June 19th, 2018

Letter from Andrea Horwath to Doug Ford: Ontarians deserve details of your hiring freeze

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s letter to Premier-designate Doug Ford requesting specific details on his hiring freeze.

Premier-designate Doug Ford
Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1

June 19, 2018

Premier-designate Ford;

I’m writing to request the immediate release of specific details on the hiring freeze you have imposed, as reported in the media on Monday, June 18. Primarily, my concern – and a concern I share with many Ontario families – is how hospitals and health care services, schools, and other programs that families count on may be impacted.

Ontario is experiencing a hallway medicine crisis. The waits in emergency rooms are painfully long, and it has become routine for patients to spend days on a gurney in a hallway to be treated. That’s wrong.

With proper funding, including the required additional staff, 2,000 new hospital beds could be added immediately, slightly easing the overcrowding. In my platform, I proposed to invest an additional $312 million this year to accomplish that.

There are community-based health care services that could be created or expanded, also taking the pressure off hospitals.

Any freeze on hiring in the health care sector – whether that means leaving positions vacant or failing to create necessary positions – will have an immediate, detrimental effect on the health care people count on. This is especially acute in communities where the population is growing and aging, and health care services are falling further and further behind.

Ontario needs a moratorium on layoffs in our hospitals, not a freeze on hiring.

Throughout the province, schools are struggling with large classrooms sizes, and a lack of resources available to support students, including a shortage of counselling and mental health supports, and special education supports in schools. The result is that students are not getting the one-on-one attention they need, and there are reports of increasing violence in the classroom.

Students, teachers, educators and families need more supports in classrooms, not fewer. Our children need more opportunity, not less.

When it comes to health care, education, social services, emergency services and first responders, and other critical programs and services throughout the province, Ontario families need and deserve to know the specific details of your hiring freeze, and how people will be impacted.

Reports indicate that you have excluded “essential front-line services staff” from the hiring freeze. Therefore, I’m requesting that you immediately provide a detailed and specific list of what positions you have deemed as essential front-line staff for purposes of this freeze.

In anticipation of your immediate response, thank you.


[original signed]

Andrea Horwath
Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition