Lise Vaugeois MPP, Thunder Bay–Superior North

Government of Ontario

Ford withholding billions that would help Ontarians

Published on March 1, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK - The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) released their update on the Ford government’s spending since April 1, 2022. It reveals that Ford is withholding $6.4 billion dollars of support for organizations across the province, including health care, education, justice, and children’s services.

“The government has a responsibility to ensure that health care, education, and social services are publicly funded and accessible to all - but right now, they are failing to live up to that responsibility.” said Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition. “Ontarians deserve a caring and competent government that will invest in strong communities and more opportunities for everyone.”

“During the pre-budget tour, we crossed Ontario and heard the needs of communities, townships, and local organizations,” said Catherine Fife (Waterloo), NDP Finance Critic. “Again and again, we heard straightforward solutions to the challenges they are facing. Again and again, this government has been unwilling to listen to or implement those solutions.”

The Ford government withheld $6.4 billion from public resources in the first three quarters of the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to today’s FAO report. The report reveals that the Ford government is unwilling to meet even their own inadequate benchmark for community funding. The office noted they’re seeing an increase in government underspending.

“The underspending on health care is particularly concerning, considering Ford’s legislation to fund private, for-profit clinics,” said Fife. “It’s clear that hospitals and health care staff are already struggling. Ford’s legislation makes it apparent that they have no intention of providing that desperately needed support.”

All sectors have been hit hard by this government’s lack of support. That includes underspending in:

  • Health (-$1,251 million)
  • Education (-$844 million)
  • Children’s and social services (-$458 million)
  • Postsecondary education (-$175 million)
  • Justice (-$88 million)
  • ‘Other Services’ (-$3,534 million)

The Ford government has consistently funneled money into ‘contingency funds’ that are not transparent or accessible to the public.