Ford government scandals and cabinet minister changes

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jerrym wrote:

There are growing calls that Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Lisa MacLeod resign over her profanity-laden comments. 

I find it absolutely fascinating that "Lisa MacLeod yells at billionaire" is the story and not "Billionaire who bribed his way out of fraud charges and lives in Barbados for tax evasion but still somehow uses Canadian health care can call Doug Ford and demand he fire a cabinet minister for hurting his feelings".


cco wrote:
jerrym wrote:

There are growing calls that Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Lisa MacLeod resign over her profanity-laden comments. 

I find it absolutely fascinating that "Lisa MacLeod yells at billionaire" is the story and not "Billionaire who bribed his way out of fraud charges and lives in Barbados for tax evasion but still somehow uses Canadian health care can call Doug Ford and demand he fire a cabinet minister for hurting his feelings".

If you are going to quote me have it at least reflect what what I was saying rather than selectively picking out one point that is misleading to the entire context of what I said. 

jerrym wrote:

There are growing calls that Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Lisa MacLeod resign over her profanity-laden comments. ...

However, she has been involved in a far bigger scandal. Lisa MacLeod had been in charge of the autism funding file as the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services before being demoted to Sports Minister. However, she was not just incompetent in the latter, her ministry was involved in fraud, with the evidence being provided by one of the Conservative's own MPPs. 

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. 


My apologies, jerrym – I was referring to the media coverage of the story as a whole, not your post in particular.


The continuing phenomenon of right-wing politicians continuing to best so-called progressive alternative choices in such times should raise serious questions and a radical program to fix this obvious, existential problem.


Here is a comprehensive list of the cuts and canceled programs made by the Progressive Conservatives and Ontario Premier Doug Ford in their first year.

Beer Store

Cancelling the Beer Store contract will have an upfront cost of $1 billion. However, UFCW Local 12R24 also asserts that "Ontarians will pay more for beer and put 7,000 good-paying jobs at risk with the PC government's plan to sell alcohol in corner stores, even though Premier Doug Ford promised no one would lose their job." Let's stop sharing the soundbite about a "buck a beer" because it is not true.

Changes to education funding

Here is a fact check of Ford's statements about the rationale for his education changes and cuts. As you can see, it is mostly hyperbole and lies. You can find tools from Students Say NoETFO's Building Better Schools campaign, Canadian Federation of Students OntarioOntario Secondary School Teachers Federation and Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association and L'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), whose members were hit particularly hard by the cuts.

Read a parent of an autistic child's account of why the cuts will hurt them, a high school teacher's account of the looming cuts to classes, and an IBEW union steward talk about how cuts have impacted his union's ability to help at-risk youth. Here is a more complete list of the cruel cuts to programs which help at-risk youth. There are definitely things which need to be addressed to improve our schools but Ford's proposed changes are based on hyperbole and misinformation.

Cuts to health care

The Ontario Health Coalition has been keeping a running list of Ford's cuts to health care and his efforts to privatize parts of our medical care system.  

Before the election this open letter from Ontario nurse members of the Canadian Federation of Nurse Unions summed up the holes in Doug Ford's promises perfectly.

As advocates for our patients, nurses know that cutting 4 cents of every dollar spent by government will mean at least $6 billion in cuts. Because health-care funding amounts to 42 per cent of government spending and due to the absence of details about your plans, we have to assume this means your proposal to find "efficiencies" will result in $2.5 billion cut from health-care spending. Cutting $2.5 billion in health-care spending is equal to cutting 25,000 registered nurses from the bedside.

Now that he is in power, he is going back on his promise not to cut jobs, and nurses are being laid off and their jobs are not being filled. Hallway medicine is getting worse by all accounts. The Ontario Council of Hospital Unionshas launched a summer campaign to raise awareness about the cuts and the impact this will have on the quality of care. Reach out to them for more information.

Cuts to programs which help poor kids and families

One of the first thing Ford cut, without waiting for the results of the pilot, was the basic income pilot project which was slated to help 4,000 people in three communities in Ontario. The Basic Income Canada Network continues to fight for basic income all. Here are some accounts from the people it helped. The government has also clawed back the transition child benefit, impacting 600 families in the Waterloo region alone. It has also eliminated the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) which targeted assistance to low-income students -- here is a great breakdownof what the changes to OSAP really mean.

