QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the elimination of all provincial funding for Gambling Research Exchange Ontario:

“It is incredibly irresponsible – and ironic – to shut down the hub of research into responsible gambling policy at a time when the government is overhauling its gambling laws.

But this is sadly the hallmark of a government that puts ideology over evidence.

You would think the Premier would be enhancing access to resources about responsible gambling given that his party’s budget loosened the rules and promised to expand casinos.

But instead he is giving an important harm-reduction resource the axe, showing a disregard for public health and people’s well-being.

For my community of Guelph, the loss of the GREO also means the loss of 12 high-quality full-time jobs in the knowledge sector, as well as two student positions.

Cuts like this show the political motivation of the Premier’s agenda, as he makes a habit of firing the watchdogs who report on the impact of his cuts, whether it’s the Child Advocate, the French Language Services Commissioner or the Environment Commissioner.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end here.

Research institutes across the province are fearing for their continued existence as the Premier targets places of knowledge and research.”