Ontario NDP Culture critic Calls on Province’s Ford Government to Reverse Library Cuts

“This is just another example of Doug Ford dragging Ontario backwards. He’s prioritizing access to booze over access to books.”

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP and Official Opposition Party

Posted May 29th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s and Ontario NDP Culture critic, was joined by library users and workers for a press conference today highlighting her motion calling on Doug Ford to reverse his library cuts.

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch meets earlier this may with members of a Niagara are book club who had police called on them when they staged a “read-in” to protest cuts to public libraries at the constituency office of Niagara West MPP and Ford government member Sam Oosterhoff. Police concluded that the group had done nothing wrong, but an apology from Oosterhoff has not yet come.

Last month, Ontarians learned that the Ford Conservatives had cut funding to both the Ontario Library Service-North and the Southern Ontario Library Service by 50 per cent. Since then, layoffs have occurred at both library services.

“The heartbreaking impacts of Doug Ford’s cuts to libraries are already being felt,” said Andrew.

“We’re hearing about people without bookstores in their community, researchers unable to access the materials they need to do their work, people who need of large-print books, seniors’ book clubs being unable to get enough copies of their reading selections, and we’re hearing about dedicated library workers losing their jobs.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose government has been axing funding for libraries and numerous other services across the province, is seen here holding up a can for the “buck-a-beer” promise he has made to Ontarians. Bringing us cheap beer, and making beer and alcohol more accessible to consumers appears to be a priority for the Ford government, even if it possibly costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to break a contract with the current chain of Beer Stores.

“This is just another example of Doug Ford dragging Ontario backwards. He’s prioritizing access to booze over access to books.”

Now, communities hurt by Ford’s cruel cuts to library services are speaking out. Brock Township Library Board has written a letter to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and several municipal councils, such as in Timmins and Hanover, have passed resolutions urging the government to restore funding to the affected Library Service agencies.

“Ontario communities deserve better than to have vital library services ripped away,” said Andrew. “That’s why the NDP is calling on this government to fully restore this funding.”

To read a news commentary Niagara At Large posted earlier this May about Niagara West MPP and Ford government member Sam Oosterhoof’s constituency office calling police on about 15 members of a book club holding a “read-in” at the office to protest funding cuts to public libraries, click onhttps://niagaraatlarge.com/2019/05/08/if-you-are-a-senior-citizen-in-ontario-and-youre-holding-a-book-in-your-hand-you-better-watch-it/ .

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



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