December 8th, 2020

$12 billion Ford is withholding could have helped stop the spread, saved lives

QUEEN’S PARK — The $12 billion Doug Ford has been withholding from the people of Ontario could be making a big difference in stopping the spread, and saving lives said NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh.

The fact that Ford is sitting on $12 billion in COVID-19 funds — most of it money given to the province by the federal government — was revealed in a new report by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) Tuesday.

“This money could be providing paid sick days, helping small businesses with the rent, investing in more testing and contact tracing, setting up more hospital capacity and isolation centres, and giving our kids smaller, safer classes,” said Singh. “Instead, Ford is withholding it from the people of Ontario.

“At this point, it looks like Ford is just waving the white flag in the fight against COVID-19, and waiting for a vaccine.”

NDP Finance critic Sandy Shaw said the cost of squirrelling that money away is immense.

“You cannot put a price tag on the lives lost, and the anguish and agony families are going through as infections skyrocket,” said Shaw. “And the strain now on our hospitals, the jobs lost, the businesses shut down — those things and more are costing us far more than Doug Ford has managed to save.”