April 18th, 2019

Ford's cut to northern libraries attacks an important northern resource

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Deputy Leader, John Vanthof, issued the following statement following news that the Ford Conservatives are cutting funding for the Ontario Library Service-North by 50 per cent:

“After cutting education, health care and the public services Northern families depend on, Doug Ford is going after our books, our community gathering and local program spaces — our libraries.

Doug Ford’s cut to our public libraries will force libraries to find the money elsewhere, to make cuts and to do with less. He’ll make it harder for northerners to get the books they’re looking for, and for libraries to host the programming and resources Northerners deserve. He’s making it harder for libraries to help students who need a place to study, learn and access resources — including technology — they don’t have at home. And Doug Ford is also putting northern library jobs at risk.

Our local libraries serve everyone in our communities. Families, children, seniors and vulnerable people can all find programs and support at the library that improve their quality of life. With this cut, skills training for library staff who work with youth, children, seniors and the most vulnerable in our communities will be slashed.

By eliminating half the funding for Ontario Library Service-North, Doug Ford is cutting a vital service for our libraries to work together as one unit serving northern Ontarians.

Doug Ford’s doesn’t care about how his cuts affect our communities. He is obsessed with downtown Toronto, and, as city councillor, vowed to close the smallest library in his own ward “in a heartbeat.”

‘Why do we need another little library in the middle of nowhere that no one uses?’ Ford said.

Doug Ford may have no use for little libraries, but we treasure them in northern and rural Ontario, and we will fight to keep them.”