“While Doug Ford is telling everyday people the cupboards are bare, he is making sure that his friends, and the most wealthy Ontarians are more than taken care of.” – Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath
A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath
(Andrea Horwath and her Ontario New Democrats released the following this past December 6th, when the 2018 summer and fall session of the provincial legislature came to a close.)
Posted December 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Queen’s Park — Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says that Doug Ford and his Conservatives spent their first six months in the legislature making things worse for everyday people.
“The Liberal government let us down,” said Horwath. “But, in six months at Queen’s Park, Doug Ford has made things even worse for people. This is a government that makes decisions in back rooms, with and for their insiders.
“While Doug Ford is telling everyday people the cupboards are bare, he is making sure that his friends, and the most wealthy Ontarians are more than taken care of.”
In just a few short months, Doug Ford and his Conservatives have already:
- Denied minimum wage earners the raise they were counting on
- Cancelled paid sick days for workers
- Ripped $100 million in repair funds away from schools
- Slashed $330 million a year from mental health funding
- Cut increases to already meager social assistance rates
- Scrapped the basic income pilot program that was showing promise when it comes to lifting people out of poverty
- Walked away from thousands and thousands of good auto jobs in Oshawa, without even putting up a fight
At the same time, the Ford government has saddled everyday Ontarians with the bills for their insider-driven moves, by:
- Giving the highest income earners a $275 million tax break
- Appointing multiple friends of Ford to cushy jobs with lavish salaries, while facing allegations that Ford has abused his office’s power to do so
- Paying as much as $500,000 in severance because Ford wanted to stick it to a political enemy at OPG
- Paying out $103 million US dollars as a direct result of Ford’s meddling in Hydro One, on top of the $9 million dollars he sent the Hydro One CEO home with
- Using public money to finance his own bogus news network, and pay for useless border signs
Horwath also noted that what many people will remember from the past six months is how Doug Ford has used his power to try and divide Ontarians.
“We have watched him attack our Courts and the media, and axe vital independent watch dogs,” said Horwath. “We’ve watched him attack members of the public visiting Queen’s Park, and vow to override people’s Charter Rights.
“It’s the kind of politics that’s designed to make some people feel like they matter less than others. People deserve better.”
In contrast to Ford’s agenda of cuts, division and back-room dealing, New Democrats have focused on making life better for people. This session, the NDP tabled bills and motions that would have:
- Built a new hospital in Brampton
- Restored the Milton, Markham and Brampton university plans
- Made it easier and quicker for veterans to get a placement in long-term care
- Restored the French Language Services Commissioner and the Francophone University
- Made take-home cancer drugs free for those battling the disease
The Ford government blocked every one of those, and more.
An Afterword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
You can blame Doug Ford for all of the above and more, if you will, or you can blame those who voted for him and his Tories in last June’s Ontario elections.
I lean on the side of blaming those who voted for Doug Ford candidates in the June elections because there are really no surprises with Ford or anything he has done over the past six months. If you did your duty as a citizen in a democracy and exercised your responsibility, you would have taken a little time to review Doug Ford’s well documented record of behaving like a bully and a wrecking ball while he and his late brother Rob were wreaking havoc at Toronto city council level over the past number of years.
So there should be no surprises here and it is only going to get worse over the next three and a half year.
More programs and regulations for protecting working people, the environment and more vulnerable populations of people among us are going to be slashed in the name of making Ontario “open for business,” and more services are going to be cut from education for the young to health care for a rapidly aging population.
And in a world where an ever higher frequency of severe climate shifts is causing countless billions of dollars of damage and destruction to properties and communities, to our food supplies and to all of our lives and the environment in general, putting a price on climate-changing carbon emissions (what Ford and his allies idiotically demonize as a “carbon tax”) will balance out as a far better bargain for us and for future generations than ‘a buck a beer’.
When those who voted for Ford candidates start to complain out loud about the cuts to services they need and the damage his decisions have done to their lives – as they surely will because the cuts are coming – it will be interesting to see how much sympathy they get from people who did not vote for this self-described “government for the people.”
We get the government you deserve and anyone who voted for Doug Ford and his minions deserve everything they dish out over the next three and a half years.
If you voted for Doug Ford, you have no right to complain.
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders