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Ford shortchanged public health on eve of pandemic

Mike Schreiner released the following statement after the FAO reported that provincial spending was $3.5 billion under budget in 2019-2020:

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement after the FAO reported that provincial spending was $3.5 billion under budget in 2019-2020:

“It is very troubling that on the eve of the largest global public health crisis in a century, the Ford government was holding back nearly $50 million in funding from public health.

The people of Ontario deserve answers on why the Premier shortchanged public health.

And we need answers on how much better prepared for COVID-19 the province would have been if the Premier hadn’t spent his first year cutting funding from public health.

The FAO report also confirms that Doug Ford’s fiscal promises depend on deep cuts to the vital services we all depend on.

The pandemic has hit the most vulnerable the hardest. It’s unconscionable that the social services budget was deprived of $98 million that could have improved the lives of vulnerable children or people with disabilities.

I am very concerned that the Premier’s economic recovery plan will be built on the same austerity measures that hurt the most vulnerable.

We cannot cut our way to prosperity.”