Ontario government cuts $1 billion from Toronto Public Health and people are furious
Another day, another round of funding cuts to vital services in Ontario.
About a billion dollars in funding is being cut from Toronto Public Health's operating budget over the next ten years, according to staff.
Today, late in the afternoon on the day before a long weekend, the Provincial Government announced that they are cutting $1 billion to Toronto Public Health over the next 10 years, effective immediately. This announcement is callous, and it is short-sighted. Full statement here: pic.twitter.com/irafXaPJBT— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) April 18, 2019
Many are speaking out against the cuts, including Toronto city councillors and healthcare staff, who say the lack of funding will lead to lost lives.
"People will die," Councillor Joe Cressy said. "People are going to die."
This is an incredibly serious funding change which puts our city's health at risk and will put lives at risk here in Toronto and across the province.— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 18, 2019
Mayor John Tory also weighed in on the funding cuts, saying in a statement that the cuts are a "targeted attack on the health of our entire city." He also vowed that the city will push back against the new budget.
A disturbing example of political doublespeak. A political staffer spins provincial cuts to public health as an opportunity for municipalities. Where do you find people like this? https://t.co/8tfHtNb838— Tom Parkin (@Tom_Parkin_) April 19, 2019
According to experts in the Toronto Public Health network, several vital programs will be the victims of the cuts, including immunization programs, food and nutrition policies, water quality programs, surveillance of infectious and communicable diseases, and promotion of sexual health.
1/ This afternoon, the Provincial Government announced that they are cutting $1 billion to Toronto Public Health over the next 10 years, effective immediately. This announcement is a direct attack on Toronto. pic.twitter.com/8fZi6Zvpba— Kristyn Wong-Tam (@kristynwongtam) April 18, 2019
However, despite warnings from officials, the province says that all units will be properly funded, somehow.
Hayley Chazan, spokesperson for Minister of Health Christine Elliott, said in a statement that a cost-sharing model will be shifted to properly fund everything. "We are working directly with our municipal partners," the statement says.
No doubt Ontario has tough fiscal challenges. However, wise investments in public health can deliver a big ROI in terms of $ and population health. https://t.co/uooscyAx41— Jason Grier (@grierjason) April 19, 2019
However the province plans to fund the health programs that will theoretically be lost under the new policies, it's clear that the city is not happy with yet another loss of vital services at the hands of the province.
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