Horwath fights for investment, not more cuts, for rural and Northern Ontario

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NDP Leader delivers speech at ROMA

TORONTO — Speaking to the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Monday, Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, said there’s a critical need to invest in rural and Northern education, health care and infrastructure. That’s in stark contrast to the deep cuts Doug Ford has been making.

“For decades now under Liberal and Conservative governments, rural and Northern Ontario families have seen services stripped away, schools closed and infrastructure go downhill. Now Doug Ford is not only failing to fix these problems, his cuts are making them worse,” said Horwath.

“Cuts to public health, ambulance services and education are hitting rural and Northern Ontario especially hard, and leaving municipalities to pick up the pieces.”

Ford’s cuts include:

  • $284 million — a quarter of the budget — cut from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund has been cut down to $500 million
  • $100 million cut from the Community Infrastructure Fund
  • The province’s contribution to rural infrastructure projects, funded under the federal New Building Canada Fund, has been cut by almost 60 per cent
  • The planned increase in municipalities’ share of the existing gas tax has been cancelled

“Ford is dumping more financial pressures onto municipalities, while cutting services, and it’s families who will end up paying the price,” said Horwath, who pointed to rural schools closing, public health units having their funding cut, and ambulance services being cut and amalgamated, taking life-saving emergency services further away from many who will need them.

“As Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, I’m going to keep fighting for the stable, predictable infrastructure funding that communities need to grow and thrive, and I’m going to fight for investment in the schools, hospitals and public health units rural and Northern families need to live their best lives,” said Horwath.

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