Impact of Ford government outlined at event hosted by Windsor Labour Council
Published Friday, June 7, 2019 5:08PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 7, 2019 7:13PM EDT
Ontario Premier Doug Ford claims his government has passed 255 items through the legislature, but not everyone believes it's something he should be proud of.
The Windsor and District Labour Council hosted a news conference Friday with a dozen local advocates who support the environment, injured workers and education.
"Cuts are cruel and deep. Shame to you and your cabinet," said St. Joseph high school student Jada Malott. "They are turning our education system into factories that are kicking students out at the lowest cost possible."
After winning a majority government and relegating the Liberals to a mere seven seats in the legislature -- which resulted in the loss of official party status – Ford and his Progressive Conservative government moved swiftly to implement their agenda.
In February, the government moved to revamp the Ontario Autism Program and clear the 20,000-child waitlist for therapy. The decision outraged families, who received a dramatic cut in funding.
Josh Goldthorpe, 13, was one of the speakers Friday. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.
"I am an expensive investment and I promise I am worth it," said Goldthorpe. "My job is to protect all of the ASD families so they can get a job in the future and be successful in life."
Families like his continue to make noise after the government moved to revamp the Ontario Autism Program, leaving some families with less money to support their children.
The PC government has promised to change the program again, following a new round of consultations.
The provincial government also came under fire for slashing millions of dollars to Ontario municipalities. In a surprise announcement outside his Queen’s Park office last week, Ford said that the funding cuts would be deferred and that he leads “a government that listens.”
The Premier has also pushed his agenda to allow for more beer and wine to be sold across Ontario while declaring the province is “Open for Business.”
"Open for business only fits the government's ultimate goal of starving our valuable public services,” added Brian Hogan, the President of the Labour Council.
A similar rally was held during the noon-hour Friday outside of the office of Chatham-Kent-Leamington PC MPP Rick Nicholls.
Several groups were represented including Water Wells First, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and other unions.
“It’s been a year of absolute chaos and cuts quite frankly,” said Sam Hammond, the President of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. “Billions of dollars cut from pubic services almost on a daily basis over the past year. This province does not have a deficit problem. It has a revenue problem."
But not everyone is critical of the premier's moves over the last year. CTV Windsor hit the streets and spoke with some voters who suggest people should wait a little longer before grading ford's government.