QUEEN’S PARK — Before Doug Ford’s deep cuts to Public Health units take effect, Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will force the legislative assembly to vote on those cuts.
Horwath will bring forward a motion on Monday calling on the Conservatives to reverse their cuts to Public Health and work with communities and public health professionals instead of against them.
“The best way to save someone’s life is to prevent them from getting sick in the first place," said Horwath. "Public Health provides for breast cancer and cervical cancer screening programs, so that women have the best chance of catching those insidious cancers early, and surviving. Public Health runs immunization programs that prevent the kinds of measles outbreaks that plagued previous generations of children; the restaurant inspection programs that keep deadly foodborne illness at bay and the water inspection programs that mean we can drink the water from our taps at home without fear of getting sick. When it comes to outbreaks, whether your child’s daycare has been exposed to measles, or your mom’s long-term care home has a Norovirus outbreak, or your city is under siege by SARS, Public Health units are the ones that stop the spread of disease.
“Cuts to Public Health make all Ontarians less safe and less healthy, and we have to do everything we can to stop Ford from taking risks with our families' lives."
The Ford Conservatives' cuts include slashing the number of Public Health units in Ontario to just 10, down from 35, and shuttering some provincial laboratories. The Mayors And Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) and Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), Northern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) have all been speaking out against Ford’s cuts. In Toronto alone, the cut will take away about $1 billion in health care money.
“People from every part of the province will be impacted by the cuts to Public Health,” said Horwath. “We're going to give every MPP from every community an opportunity to stand up for the families in their riding by opposing this devastating health care cut.”
Horwath also pushed back against the Public Health cuts in question period on Monday.