Doug Ford brings hiring freeze and spending cuts to Queen's Park
He hasn't even been sworn in yet, but premier-designate Doug Ford is already out there slowing down gravy trains with his bare hands.
The Canadian Press reports that Ford, who secured a majority win for Ontario's PC party just 10 days ago, has directed all government ministries to freeze hiring, cancel their newspaper subscriptions, and cut back on out-of-province travel — immediately.
Ford won't officially take office until June 29, but a spokesperson for his administration says that the public hiring freeze is necessary until the PCs can get a "true look" at the financial state of our provincial government.
the order has gone out to all deputy ministers at queen's park: hiring freeze is on, cancel all paper-based newspaper/magazine subscriptions, new restrictions on out-of-province travel, no food at taxpayers' expense approved for in-house meetings. #onpoli— Steve Paikin (@spaikin) June 18, 2018
After all, if Ford is to fulfil his campaign promises, he needs to eliminate some $6 billion from the provincial budget while simultaneously lowering taxes and improving public services.
Nixing magazine subscriptions and catering for in-house meetings seems like an easy way to start, though it remains to be seen how much money is actually being spent on those things.
"We made a promise to the people of Ontario that respect for taxpayers was coming back to Queen's Park," said Ford spokesman Jeff Silverstein on Monday.
"The people of Ontario work hard for their money and they expect their tax dollars to go to the services we all depend on."
Sure hope we didn't buy them any snacks or coffee for their little orientation session.. #ONpoli— ThursdayGuy (@ThursdayGuy) June 18, 2018
Both the Toronto Star and CP report that "essential front line staff" such as police officers and fire fighters will be exempt from the hiring freeze, as will current public service workers moving laterally.
Consultants, on the other hand, are unwelcome at this time, as are such expenditures as advertising, media monitoring, temporary help and non-essential events.
As Ford himself said on the night of his win, "the party with the taxpayers' money is over." I guess he meant that both figuratively and literally.
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