July 21st, 2021

FAO reports Ford government sat on $10.3 billion during pandemic

WATERLOO – A new report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) shows the Ford government withheld $10.3 billion from Ontarians during the pandemic, including sitting on over $1 billion earmarked for long-term care and public health.

“While our loved ones suffered in long-term care, businesses struggled through painfully long lockdowns, and the province could not keep up with things like contract tracing, the Ford government was squirrelling away billions of dollars that they refused to invest to help Ontarians,” said NDP Finance critic Catherine Fife.

The FAO report shows that the government spent $10.3 billion less than promised last year. The FAO reported Ford withheld over $1 billion in health care funds during the pandemic, plus $368 million in funding for public health and $95 million for long-term care.

“Ford promised to spare no expense to tackle COVID-19 and help Ontarians make it through the pandemic. Instead, he chose to cut every corner. It’s clear that Ford just didn’t want to spend the money on everyday people — and the price we all paid was immense,” said Fife. “Now we’re all left to wonder if the lockdowns could have been shorter. If the third wave could have been less deadly and painful. If our loved ones in long-term care could have been spared some of the anguish and devastation.

“The Ford government had the money and they refused to spend it. That’s why we need a full public inquiry into Ontario’s COVID-19 response.”