Opposition New Democrats are calling on the Ford government to come clean on its plans for Children, Community and Social Services after the Fall Economic Statement showed nearly a $1 billion cut compared to the 2018 budget.
Ford also axed the independent Ontario Child Advocate, a watchdog that ensured that vulnerable children had a voice when government policies or treatment in foster care or from government services were putting them at risk, or hurting them.
“We owe it to children to give them the best start in life,” said NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh. “Cutting government supports for vulnerable children, and eliminating the watchdog that keeps an eye on those supports, simply can’t be justified.”
NDP Deputy Leader John Vanthof joined Singh to question the Ford government at Queen’s Park today.
“People need to know — what social services and children’s services are being cut? What do people have to brace themselves for next?” Vanthof asked.
NDP critic for Children’s Services, Monique Taylor, said parents of vulnerable children are worried.
“For years, parents have watched as waits grow longer for vital supports like those that support parents of children with autism,” said Taylor.
“The minister needs to be transparent about the cuts Mr. Ford has planned, and explain why they are giving generous tax cuts to Ontario’s wealthiest people at the expense of at-risk kids.”
Under repeated questioning in the legislature today, Minister Lisa MacLeod would only defend the cuts to vulnerable children.