Many people think the McGuinty Liberals are now showing their true face, and it isn’t pretty.
While we applaud the province’s intention to stimulate the economy through huge investments in construction of roads, transit systems and buildings – mostly men’s jobs — it’s hard to understand why they could not demonstrate the same commitment to human services.
It’s high time the McGuinty government showed that it values service as much as it does bricks and mortar.
After all, the money paid for human services — jobs performed mostly by women — is also spent in our communities. And very often, in the case of health care, these jobs directly benefit the victims of the recession.
For example, as the economy begins to takes its toll on laid-off workers and their families, there is an increased need for mental health services. One estimate is that the demand for psychiatric help has increased 20 per cent over the past six months alone.
Unfortunately, our psychiatric hospitals have fared badly in the endless health care restructuring over the past 15 years. Many beds were divested to cash-strapped general hospitals.
In the field of children’s mental health, the need for new money is most acute, as our Kids Matter campaign has shown. Families struggling with economic instability are a direct cause of emotional problems for children
At the same time, agencies dependent on United Way or other charitable funds have found themselves facing a shortfall as people tighten their belts.
Only an uncaring government would turn away from increased funding for these services. Yet the budget passed them by.
Some critics say it shows a definite government bias against women’s work, and I think they may be right.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas