Ontario NDP Seek Health Care Crisis and Inflation Solutions in Throne Speech

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QUEEN’S PARK — When the legislature resumes, the Official Opposition NDP wants Premier Doug Ford’s Conservatives to table a new budget — one that deals with the health care crisis, and with exploding inflation.

“People are paying too high a price right now, in more ways than one.” said NDP interim leader Peter Tabuns. “They’re living through hospital closures, hallway medicine and painfully long waits for care. Inflation is eating away at their paycheques, and corporations are using inflation as an excuse to make even bigger fortunes off us.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. The throne speech and the budget are the opportunities to give people the hope and relief they deserve.”

More than 60 per cent of Ontarians didn’t support Doug Ford’s Conservatives or their budget. Since the budget was tabled, inflation has exploded over eight per cent and a staffing crisis has led to rolling hospital closures and long waits. The NDP says those things make Ford’s budget already out of date, giving him a second chance to help people with a fresh throne speech, and new budget.

“Let’s have a budget that helps everyday, middle class working families,” said NDP deputy leader Doly Begum. “We want the throne speech and budget to take action to end the hospitals crisis, including scrapping Bill 124, lifting up wages, fixing working conditions, accrediting tens of thousands of internationally educated professionals and launching a hiring and training blitz to start right now.”

“Billionaires and big box stores don’t need any more of Doug Ford’s help. Let’s give everyday people a hand up, instead,” said NDP deputy leader Sol Mamakwa. “The NDP knows we can introduce real accountability for companies that price gouge. And instead of holding back wages like the Conservatives have done, let’s focus on raising wages for working people, so they’re not losing ground to inflation.”

Tabuns said the new budget should also think long term.

“We can and we must reverse the cuts to our kids schools, and send them back in September into smaller class sizes with more caring adults to help them recover. We need to give all working folks permanent paid sick days to stop the spread of COVID-19, and stop the next viruses from hurting us as badly as this one did. And we need to reverse Doug Ford’s cuts to climate action, and start investing in a livable future for kids,” said Tabuns.

“Now is the time for a new budget to deal with the new realities — because Conservatives can’t keep asking people to pay so high a price.”