OTTAWA — NDP MPP for Ottawa Centre, Joel Harden, said that Doug Ford’s first budget’s cuts to housing and municipal transit transfers will do a lot of damage to Ottawa.
“Across Ontario, we were expecting Ford’s budget to have deep cuts, but the reality is more callous than we anticipated, both province-wide and here in Ottawa, Harden said. “Clearly, the Ford Conservatives don’t think it’s their job to help Ontarians – they’re taking critical services and support away from working people, children, students and those living in rural and Northern Ontario.”
Ford’s budget provides no provincial support to build new affordable public housing the city badly needs. Even worse, the budget slashes the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by 25 per cent, suggesting more possible cuts ahead. Ford’s budget also cancels a promised increase to the municipal transit transfer, paid for out of the existing gas tax — money Ottawa was counting on for crucial public transit investments.
“Rather than help Ottawa families get around the city, find an affordable place to live and generally build an affordable life, Doug Ford’s priorities are booze and re-branding,” Harden said.
“The Conservatives’ $1-billion cut to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services will put vulnerable Ottawans at risk. Their cut to overdose prevention sites and mental health funding will put our most vulnerable residents at serious risk, as well as putting even more strain on the city’s already overstretched hospitals. Ottawans deserve a government that provides people with the things they and their families actually need.”