding could mean the reduction of approximately 760 child care fee subsidies in 2020.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/6006138/ontario-funding-cuts-child-care-space...

     

    jerrym

    Ontario government cuts to Toronto city council size the day after Ford won the election despite the fact the Cons never discussed doing this during the election.  

    Ontario government bureaucrats began working on reducing the size of Toronto City Council less than 24 hours after Premier Doug Ford won the provincial election last year, despite his Progressive Conservative Party not raising the idea during the campaign.

    Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail reveal that bureaucrats quickly started researching cutting the number of Toronto city councillors – timing that suggests the move was an undisclosed top priority for the newly elected Premier.

    Mr. Ford made the bombshell announcement that the province was halving the number of Toronto’s wards in the middle of the subsequent municipal election campaign in late July, 2018. Toronto launched a legal challenge, which it lost on appeal last month but plans to ask the Supreme Court of Canada for permission to appeal the decision. ...

    Julie O’Driscoll, a spokeswoman for Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, did not address questions related to the timing of work to cut Toronto city council.

    “We were elected on a promise to reduce the size and cost of government and to end the culture of waste and mismanagement; we acted quickly to do just that,” Ms. O’Driscoll said in an e-mail. ...

    Mr. Ford’s surprise move to cut Toronto city council to 25 wards from the planned 47, which was not part of the PCs’ election platform and did not come up on the campaign trail, was widely criticized as overstepping. Mr. Ford, a one-term former Toronto city councillor who has railed about political gridlock at city hall, lost the 2014 mayoral race to Mr. Tory.

    "I think this timing only reinforces the fact that the move to slash city council in half in the middle of an election was a political decision,” said Michal Hay, executive director of Progress Toronto, an activist group.

    An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that the government’s intervention was unconstitutional in September, 2018, but the Court of Appeal granted the province’s request to put the ruling on hold pending a final decision. The municipal election proceeded with Mr. Ford’s 25-ward map last October.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-doug-ford-government-star...

    jerrym

    The Ontario Financial Accountability Officer, Peter Weltman, says  that the Ontario deficit was half of the $15 billion dollars that the Cons claimed it to be. This claim was used to justify the massive Ford government cuts. 

    Weltman also admitted that his own estimate of a $11.7 billion dollar deficit was wrong. However, it was a convenient number for the Cons during the election. 

    He also found that cancelling the cap and trade system cost the government $1.7 billion a year in revenue that could have been used for programs. 

    Peter Weltman, Ontario’s financial accountability officer, says the provincerecorded an actual deficit in 2018-19 of $7.4 billion.

    Shortly after Premier Doug Ford was elected he claimed the province was strapped with a staggering $15-billion deficit because of the previous Liberal government’s reckless spending.

    “It’s important for people to understand the official deficit was never $15 billion,” Weltman told Global News in an interview on Thursday.

    The $7.4-billion figure confirmed the number Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy and Finance Minister Rod Phillips released in September along with the government’s public accounts.

    New commentary released by Weltman’s office showed the deficit doubled from 2017-18 to 2018-19.

    “The relatively sharp increase in the deficit was the result of modest revenue growth, combined with a relatively large increase in program spending,” his report stated.

    Weltman also admitted his office was wrong with projections of an $11.7-billion deficit at the time of the 2019 Ontario budget, a figure the government also claimed at the time.

    His report also found policy decisions have weakened revenue growth, including the cancellation of the cap and trade program.

    “Cap and trade the auctions were supposed to bring in $1.7 billion last year. When the government cancelled the program, they cancelled the auctions — so effectively that revenue was gone. But the spending programs associated with the cap-and-trade program were not all cut so there was some residual spending but there was no offsetting revenue” said Weltman.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/6047027/ontario-deficit-financial-accountabil...

    jerrym

    Guess what! The new Ford government that was promised after five months of reflections is the old Ford government, with a small change in tone, but all the old policies. Their first piece of legislation reflects that as 'modernizing regulations' becomes a slogan for attacking environmental and other protections. 

    The Ford government's first new legislation after a long summer break is aimed at reducing red tape and modernizing regulations, but there are worries that some of the proposed changes could weaken environmental protections.

    The bill, called the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, was introduced on Monday at Queen's Park.

    If passed, the legislation would result in regulatory changes across a wide variety of areas, including the environment, agriculture, food safety, alcohol, mining, post-secondary education, insurance, and many others. ...

    But some environmentalists are worried about changes in the bill that would remove provisions around environmental protection.

    "It's not terribly promising," said Keith Brooks, a program manager at the advocacy group Environmental Defence. ...

    The new legislation will also repeal certain sections of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), including rules around collecting penalties from companies that contravene the act.

    In some instances, companies found in violation of the EPA may be subject to a lower penalty, capped to a maximum of $200,000. Those penalties currently reach up to $100,000 per day in some cases.

    Other provisions in the existing act are being repealed, including some in the EPA that govern emissions from motor vehicles.  ...

    Brooks said environmental groups were still parsing the dense language and complex changes proposed in the new legislation. Some groups said they expect to discover more damaging changes in the coming days.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/red-tape-legislation-ontario-1.53...

    jerrym

    Even when Ford withdraws proposed cuts he creates an enormous anxiety in affected people that continues after the withdrawal as people wonder whether the cut will come back in the future. 

    Premier Doug Ford’s government has backed off on a planned cut to a municipal program. ...

    I’m referring to last week’s announcement that the Ford government wouldn’t proceed with cutting $15 million from Toronto child-care programs as had been previously announced.

    Turns out in a city where the average annual cost of child care for a toddler is a cool $17,000, cutting the number of subsidized spaces is unpopular.

    This keeps happening. Ford has developed a nasty habit of proposing cuts that spark a firestorm of backlash. Feeling the heat, he backs off and either fully or partially reverses course.

    Before child care, the threatened cut was the Transition Child Benefit, a social assistance program administered by city hall. The Ford government backed off after it came out that eliminating the program could make 1,700 families homeless in Toronto. Not ideal.

    Before that, it was Ford’s move to retroactively cut millions from Toronto’s public health programs — reversed when medical professionals repeatedly pointed out these programs do a darn good job of keeping people alive.

    It’s an absurd pattern. And no one benefits.

    For people who believe in these kinds of programs, it’s led to a constant state of uncertainty.

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2019/11/04/doug-ford-has-a-...

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