Listen: Is Doug Ford cutting Ontario to the bone? Or is this what voters signed up for?
"City or a province or a federal government is big and dance packed with numbers. There are always little details buried in. It's fine print that only come too late later on mostly these details are people especially people who voted for the guys who didn't get to make the budget all of that is business as usual, but over the past couple of weeks since the Progressive Conservative government delivered a budget and on -tario. There are an awful lot of those little details last week the government cut funding to the north and south on -tario library services for government wants to go from thirty five public health agencies to just ten flashing one billion dollars in provincial tree. Planting organization was told by the Ford government that four point seven million in funding is being cut the provincial government is planning to acts more than thirty four hundred teaching positions over the next four years to save some. Money and the people of Antero well basing bit beyond ERC. There has been news of cuts to services and funding and programs nearly every single day since the budget dropped in Ontario, and the list is kind of staggering to contemplate. So, of course, for some this is the end of the world and to be fair, the sorts of services that are at risk here. Do seem fairly critical on the other hand Doug Ford government won a mandate to find savings and balance the budget of a province in debt. So are they not just doing what they promised or have they gone beyond their mandate. How hard is it to keep track of these various measures? When there's a hailstorm of them. And are we I mean us in the media doing a good job at focusing on what's important here. Or are. We just chasing each shiny new object as it's revealed. I'm Jordan heath Rawlings. And this is the big story. Fatima Siad is an investigative reporter with the national observer, she spent much of the past week exhaustively tracking a list of all these cuts Fatima. Hi, jordan. Can you? Tell me first of all in broad strokes and for people who might live outside of Ontario. What's been going on in this province for the last few months? Very big question to answer. I'm going to approach it in a slightly different way. The new phrased it I'm going to tell you everything that happened just last week. All right. So what we learned last week is the Ford government is getting rid of Ohio medical emergency coverage for on Tehran's travel outside of the country. What this means is that if you're traveling to what's your favorite country, Jordan. Of the top of my head Spade. Okay. Say you're traveling to sane and you twister leg, and you need to go to the hospital. Oh, hip, which is the -tario health insurance program would cover you for up to two hundred dollars per day for a hospital stay and up to four hundred dollars a day for a higher level level of care. Should you need it? And that program is being cut to save a couple million dollars last week. We also learned that the government has stopped funding a program that was aiming to plant fifty million trees in Ontario. This is important because we were trying to build forest cover, which we need in this province to prevent flooding to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change and so forth. I got trees are great. Last week. We also learned that the government is axing all the funding to the Mars discovery district. This is something the logic reported. The Mars discovery district is an innovation hub where a lot of new ideas and new inventions and new tech start in that district. So what does loss of funding mean, not quite sure yet? But it's happening. And last week. We also learned that the -tario music fund is being cut by half from fifteen million dollars to seven million dollars. According to billboard. What does that mean? Jordan. I don't know. Neither do I. But we know that the funding is getting cut, and that is going to have some sort of fact on -tario music industry that's pretty comprehensive for just a week. But that's why we wanted to talk to you. Because for myself, even who who covers the news everyday and lives in on -tario, and for people who don't pay close attention to the news over people who live in another province. I feel like we've heard a lot about one cut another cut another, and it seems really difficult to keep track of it. Absolutely. Is it's a lot. And I think part of the reason that we're hearing more and more about new cuts every day is because a we have a new government, right? They're barely a year into their tenure, and they have plans, and we're learning about those plans slowly, but surely and they're coming out step by step. So that's one part of it. The second part is that the budget just came out on April eleventh, and it was very complicated. Difficult to understand document that we are just still navigating. And looking between the lines of and understanding what you know, some of the proposals mean if you're someone who's just casually paying attention to the news at concede like these cuts are being announced one day after the other. But explain the process a little bit to me because this result of sort of two weeks of digging down into one document. No, I think this is the result of a government still laying out how it's going to execute its plan and its vision for governance, if you can imagine the budget that was put out April eleventh was three hundred eighty page document that laid out a vision for four years that aim to reduce red tape that aim to find a fishing sees to reduce thirteen point five billion dollar deficit. According to the government and that aimed to restore accountability. And those are the government's words not mine that they want to restore accountability and trust and they want to bring more modernization and transparent. Rency to sort of the work that the government does the budget lease out a series of ideas about this and not entirely clear from I read what those ideas meant on practical terms. So when you're going through the budget, and you're looking at numbers, so the funding of the ministry of natural resources, for example, was cut. What does that mean? And then as you start digging into it, you realize, oh that means that we have less money for firefighters who tackle forest fires or we have less"