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OPSEU’s President says Ontarians shouldn’t get complacent about Doug Ford

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas at Queen's Park.

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Ontarians shouldn’t be fooled by Ford’s about-face on funding for land ambulance, public health and child care services.

“When it comes to funding for vital public services that Ontarians rely on, the Ford government is wreaking havoc and causing chaos with knee jerk, ham-fisted, back-of-napkin plans,” said Thomas. “Ford is looking for the most vulnerable targets and he’ll only back off when he is challenged.”

Thomas called the Ford government’s approach to policy-making a ‘shot in the dark’ scheme; to fire off as many shots, at as many targets as possible to see what they can get away with. 

“This isn’t about planning and budgeting to meet the needs of the people,” said Thomas. “It’s an attempt to pay for whopping tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of the most vulnerable – the very people that Ford’s government thought wouldn’t or couldn’t fight back.”  

“But they couldn’t be more wrong,” Thomas said. “They didn’t expect such fierce backlash, and now they’ve been forced to backtrack. But Ontarians shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of hope. Ford’s about-face is all about buying time. His destructive plan didn’t work this time around, but who’s next? We won’t sit by waiting for the hammer to fall.”  

“The only concrete plan that Ford’s got is one to make his cronies richer,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Last month’s budget aimed to cut Ontario’s deficit by $1.4 billion, but meanwhile they’ve doled out $3.8 billion in tax handouts for the wealthy. Just imagine what that could have paid for.” 

Thomas is calling on Ford to rethink all the other flawed decisions his government has made in haste, like cuts to funding for autism services, cannabis privatization and the expansion of privatized alcohol sales in corner stores.

“It’s time for Ford to rethink his whole approach,” said Thomas. “Most importantly, it’s time recognize that Ontario has a revenue problem – not a spending problem. It’s time to cancel the corporate tax cuts and put that money back into Ontario’s Treasury to pay for the public services that people rely on.

“It’s time to abandon Ford’s philosophy of ‘steal from the needy and give to the greedy,’” said Thomas. “The people are fed up and we’re ready to bite back, harder than ever.”  

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931