Ford government neglect allows Ontario Science Centre to crumble

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2024

TORONTO – The Ford government’s closure of the Ontario Science Centre to the public today after years of underfunding, deferred maintenance and neglect was completely avoidable.

“This is part of an ongoing pattern with Doug Ford,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “Because of his government’s lack of care and neglect, the public services and institutions we cherish – like the Ontario Science Centre – are crumbling. And now our kids are going to suffer for it.”

The impact of the immediate closure of the Ontario Science Centre on children and families weighs heavily on OPSEU/SEFPO Local 549 members, who have dedicated their careers to instilling a love of science and learning in children across Ontario, and in the neighbouring communities around the Science Centre. The government has informed employees that operations will shift to focusing on the closure of the facility.

“I have spent the afternoon with our members today,” continued Hornick. “Not only are they worried about their own jobs over the long term – they’re worried about what closing the Science Centre immediately will mean for the children who were signed up for summer camps, and school and family trips. They’re worried about the impact of closing this community anchor for Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park, and leaving the people who live in these communities behind.”

Instead of investing $5 million per year over fifty years on maintaining Ontario’s historic, world-class, custom-built Science Centre building in Don Mills, where it is easier for families and school buses to access and has all the space needed for its operations than the smaller Ontario Place site, the Ford government has prioritized spending four times that amount in a single year – up to a billion dollars – in order to fast-track the expansion of privatized alcohol sales.

“These are the choices that this government continues to make,” said Hornick. “Doug Ford is prioritizing booze over what’s best for our children. OPSEU/SEFPO calls on the Ford government to invest in our kids and communities instead, fix the Ontario Science Centre building and keep it where it is.”

For more information contact OPSEU/SEFPO Communications: opseucommunications@opseu.org.