Stiles: Ford’s budget fails to meet the moment
QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP Leader, Marit Stiles took Ford’s Conservatives to task on a budget that fails to meet the moment. Stiles has a vision of an Ontario with more opportunity and prosperity for everyone – not just for Ford's well-connected insiders.
“Ford’s Conservatives want you to think that this is the new normal – that this is as good as it gets. But things are not normal in Ontario right now,” said Stiles. “Ford’s budget fails to meet the moment, and shows he isn’t interested in making the investments we need in public health care, affordable housing, or education – all the things that make Ontario a place where people want to live, work, learn, and grow.
People are struggling – they're not able to keep up with the rising costs of groceries, rent, or gas and they feel they are losing control of their lives, livelihoods, and futures.
This budget offers no relief for everyday Ontarians. Everyone in Ontario deserves a strong future. Everyone in Ontario deserves to have hope.
Ford’s Conservatives aren’t creating the economic conditions for stronger, more caring communities.
This budget is a failure of leadership – true leaders meet the moment. This one is out of touch.”
What would a budget that works for people look like? As a start:
- A stronger, public health care system, with no surgery backlogs and endless wait times
- Mental health and addictions care that’s available when people need it
- 10 permanent guaranteed paid sick days for all workers
- Real solutions to the housing crisis, with affordable homes near transit and strong services instead of expensive sprawl
- Fair wages for all workers
- A plan to recruit and keep health care workers in our hospitals – not suppress their wages and fight them in court
- Immediately double ODSP & OW – as a start – to make sure no one lives in legislated poverty
- Community-based hospice care to support our loved ones at the end of their lives
- A plan to protect the Greenbelt and its agricultural and ecologically significant lands
- A new deal for cities and towns to support services, build more housing, and end Ford’s runaway property tax hikes
- Making it easier for workers to join a union with a return to card-check certification
“For people who are being priced out of their own community, this budget offers little hope,” said MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo), NDP Finance critic. “For nurses and teachers who are burnt out and looking for staffing reinforcements – this budget shows that none are coming. For people who need physical and mental health support to feel healthy and confident again after a brutal pandemic, this budget shows that their wellbeing is not a priority.
Budgets are about choices. Today, Ford is choosing not to support people in this province.”
6 Key Problems with this Budget
- Ford’s Conservatives are shortchanging municipalities through massive cuts – meaning families will pay higher property taxes for poorer services.
- They’re funneling public money into private health care facilities run by their insider friends. That means longer wait times. More ER closures. More nurses out of the sector.
- And it’ll be even harder for Ontarians to find an affordable place to live. Their own budget shows the province moving in the wrong direction on housing, and that their dismantling of the Greenbelt isn’t doing what they promised. The budget predicts fewer housing starts next year than this year, and they’re nowhere near on track to meet their stated goal of 1.5 million homes in 10 years.
- No minimum wage increases – and with inflation at a 40-year high, people will take a pay cut. That includes:
- No wage increases for nurses, health care workers, child care and education workers
- No increases for people who rely on Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program and no mention at all of the Autism Program
- No funding for base investments in education supports – that means we should expect teachers to get laid off, inadequate infrastructure support, and no mental health support
- No rent control to protect people from renovictions
In Ontario, we all deserve a government that will support us, make choices for us, and invest in systems and supports that make our lives better. Ford isn’t doing his job. Marit Stiles and the NDP believe the people of Ontario deserve better and are working to build a better future for all.