QUEEN’S PARK — People are desperate for relief from the long waits caused by the health care crisis, and the crushing cost of living — and the Official Opposition NDP says the Doug Ford must instruct his new cabinet to stop making it worse and start making it better.
“The bottom line for people is that it doesn’t matter who is in Ford’s cabinet if the government isn’t on people’s side. We are calling on Ford to direct this cabinet to stop the cuts and starts solving the problems that we’re all facing,” said NDP MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre).
“Health care is in crisis, and we need to invest to end the long waits. Our kids need more support and smaller class sizes to recover after a couple really tough years. And working folks need higher wages and more financial relief.”
The NDP wants to put people first. The Official Opposition is calling on the cabinet to table a new budget that stops the $2.7 billion in cuts currently in Ford’s plan. The NDP wants a budget that invests in hiring tens of thousands of health care workers, makes class sizes smaller and scraps Bill 124 so people can afford the painful costs of inflation, among other changes.
Burch said the NDP is worried that the critical long-term care role is still a part-time job for a minister already doing two other jobs, as house leader and minister of legislative affairs.
And people are frustrated that new cabinet positions appear to have been created. While Ontarians are being squeezed by high costs and stagnant wages, Premier Doug Ford’s first move has been to give more of his own people a big raise by growing his cabinet to 30, up from 21 in 2018. As of June there were also 25 MPPs given raises by being called parliamentary assistants.
“While everyday families face painful inflation with no relief in sight, Ford is making sure more of his own people can live more comfortably,” said Burch. “He’s adding more cars to his gravy train.”
Cabinet ministers each get an extra $49,300.65 per year, as well as large staffs, offices and unlimited expenses. Ford’s Associate ministers each get an extra $22,377.60 per year. Ford’s parliamentary assistants each get an extra $16,666,65.