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Conservative Fiscal Update Fails to Address Devastating Cuts

November 6, 2019

Toronto – Today’s Ontario Fall Economic Statement does nothing to reverse the deep cuts to public services, including public education, and the harm already done, says the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“If the Conservative government is genuinely committed to building an Ontario together, it’s time to put the families and workers in this province first, not corporations,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Ford manufactured a deficit crisis last year to steamroll through callous cuts and now that families and children are feeling the effects of these cuts it insists on prioritizing tax breaks for big businesses.”

ETFO says nothing in Ontario’s fall economic statement undoes the damage done to public education. “Classes will still be larger, thousands of teaching positions are still being lost and students are still not receiving the supports they need to succeed.”

As reported by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO), Ontario has the lowest per-capita revenue generation in Canada and the lowest-per capita spending in public services. Ontario clearly has a revenue problem, not a spending problem. This fiscal update does nothing to solve this.

Despite the FAO reporting that the actual deficit for 2018-19 was $7.4 billion, half of what the government claimed, the government continues to use inflated deficit numbers to justify its agenda of cuts to social services.

Hammond added that any change or delay in funding cuts from the Conservatives are a telling sign that the power of many voices in opposition to cuts are making a difference. He urged Ontarians to continue to speak up and contact their MPP to stop Ford’s cuts to public services.

“ETFO is calling on the Ford government to reverse the cuts to public education and public services. It is time to start investing in the future of children in this province to ensure every Ontarian can succeed.”

ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at BuildingBetterSchools.ca.

To arrange a media interview, or for more information, please contact: Denise Hammond, at dhammond@etfo.org or call 416-948-2428.