Cuts to programs for First Nations communities

Another cut right after Ford took power was the cancellation of the scheduled consultation with First Nations to develop a new curriculum for Ontario schools about Indigenous people. In May, with limited consultation and no clear roll-out plan, the government released a new curriculum with many gaps as Anishinaabe educator Colinda Clyne, points out. This curriculum is for elective not mandatory classes. The government also has also slashed $5 million from the Indigenous Culture Fund and cut 70 per cent of the funding for the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/OFRC)

Cuts to programs which protect the environment

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario just released a report revealing that over 1,300 tonnes of sewage had been dumped into Ontario waterways in 2018 and setting out ways to protect our water. Meanwhile the Progressive Conservatives announced they were eliminating three provincial watchdogs, including environment, in one short paragraph of their November 2018 fall economic statement. This is just one of many assaults on programs which protect the environment.

There are a lot more cuts. I just don't want to exhaust you with resources. Please read this thorough compliation put together by Flare and find out about the cuts that matter to you. This summer join the people organizing against the damage Ontario's Progressive Conservatives have wrought and don't let the Conservatives win the federal election.



While the Ford government cuts programs for the poor and the middle class, it provides $700 million in subsidies to the richest and global-destroying richest industry in the world - the fossil fuel industry.



The Ford government hid a massive sewage leak in Hamilton from the public for more than a year. 

Doug Ford's Ontario government knew about a massive leak of sewage in Hamilton more than a year ago, and the Opposition NDP wants to know why it didn't think to tell anyone.

Some 24 billion litres of untreated sewage leaked into waterways in and around the industrial city between early 2014 and July 18, 2018, when it was discovered and reported to the province, the City of Hamilton said Wednesday.

The New Democrats' Sandy Shaw said it was "beyond disturbing" that the Progressive Conservatives "refused to make (the leak) public" and "refused to step in and help the city with this emergency cleanup."

"Minister, my constituents would like an answer as to why the ministry did not immediately tell the people of Hamilton when they learned of this incident that posed not only environmental risk but significant risk to human health," the MPP for the riding of Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas wrote in a letter to Jeff Yurek, the environment minister. ...

Shaw responded with the same question she had for Yurek, now directed at Rickford: why didn't you tell us then?

Rickford did not directly respond to accusations of outright refusal to act either to help with cleanup or notify the public. He said a second order was issued last week "requiring clarification and confirmation of impacts, recommendations for remediation, mitigation and monitoring." ...

One city report obtained by the Spectator showed $2 million worth of dredging might be necessary, with an estimated 5,600 cubic metres — or 560 truckloads — of “organic sediment” identified for potential removal along the creek.


The NDP want Ontario's Chief Electoral Officer to investigate whether the Ford government violated the law by having a third party advertiser act in coordination with a political party or candidate make pro-government newspaper ads about the education labour dispute. 

The Ontario NDP wants provincial election officials to investigate any possible links between the Progressive Conservative government and an obscure group called Vaughan Working Families, which was behind a series of pro-government newspaper ads.

The ads, which ran last weekend in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post and the Toronto Sun, echo the government’s language in its labour dispute with the province’s teachers and accuse the unions of using students as “pawns.” The ads appeared just after talks between the government and the unions broke down and teachers vowed to continue an escalating series of one-day walkouts.

A spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce – who represents a Vaughan riding – said Mr. Lecce had no role in or any knowledge of the ads before they ran. The office of Premier Doug Ford and the PC Party also issued similar statements.

On Friday, NDP MPP Peter Tabuns wrote a letter to Greg Essensa, Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, calling for an investigation into whether Vaughan Working Families was working “in collusion” with the PC government, which Mr. Tabuns said would violate the Election Finances Act.

Under the act, third-party political advertisers are not allowed to “act in co-ordination” with political parties or candidates. The NDP has also raised concerns that the ads ran as two Ottawa-area by-elections are under way. Elections Ontario said Friday it does not comment on investigations.

The name Vaughan Working Families was registered in 2018 by a corporation called Vaughan Health Campus of Care. According to corporate records, the corporation’s president is prominent Toronto-area developer Michael DeGasperis, a donor to the PC Party. Mr. DeGasperis did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawyer who registered the name, who is also listed as a director of Vaughan Health Campus of Care, is Quinto Annibale, a large donor to the PC Party whom the Ford government has named vice-chairman of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

In a story published online Thursday evening, the Toronto Star reported that invoices for the ads had been sent to the offices of Mr. Annibale’s Etobicoke law firm, Loopstra Nixon LLP. The law firm’s address is also the listed address for Vaughan Health Campus of Care. Full-page ads would typically cost tens of thousands of dollars each.

Mr. Annibale did not respond to requests for comment. On Friday, the law firm’s managing partner, Allan Ritchie, issued a statement saying that Mr. Annibale serves on the board of Vaughan Working Families/Vaughan Health Campus of Care in his personal capacity. The statement said the views expressed by the group were not those of the law firm or its staff, which hold a “wide variety of political opinions.”

Mr. Tabuns acknowledged he had no evidence that the government was involved in co-ordinating the ads. But he said the situation warranted a probe.