Ontario cannot allow a right-wing leader with no established policies except for sweeping attacks on progressive values to take power. Ford seeks to cancel increases to the minimum wage, stop any attempt at a carbon tax, promises tax cuts that are likely to lead to service cuts and wants to turn the clock back on access to abortion and sex education. Doug Ford’s win makes the social conservative, anti-worker agenda in the Progressive Conservative party clear to see.
The gains won through Bill 148 must not be rolled back. Precarious, temporary and contract work continues to be on the rise, creating unsafe and unreliable jobs for vulnerable workers. Of the seven million people working in Ontario, 1.3 million currently work part-time, 1.1 million are self-employed, and 750,000 are temporary. While joining a union is the best way to ensure job security, fairness in the workplace and better wages- labour laws still make it hard for workers to organize and give space for employer intimidation.
Health care in Ontario has been neglected. Funding is just not keeping up with the needs of Ontarians or our aging population. Hallway medicine is common practice and quality declines with staff that are overworked. Long-term care workers have an average of six minutes with each resident to get them ready each morning and are calling for a provincial standard. Life-saving and necessary medication remains unaffordable to many patients. Things have to change in health care, for patients, residents, and care providers. With a bold plan, and funding that reflects need, the crisis in health care can be fixed.
Child care should be universal, publicly-funded and accessible to all. Ontario has the highest fees in the country and the majority of child care centres maintain wait lists because of a severe shortage of licensed spaces. Investments in child care reduce poverty, improve women’s equality and representation in the workforce, decrease the gender wage gap and open up opportunities for families who are struggling to get by. By making investments in a public child care system, the Ontario government can ensure that all parents can make importance life choices without being limited by unaffordable costs.