Lisa Gretzky MPP, for Windsor West

Government of Ontario

Gretzky: Ford government’s budget fails to address the urgent needs of the Windsor-Essex community during the pandemic

Published on April 1, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) made a statement in the Ontario legislature Thursday to recognize the outstanding efforts of the local community to secure funding for the planning stage of a new regional hospital in Windsor-Essex, that Gretzky says must now be fully-funded by the Ford government to get the project completed. In her statement, Gretzky highlighted the failure of Ford’s latest budget to address the urgent needs of the community who need help right now during the third wave of the pandemic.
“I applaud the outstanding work of my community in securing more planning funding for the new hospital Windsor-Essex deserves. My MPP colleagues Percy Hatfield, Taras Natyshak and I, along with hospital CEO David Musyj, the board, local mayors, city council, town councils, and community members worked collaboratively, across party lines, for many years, to fight for the new hospital we need, and we won’t rest until the doors of our new hospital are open. 
However, the budget omissions show that this government doesn’t prioritize helping the majority of Ontarians recover from this pandemic. Doug Ford cut nearly $800 million in funding from education, which leaves our students and education workers at risk. No increase for ODSP or OW will mean that many families in my riding will continue to live in deep poverty without access to affordable housing. There are 5,400 people on the waitlist for housing in Windsor. 
Workers still have to choose between staying home if sick with COVID-19 or being able to pay rent or buy groceries, because this government won’t support a provincial paid sick days plan. The restrictive business grant means local small businesses will continue to struggle or close permanently. Casino workers and many frontline healthcare heroes have been left out too. 
MPPs don’t vote on a budget based on one issue alone. This was an opportunity to address the struggles families in my riding face, yet the government’s budget falls much too short and fails far too many. I will continue to advocate for my constituents on the issues important to them, like those I just raised, while working collaboratively with this government, local politicians and community members to move the hospital project forward. I hope the government will do the same.”