LTE: Ontario budget ‘fires nurses, cuts education, closes schools’

SDSG New Democratic Federal/Provincial Riding Association Past President Brian Lynch. (Newswatch Group/File)

The Ontario Government’s austerity budget on April 23 does little to assist the more than half a million Ontarians looking for work and the hundreds of thousands more who are working in precarious, part-time jobs.

The budget brings more cuts to public services that people rely on. It cuts public healthcare and fires nurses; it cuts education, closes schools, and lays off teachers; it weakens social services. It brings more privatization and more austerity for Ontarians who are struggling to make ends meet.

The Liberal Government’s budget has no plans to protect front line services in our hospitals, to properly fix the broken home care system or to provide more long-term care beds in the province to meet the needs of the aging population. Ontario’s hospitals, as a result of continued funding cuts, are in a permanent state of crisis with one in four hospitals facing significant cuts to vital patient care services or the threat of closure. The provincial government should stop the cuts to our community hospitals and any further privatization of hospital services and home care.

The Ontario Government’s decision to sell off 60% of Hydro One, the Crown corporation that builds and operates the province’s power grid, is a short-sighted gamble for a one-time cash grab. Privatization will result in higher electricity rates as ratepayers will be responsible for paying for the profit margins of the private companies. The provincial government will also lose annual income from Hydro One, a public monopoly whose profits flow back to the provincial government to support vital public services. There is real value in keeping Hydro One fully in public hands. We don’t want to lose Ontario’s biggest economic asset and control over our energy future.

The Ontario NDP continues to work to create good jobs, improve public healthcare, education, and child care, make life more affordable, close corporate tax loopholes, and hold the Liberal Government to account.

Brian Lynch
President, SDSG Provincial NDP association

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