(TORONTO, ON) ─ The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) said the Fall 2020 Ontario Budget fails to deliver urgent assistance for Ontarians and their families. The legacy of this budget will be its failure to prioritize the needs of the people of Ontario – robust public service investment, safety, and immediate income supports needed to get through this second wave of COVID-19.
“Instead of investing to protect the people of Ontario, especially our seniors, or ensuring our schools are safe, the Ford government seems more concerned about tax cuts to employers, and improved access to booze and gambling,” said OFL President Patty Coates.
“Just this week Doug Ford said he would take urgent action for seniors in congregate care, lauding a commitment to provide 4 hours of hands on care a day to seniors in long-term care, yet, this budget is scant on the details or investment required to making that a reality,” said Coates.
The OFL is also greatly concerned with the continued attacks on public services workers, and a lack of action for vulnerable Ontarians, like those languishing on inadequate ODSP supports.
“It is galling that the Ford government has chosen to thank front-line heroes by doubling down its unconstitutional attack on these workers and their collective agreements – with the introduction of Bill 124 ‘enforcement tools’. Front-line workers didn’t cause this crisis, and shouldn’t be expected to pay for it – while corporations get tax cuts,” said Coates.
In its pre-budget submission, the OFL outlined a suite of needed action. Now is the time to invest in people and the public services they depend on – not cut and slash our way back to where we were before. Thousands of Ontarians called on the Ford government to immediately use the $9.3 Billion in federal monies, that Ontario’s FAO noted – was earmarked for Ontario’s COVID-19 recovery, but was never spent.
“This budget takes a ‘head in the sand’ approach instead of tackling COVID’s second wave head on,” said Coates. “Premier Ford’s budget lacks the bold vision and policy choices required to ensure every Ontarian can safely weather the on-going COVID-19 storm.”
“Ford sells himself to Ontarians as the ‘friend of working people Premier’, routinely noting ‘everything is on the table’. But, when given the opportunity to table a budget that ensures Ontarians will be safe – he chose instead – to duck under the table.”