While the world continues to watch the American election drama, there is a great deal happening right here at home as well.
Yesterday, the Ford government presented its budget to the people of Ontario, and much of what I was hoping to see in the budget is simply not there. This budget falls well short of the support that Ontario needs right now to make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the next few days, I will continue to break down pieces of this budget, but for tonight I will be focusing on two significant issues – education and long-term care.
For many years, the Ontario NDP has been advocating actively for more funding for both education and long-term care in our province, but our efforts have been rebuffed by successive Liberal and Conservative governments. However, in the shadow of COVID-19, I have held out hope that the Conservatives would finally and step up to support these two sectors that have been hit so hard during this pandemic.
Sadly, I should not have held out that hope. In the budget that has been released this week, the Ford government plans to cut almost $100 million from planned spending on long-term care compared to the March fiscal plan for 2020-2021. On the education side, there is nothing in this budget to make our classrooms safer by capping class sizes – even after it has been made clear that schools have been a source of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Bluntly, he’s throwing in the towel in this fight, and telling Ontario that no help is coming.
We deserve so much better than this.
While this has been happening, Ontario has crept closer and closer to averaging 1000 new cases a day this week, with today’s total landing at 1003 new cases.
Today, I’ll repeat my reminder once again to our community, that we all need to make sure that we’re doing everything that we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. So, this weekend, please make sure that while you are enjoying the beautiful weather, that you are doing so safely. That means wearing your mask, washing your hands, and making sure to maintain your physical distance from anyone you do not live with.
Finally, I am very excited to invite you to tune into my upcoming Tenants Town Hall, which will be airing one week from today on Facebook Live! I’m excited to be joined by an expert panel of MPP Suze Morrison, and two local tenant association chairs, Prophetess Elijah-Marie Reid and John Plumadore!
If you’re interested in tuning in, you can RSVP on Facebook here!