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Ford government’s budget shortfall soars to $9.8 billion as tax revenues plunge

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

“… We are going to follow through on a plan that is working — knowing that the higher deficits, compared to what we projected last year, will be time-limited while the return on investment will be felt for decades.” … settlements with public servants after the government’s Bill 124 wage-cap legislation was found to be unconstitutional have added billions in additional costs to the treasury. Under Ford, the provincial debt has soared by $116 billion to $462.9 billion, the largest debt of any subnational jurisdiction in the world.

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Doug Ford’s government raising minimum wage to $16.55 in October

Friday, March 31st, 2023

The $1.05 hourly hike means someone earning minimum wage and working full-time would see an annual raise of about $2,200. It also vaults Ontario to the highest minimum wage in Canada… the change should help about 942,400 workers in Ontario — most of whom are women. The 6.8 per cent rise is because minimum wage increases are now tied to the rate of inflation and must be disclosed by the end of the fiscal year.

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Under pressure, Ontario government scrambles to launch a provincial sick leave program

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Ford scrapped the previous two days of guaranteed paid sick leave that were on the books after his Progressive Conservative toppled former premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in 2018. Local public health officers, mayors, opposition parties and the government’s science table of advisers have long urged paid sick days for workers whose employers don’t provide them. That has led to many essential workers going to their jobs with COVID-19 symptoms, spreading the virus.

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Ontario unleashes record spending for COVID-19 pandemic with $17B in emergency measures

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Finance Minister Rod Phillips on Wednesday injected $3.3 billion more into health plus $3.7 billion for other supports and promised an additional $10 billion in tax deferrals, doubling the deficit to $20.5 billion… “COVID-19 is an extraordinary threat to the health and economy of Ontario…” “We will spend whatever it takes,” Ford told reporters.

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Tories to inject $2 million in new funding for rape crisis centres — one day after signalling $1 million had been cut

Friday, March 6th, 2020

In an apparent communications snafu from Ford’s Tories, the centres are in fact getting a cash infusion from Queen’s Park… The confusion apparently stems from the fact that the government is planning a new strategy to curb human trafficking expected to be announced Friday… Still, last year’s one-time $1-million funding announcement by the Tories was far less than the $14 million over three years the centres had been promised by the previous Liberal government.

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Strike-averting deal with Ontario education workers includes $20M to bring back laid off support staff

Monday, October 7th, 2019

The provincial government will spend $20 million a year to ensure support staff who were laid off last month return to Ontario schools — and remain there for the next three years — and another $58 million annually to help create more support for special education students… educational assistants, early childhood educators, custodians and office staff — also retained all sick day benefits…

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Families suing Ontario government over cut to autism services

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Previous governments “promised that the funding would not end until a co-ordinated transition to other services had been made, in a way that provided alternative services with which the families were satisfied.” … “They are people who work and are doing their best to take care of their kids. They are not looking for a court battle. They are looking for decency. They are looking for accountability and honesty,”

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Ford government to cap pay raises for public servants in bid to control spending

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

TheStar.com – Politics June 5, 2019.   By Robert Benzie, Rob Ferguson, Kristin Rushowy, Queen’s Park Bureau In a bid to rein in spending, Premier Doug Ford is threatening to impose a cap on pay hikes for 1 million public servants. Ford’s Progressive Conservatives on Wednesday tabled legislation that would limit annual wage increases to 1 per cent when […]

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Tories slash $17M from services for victims of violence

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has cut the budget for financial supports to help victims of violence by more than $17 million… At $163.4 billion, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli’s budget is the largest in Ontario history. But MacLeod’s department took the biggest hit, down $892 million from last year’s estimate of $17.5 billion. That was due mostly due to changes Ontario’s social assistance programs, Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

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Ford’s plan to eliminate teaching jobs gets a failing grade in new poll

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Even though the question echoed Ford’s insistence that no current teachers will lose their jobs, 62 per cent still opposed the change, with 23 per cent in favour and 15 per cent neither supporting or opposing or unsure… Similarly, those polled were not enthusiastic about the government’s plan to have high school students take four online classes over four years, with 57 per cent opposed…

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