Doug Ford DemonstrationThe Ford government has underspent and has passed the buck to the Federal government when it comes to measures in response to COVID-19, according to CUPE Ontario.

“This week, Doug Ford launched his re-election bid with an advertising campaign billing him as a big spender, but yet again we’re getting proof that this couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “The Ford Conservatives simply have not spent what we need to stay safe and what resources Ontarians have been able to rely on these last 18 months have actually come from the Federal government. This is a stunning instance of evading responsibility.”

The latest findings by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) of Ontario reveal that the Federal government’s share of direct support measures between 2019 and 2023 is 85 per cent ($144.7 billion), with the provincial government’s being only 15 per cent ($25.6 billion). Additionally, $7.1 billion of the provincial government’s spending is reallocated spending and drawn from savings from non-COVID-19-related provincial programs.

The FAO also notes that most of the direct support measures will benefit businesses – not people or the public services they rely on.

“Not only has Ford passed the buck – he’s played accounting tricks to draw resources away from other programs that needed the support more than ever,” said Hahn. “And, instead of bolstering the public services that have saved lives and kept our communities going, he’s decided to benefit businesses, many of which are not small businesses but the Amazons and Loblaws of the world. He could be spending to immediately ensure 4 hours of care in long-term care facilities; invest to ensure schools are safe at all levels of education; legislate permanent paid sick days; and increase funding to municipalities, hospitals, and community-based social services.”

“Ontarians deserve better than a premier who only pretends to spend to cover for his penny-pinching in a time of crisis.”