One year in office, the Wynne government is failing Ontario
The Liberal party sent out a fundraising letter a few days ago in which it tried to trumpet the achievements of the Wynne government since it was elected one year ago.
Needless to say it was a short letter.
But let’s take real stock of the Wynne government. What would an accurate report card of the government’s performance actually say?
It would award the government a failing grade.
It’s worth remembering that Wynne got a majority government in June 2014 with less than 39 percent of the popular vote. More than six out of ten Ontario voters said they didn’t want the Liberals in power.
You would think that with such a weak mandate that Wynne would strive to govern in a way that is inclusive and reflects the wishes of Ontario residents. But that’s not what happened.
Instead Wynne has embarked on a campaign to damage the quality of public services in the province. Government services are being downsized and privatized.
The Liberals didn’t campaign on privatization in the election. They received no mandate to privatize. They certainly don’t use the word “privatize.”
Some of their privatization schemes capture headlines, such as Hydro One. But much of it is happening by stealth, such as funding cutbacks to hospitals. Our healthcare members in Ottawa held a press conference this week to put the spotlight on cutbacks and job losses imposed on the region’s hospitals.
Because of real-dollar hospital funding cuts by the Wynne government, Ottawa has suffered major cuts to areas such as seniors’ and palliative care, children’s services, and diagnostics and treatment. Our members warned that that these cuts are causing delays in diagnosis and treatment, resulting in privatization and two-tier health care.
For example, physiotherapy services are being cut. This means that patients who are wealthy will go to private clinics to get their care immediately, while others will be forced to wait weeks or months for treatment.
Why is the government doing this? Not because it wants to save money. Our members can provide these services better and cheaper than the private sector. This has been affirmed by our province’s Auditor General.
We know the Wynne government has either wasted or overspent more than $8.2 billion public dollars on private contracts and corporations. If Wynne really wants to save public money and deliver public quality services, it should put an immediate stop to privatization and outsourcing.
This government found $500 million for the Pan Am games, yet it demands that the public service accept more wage freezes, cutbacks and concessions.
By wasting billions of dollars on private sector contracts and spending billions more on corporate tax cuts, this government is failing the people of Ontario.
Wynne deserves an “F.”
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice President/Treasurer