QUEEN’S PARK — Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s and Ontario NDP Culture critic, tabled a motion yesterday calling on Doug Ford to reverse his library cuts, which are already hurting communities.
The Ford Conservatives have cut the Ontario Library Services North’s budget by 50 per cent, and slashed the Southern Ontario Library Services’ funding by even more.
“Not only are libraries community hubs, but they are democratic spaces,” said Andrew. “Families, children, seniors, and vulnerable people can all find programs and support at the library that improve their quality of life.
“Libraries provide job search supports; community activities like book clubs and arts education; access to a computer for low-income families who can’t afford to have one at home; after school homework support; socializing; and even access to an air-conditioned space during the summer in our neighbourhoods.
“At the heart of it, our libraries are our communities.
“Doug Ford’s cuts to libraries hurt everyone, and they stand to hit rural communities the hardest.”
Instead of listening to the communities speaking out against Doug Ford’s callous library cuts, the Conservatives are digging in their heels. PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff went so far as to call the police on a group of seniors peacefully protesting the funding claw back outside of his constituency office.
“I am urging Doug Ford to stop attacking and start listening,” said Andrew. “We don’t need a government that prioritizes booze over books.
“We must properly fund and protect libraries as community assets, not rip away their resources and jeopardize their ability to deliver services. Ford can do that by passing my motion.”
Video (Andrew asks the Ford Conservatives about their library cuts in question period on April 18, 2019): https://www.dropbox.com/s/w97zpl262cm1423/Q7_Andrew_04-18-2019.mp4?dl=0