Ottawa – March 7, 2022 – The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many holes in Ontario’s public services, especially when it comes to health care, child care, long-term care, and education. Indeed, the pandemic has brought to bear these and other growing inequalities.
While many large corporations have seen their profits skyrocket, doling out bonuses and dividends to CEOs and shareholders, many Ontarians have seen the dream of home ownership disappear, while many peoples living with disabilities have seen no increase to their ODSP.
As we draw closer to the June 2 provincial election one would hope to hear real solutions to these problems. Andrea Horwath and the official opposition NDP have revealed many of their plans heading into the election such as pharma care, so people do not have to go without needed medications.
A plan to remove profit out of long-term care and bringing housing prices under control by protecting renters and building more affordable units. Needed investments to strengthen our public health and education systems. They have also released the Green New Deal, a real plan to tackle climate change and invest in new jobs.
Meanwhile, Premier Ford seems to be falling back on a plan of gimmicks, who can forget a buck-a-beer? His latest announcement to eliminate license plate sticker renewals, registration fees and eliminating tolls on two public highways do little to help low-income families struggling to get by. Many families cannot afford to even own a car and removing another $1 billion from government revenues which will likely be offset by cuts to vital social programs.
A family with one car would save $120 from the removal of license plate sticker renewals and registration fees, yet Ford is still the lone holdout from buying into the $10 a day federal childcare program which could save families as much as $18,000 a year.
Doug Ford’s plans for long-term care doles out money to for-profit operators many of whom were revealed to be the worst actors when COVID-19 swept through long-term care homes. He is moving ahead with more privatization in health care and the provincial financial officer has revealed billions of dollars meant for public health and education that went unspent.
Ford has no plan for more affordable housing and seems interested in paving over protected greenlands to award his developer buddies. In his four years as Premier, Ford has yet to reveal a real plan to deal with climate change and create new green jobs.
This election will be one of the most important elections in building the future of Ontario. Ford’s plans will continue to award the wealthy, further privatize important services, continue to ignore climate change, and allow middle and low-income Ontarians to fall further behind.
Andrea Horwath’s plan will invest in public services, take profit out of long-term care, and ensure that all Ontarians get the medicine and dental care they need. It will also take real action on climate change while creating the jobs of the future and work towards eliminating the inequality gap.
Only the NDP’s plan deals with the real issues exposed by the pandemic and addresses the needs of those in Ontario who could really use the help.