The Ontario government can’t continue to sit on billions of dollars that should be going to keeping people safe during the pandemic nor continue to spend less per capita than any other province outside of the Atlantic regions, says CUPE Ontario.
“Fordisms like ‘sparing no expense’ aren’t cutting it – and, in fact, they’re simply not true. They don’t come anywhere near reflecting reality,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “We have yet another report, this one showing that $6.4 billion that were supposed to go towards keeping Ontarians safe during this crisis haven’t been spent.”
A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that less than 10% of the spending to support individuals, businesses, and programs through COVID-19 in Ontario has come from the province, with the Federal government shouldering the lion’s share. Additionally, Ontario spends less per capita to fight COVID-19 than any other province outside of the Atlantic region, spending just over a third of what British Columbia spends per person.
“The Ford government is passing the blame to the federal government when we so desperately need them to take responsibility, and spend the resources to combat the staffing shortage in long-term care, to make sure kids and education workers can get back to school safely, to provide paid sick days for all, to help cities and towns deal with huge holes in their budgets, and to enhance contact tracing and testing capacity, to name just a few of their responsibilities,” said Hahn.
“We’re coming close to living through a year of this crisis. The Ford Conservatives can’t continue to repeat their mistakes at the expense of our communities. It’s long past time we all demand they recognize that spending saves lives – before, as the modeling has told us all, things get worse.”