Premier distracts while cities and school boards deal with cuts

Mike Schreiner made the following statement after the Ford government announced a $7.35 million fund for audits in an ongoing feud with municipalities over funding cuts

“I had hoped the Premier would hit the pause button on his plan to download cuts onto municipalities and school boards. Today’s announcement about money for audits is more political theatre in an ongoing budget war the Premier started.

The Ford government levelled mid-year cuts to municipal budgets at the last minute, without consultation, forcing local decision-makers into incredibly tough situations that jeopardize core services like public health and child care.

Now the Premier is offering distractions as if it will solve the impasse.

A few years ago, a line-by-line audit at Toronto City Hall cost $3.5 million alone. Ford’s minimal fund won’t accomplish much for Ontario’s 444 municipalities and 76 public school boards.

We need collaboration and constructive solutions, not more stunts.

Amidst a backlash, I thought the Premier would take responsibility today and acknowledge that some of his cuts will negatively affect public health, education quality and municipal services.

But it seems he cannot admit fault.

Instead of remaining at loggerheads, the Premier needs to go back to the drawing board and listen to the real concerns of municipalities and school boards before downloading cuts.”