June 15th, 2020

Ontarians deserve to know if government will help rebuild their economy and keep local jobs: NDP

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontarians have a right to know what the provincial government plans to do to help rebuild their local economy and restore local jobs, said Gilles Bisson, NDP Official Opposition House Leader, denouncing the Ford government’s attempt to move some of the finance committee recovery work behind closed doors.

“Workers, small business owners and communities that depend on important sectors of Ontario’s economy deserve, and need, to know what the government is planning to do to help them deal with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Bisson.

“By moving decision-making on which economic sectors will get government attention, and which will not, into secret meetings, the Ford government is leaving Ontarians, their families, and their communities in the dark during a time of great uncertainty.”

The standing committee on finance and economic affairs has been expanded and given a special mandate to work on the post-pandemic economic recovery plan. The Conservative members of the committee are using their majority to move critical decisions of that committee into secret, closed door meetings, requiring all participants to conceal what was discussed there. Those decisions include which sectors will be reviewed by the committee and the members’ reasons for their choices.

Bisson said the Ford government’s attempt to push the province’s standing committee on finance and economic affairs into closed-door sessions fits a pattern of secrecy.

“The membership of the COVID-19 command table is being kept secret by Doug Ford” said Bisson. “The list of high-risk red long-term care homes is being kept secret by Doug Ford. Now the list of people, organizations and sectors that will have any standing at all in the recovery plan is being dragged behind closed doors. This kind of secrecy is wrong, and it’s got to stop.”