Canada: Reversing cuts is just the start of what the Ford government needs to do - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Reversing cuts is just the start of what the Ford government needs to do

09:15  04 october  2019
09:15  04 october  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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The Ford government cuts will hurt struggling students, gifted students and generally make school a lot less interesting for all students come September. The Ford government rarely backtracks on its decisions even when they’re shown to be full of destructive unintended consequences, but it has been

Ford and Thompson are busy pretending that cutting so many teachers from the system with “no involuntary job losses” means that it somehow This is just the first of many knots the government will tie itself into trying to pretend that something they’re clearly doing to save money will somehow

Todd Smith wearing a suit and tie: Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith is scrapping controversial cuts to welfare for vulnerable children and adults with part-time jobs while he conducts a broad review of Ontario’s social assistance system.© Brent Davis Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith is scrapping controversial cuts to welfare for vulnerable children and adults with part-time jobs while he conducts a broad review of Ontario’s social assistance system.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

For the first year or so of his government, Ontario Premier Doug Ford seemed happy to run around like a bull in a china shop.

No matter the policy or program, if the former Liberal government had a hand in it, he was determined to break it. No matter the chaos that followed, particularly in the lives of poor and vulnerable Ontarians who rely on the provincial programs he was so keen to upend.

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In response to Doug Ford 's proposed education cuts , students and teachers are protesting. For health and physical education, the Ford government also backtracked on its summer 2018 decision to “There has just been an increase in an inclusive approach to education—more kids with different needs Ontario could start bargaining at the end of this month with teachers and education workers

The Ford government is just looking for ways to cut the education budget to reduce the provincial deficit. As the document itself states: “The But there’s an even bigger problem with this plan: this government doesn’t have a mandate to make cuts to education. Indeed, it has no real mandate to

More recently, Ford’s china shop routine has been replaced by his cabinet ministers running along with brooms, dust pans and big vats of glue trying to put much of this mess back together again.

The government has already reversed funding cuts to everything from public health to autism services to a French-language university. Now, in two more major moves, the government is reversing course on its changes to social assistance and cuts to children’s aid societies.

The province is reinstating the $67-million Transition Child Benefit, which helps some families feed and clothe their children. The government is also scrapping the changes it made that would have reduced how much someone on welfare can earn through a part-time job before getting kicked off the system.

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< Ontario Premier Doug Ford ’s plan to balance the government ’s books depends on an additional -billion in unspecified reductions , the Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said the report shows Mr. Ford ’s cuts are doing more to slow economic growth than the Return to start of footer navigation.

That view — that the Ford government does eventually retreat under pressure to a position they could have simply taken from the outset — intrigued me. Ford was elected by an Ontario population tired of Liberal dysfunction and largesse. He has a mandate to put the province back on a sound fiscal footing.

(It’s still unclear if the government has decided to reverse course on its truly terrible plan to alter the definition of disability for those receiving benefits under the provincial support program, which will force more people into even deeper poverty on welfare.)

The Ford government has also cancelled its $28-million budget cut to children’s aid societies. Indeed, it’s topping up provincial transfers by $23 million. But, when all the complicated budgeting calculations are complete, the association that represents Ontario’s societies says those agencies aren’t really any better off.

Doing no greater harm is certainly better than making things worse. But these government reversals just mean everyone is back to where they were before. And that’s not much cause for celebration.

Ontario’s social assistance system keeps nearly one million people living in abject poverty. It offers far too few pathways out of it. And the government has not reversed some of its other changes that have made decent low-skill jobs even harder to find. Ford kept Ontario’s minimum wage from rising to $15 an hour, as it was scheduled to do, and rolled back labour reforms designed to improve the lot of workers who need the most protection.

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Just before making these cuts , the Ford government used the Centre’s research as a source for their provincial budget regarding job losses in Southwestern Ontario. Rob Keen, the CEO of Forests Ontario, told CTV News that , “40 per cent forest cover is needed to ensure forest sustainability, and

‘ The Ford government has a nasty habit of ramming its changes and cuts through in ways that And while it’s tempting to say this is just a discussion paper that ’s still open for public consultation until The government released a similarly vague paper about the need to “streamline” the Endangered

So things may not be getting worse, but they’re also not improving as they should be.

And, of course, there still may be another shoe to drop with the government promising to, yet again, conduct a broad review of Ontario’s social assistance system.

Let’s hope it’s not a repeat of the one led by the former minister, Lisa MacLeod. During that one, people receiving welfare were told to feel lucky that the “compassionate” province let them have about $10 more a month, half the increase scheduled under the previous government.

Now, according to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, the new minister Todd Smith and associate minister Jill Dunlop think their “first priority is to listen and learn.”

To think what grief might have been avoided if that had been the Ford government’s first instinct and not one that took months of chaos, disastrous governing and declining popularity to arrive at.

But, at least for now, nearly a million Ontarians struggling to get by on cheques that are clearly inadequate given the costs of food and rent, and children’s aid societies struggling to care for some of this province’s most vulnerable people are back to their regular level of despair

And, by the standards of Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, that actually counts as a win.

How depressing is that?

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