April 18th, 2019

Ford’s deep cuts to libraries are cruel: Ontario NDP Culture critic

QUEEN’S PARK — Jill Andrew, Ontario NDP Culture critic, said it’s simply cruel for Doug Ford to make deep cuts to libraries — a move she says will rip opportunities away from Ontarians to learn, socialize and access services and technology.

The Ford Conservatives are cutting the Ontario Library Services North’s budget in half this year, and they’re slashing funding for the Southern Ontario Library Services by more than 50 per cent.

“Doug Ford is doubling down on taking things away from kids and students,” said Andrew. “The Conservatives are already taking away teachers and arts classes. Now they’re taking away books and other resources that kids and students use to discover and learn.

“And it’s not just kids and students who will be hurt by these cruel cuts to library services. It’s seniors who meet at these community hubs for social activities like book clubs, and it’s lower-income families that can’t afford a computer at home who use the technology that is available for free at libraries.

“As Doug Ford prioritizes access to booze over access to books, he is also putting jobs on the line.”

This isn’t the first time Doug Ford has targeted libraries for funding cuts. As a city councillor, Ford enthusiastically supported a move to take almost $4 million away from Toronto libraries.

“Families in Ontario deserve better than to have the important resources and services libraries provide put at risk by Doug Ford’s callous cuts,” said Andrew. “We should be treating libraries like the cultural treasures that they are, not making cuts to these vital community assets.”