QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the release of the Financial Accountability Office’s Economic and Budget Outlook report.
“The people of Ontario are struggling to get by as the Premier imposes his austerity agenda with egregious underspending on the public services we all rely on.
Today’s Economic and Budget Outlook report forecasts a shocking spending shortfall in healthcare of $5 billion over the next three years. Education and justice will also be underfunded by billions.
Our healthcare system is in crisis. Surgery backlogs are ballooning, emergency room wait times are at all-time highs, and frontline healthcare workers are burning out due to low pay and poor working conditions. Meanwhile, the Premier’s government is starving the system by refusing to allocate the badly needed funding to support these vital programs.
Meanwhile, the government is squirrelling away $12.5 billion in unallocated funding, underestimating its projected revenues and refusing to provide transparency about its use of public funds.
Ontario is in the grip of multiple crises. We cannot afford to wait for real investments in affordable housing, better public healthcare and mental healthcare, and serious action on the climate crisis.
Instead, we’re getting more of the Premier’s favourite tactic: starve public systems of the funding they need, wait for them to crumble and then champion privatization as the only solution. It’s shameful and the people of Ontario deserve so much better.”