Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife, MPP Kitchener-Waterloo, responded to the Auditor General’s 2016 Annual Report, which showed that major changes need to happen for Ontario to have the sorts of opportunity and future that people believe people can and should have. Unfortunately the Liberals are not living up to their promises.
“People feel like we’re at a tipping point in Ontario, and major changes need to happen if the next generation is going to have the same opportunities or better opportunities than we had,” said Fife. “Instead, what we see in today’s Annual Report is that the wait for care in a hospital is too long, the Liberals aren’t creating the sorts of opportunities and jobs that people need, they are failing young people with mental illness, and all the while the government is spending more money on advertising just to pat themselves on the back.”
Fife highlighted key findings from the report:
- In Ontario’s healthcare system, emergency rooms are overcrowded, and people are waiting 37 hours for acute care, when they should be receiving it in eight hours. Meanwhile, the Auditor describes the public information about surgical wait times as “misleading.”
- Employment and Training programs aren’t focused on results. There is insufficient data on demands for skilled labour. Fewer than four in ten participants completing the Employment Service Program were able to find full-time work. And people are not finishing apprenticeships, but the government doesn’t know why.
- Children living with mental health challenges are making more visits to the hospital, but the government doesn’t know why, and the data showing wait times is “misleading.”
- Instead of investing in building a future, the Liberals are spending more on partisan government advertising to promote the government which the Auditor calls “misleading.”
“Andrea Horwath and the NDP know that Ontario can be a place where people build a future. But the Liberal government is cutting healthcare, they aren’t creating jobs, life is getting tougher and more expensive, and instead of fixing the problems, they’re spending money on misleading partisan advertising to promote themselves. That’s not the leadership that people were promised,” said Fife. “People know New Democrats are different. We’re focused on good jobs that can support a family, on strengthening public services like healthcare and education, and on opportunities for everyone.”